The Art of Cold Calling

I wish I could tell you there is something called “The Art of Cold Calling.”

But that alone, the “art-part” of dialing and smiling won’t make you any money.

People don’t pay for art, as such, they pay for the results that art produces.

Walk into a gallery or a museum. When you see a piece of art that causes what is called “aesthetic arrest,” which means the painting or sculpture stops you in your tracks, then that work has been successful.

It got your attention, and it became the centerpiece of your consciousness. It moved you to some sort of action, altering your attitude and your behavior.

Cold calling seldom reaches this level of effectiveness. We have to contact lots of folks before a good number of them will listen to our message and respond as we intend.

Which means that there must be a system to cold calling, a science to it, which has to partner with the art. Think of it as brawn-and-brains, Beauty and The Beast.

One without the other won’t work.

For instance, there are tens of thousands of call centers around the world that will gladly make lots of “ugly” calls for you, right now. There is no art to the construction of their scripts. They’re spraying and praying, often contacting the wrong people, littering the listening landscape with features and benefits, hoping some will stick.

They’re working “The Law of Large Numbers,” which will work for them in producing results, providing some art has been put into their scripts.

At the same time, there are people that have fashioned beautiful presentations, a pleasure to hear and to recite, that are completely ineffective because there is no commitment to systematically rolling them out.

It reminds me of the line attributed to St. Augustine: “There is no joy in heaven over empty churches.” Ditto for empty art museums and galleries, and for phones that go uncalled.

When I was disseminating my seminars across the country, I devised an ultra-short cold calling script that didn’t sound like one. It lasted about twenty seconds, and to this day, I marvel at the elegance, beauty, simplicity, and above all, the art of it.

But equally important, I committed to using this presentation, relentlessly. That’s a strong word to use, because it took very little effort to make this cold calling script come to life.

What were the results? Nearly every college and university I contacted about sponsoring my seminars said yes. Two or three said no.

Within 18 months my customer service and telephone sales seminars were conducted from Hawaii to New York.

I’ve often thought that the best poems have been balled-up and tossed in the trash, and the world’s greatest canvasses have been painted over, never to be seen and appreciated.