By Katie Corbett
Do you work in sales? Do you wish you made more money or had more responsibility at work? Are you job hunting? No one will know what you’re up to if you don’t tell them about it and ask them if they will help accomplish your goals. Striking up conversations with strangers, picking up the phone and making cold calls and putting yourself out there in general can be really scary. Instead of dwelling on the possibility of rejection or the thought that something might go wrong, why not give yourself a pep talk to pump you up?
I read about this strategy in “The Magic of Thinking Big,” by David J. Schwartz. It made difficult conversations much more bearable. Here’s one example.
While I was job hunting, I realized I wanted to learn more about what it was like to work as a recruiter in a staffing agency. I didn’t personally know any recruiters, so the best way would be to call staffing agencies and talk to complete strangers. Scary, right? Of course! I kept the pep talk strategy in mind, though, and was able to make those cold calls.
Before each phone call, I told myself things like, “I’m just calling to get information. I just need to focus on the script I wrote. I’m prepared. I’ve got the list of questions already. I can do this!”
I would consider all the cold calls I made to be a success. No one yelled at me; no one slammed down the phone or spoke to me rudely. Did I get an appointment with everyone I called? No. Did some phone calls result in job interviews? Yes! Did I realize that a staffing agency wasn’t the right fit for me? I did. It was great knowing that without having to actually work the long, competitive hours required. I learned everything I needed to know in order to make my decision just by talking to people in the field. I never would have gotten this knowledge without making the cold calls, and I never would have had the courage to make those calls without first giving myself a pep talk.
So no matter if you’re goal is to tell a potential customer about a product you sell, to ask your boss for a raise or to follow up with a lead for a potential new job, list all the reasons you’re awesome and give yourself that pep talk beforehand. You’ll get a lot more done and you’ll overcome your fears. Even if that customer doesn’t buy, your boss says “no,” or you don’t land the job, you’ll have put yourself out there and asked. And there’s no better way to stand out from the crowd and find opportunities for the future!
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