Some years ago, I had a chance to spend time with Chuck Piola, who was once (deservedly) dubbed the King of Cold Calls by Inc. Magazine.
Chuck co-founded a company called NCO Group, which now does more than a billion dollars a year in revenue. Most of that growth came from Chuck and others like him knocking on lots and lots of doors.
So what made Chuck so successful at cold calling?
It wasn’t because he was selling anything especially unique or exciting. NCO provides back-end business services, such as collections. It’s not a sexy business and lots of other companies do it too.
Chuck told me it wasn’t smarts. He’d been a C student in school. He’d become a school teacher and wasn’t making much money when he decided to try sales. He got turned down from countless sales jobs because he lacked experience. Finally, he took a job that was 100% commission – no salary, no draw.
So what’s Chuck got? Tons of drive, for sure. But there’s something else. Chuck was absolutely sure that he had something of value to offer his prospects. As he saw it, it was a good day for the prospect when he came calling. Because he wanted to make them some more money, solve their problems and make their lives just a little bit better.
Some people hate cold calling because they feel like they’re always asking for something – a sale, an appointment, a promise. That’s not selling. That’s begging. Chuck never asked for a handout. He came bearing gifts.
That’s the key message you must communicate in every prospecting call.
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