Networking & Cold Calls

Networking and cold call reluctance can slow you to a crawl or stop you in your tracks.

It’s hard to think of anyone whose career or business wouldn’t benefit from good networking — meeting and talking with people who can help you figure out how to get promoted, or find a better job, or introduce you to your next client. And many people have to make cold calls to prospect for customers or clients whether they think of themselves as salesmen or not. This is particularly true for business owners and professionals.

Unfortunately, most people undercut their own success by avoiding networking and prospecting phone calls completely, or just doing the bare minimum to keep their career or business limping along. What is often at the base of a reluctance to talk with others is a fear of being rejected — something most of us are familiar with.

Those who have the best results at networking or cold calling are those who make the most attempts. How do they bring themselves to try in the first place, knowing that some people won’t want to talk with them? And how do they keep going and approach the next person at the event, or make the next call, after they do get rejected?

It turns out that successful networkers and cold callers have a knack for not taking rejections personally. They tell themselves that one rejection, or even a hundred, does not mean they will be rejected the next time. Instead, they look at a rejection as something limited — that person is having a bad day, this business isn’t ready for me yet, this slump is only temporary — and tell themselves that the next introduction or call may be better. This approach allows them to take rejection in stride and keep trying until they are successful. (If you are interested in learning more about this mindset, a great place to start is Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman. It’s a classic.)

Simply knowing what an effective mindset is and how it works, however, is usually not enough to overcome the fear of rejection. Practicing that way of thinking whenever you are in a position to do some networking or need to make some prospecting calls will eventually lead to a change in how you approach those opportunities. However, it can take time, and some people can’t bring themselves to keep going if they don’t get the results they want quickly enough. And others can’t even bring themselves to try in the first place.

If that sounds like you, it’s important to unhook whatever is causing your reluctance. It could be a memory or memories of getting rejected that comes up when you approach someone. It could be a generally uncomfortable feeling, without a specific memory attached to it, when you think about making that call. You might not even feel nervous; you just never seem to get around to doing all the networking or making enough of the calls on your To Do list.

The stress reduction techniques I use can root out whatever is keeping you from doing what you need to do to succeed in your career or make your business or profession take off. And they can work fast.

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If you would like to find out if these techniques can help you get beyond your own reluctance to network or make prospecting calls, email me to arrange a complimentary 3o-minute consultation by phone or Skype.