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  • Diana Schneidman

Freelancing and consulting: Cold calling is for dummies

Cold calling is for dummies. On the other hand, telephoning for freelance and consulting assignments is an excellent idea.

The real problem is the misuse of the term “cold calling.” Phoning to drum up assignments is only “cold” when we phone people who have no relationship with us whatsoever and no need for our services.

Only a dummy would phone someone who is highly unlikely to use his services.

Unfortunately, the words “cold calling” are routinely used incorrectly. Solopreneurs regularly list “cold calling” as a sales technique when they really mean telephoning.

Phoning is a perfectly legitimate way to get work. It is always done hot, or at least warmly.

The best leads are those we know the best. These include past clients and fellow professionals with whom we have a real, existing relationship. They are “hot.”

Then come leads of varying levels of warm. They may belong to our professional organization or our local chamber of commerce. They may be in our industry or the industry in which we specialize. They may be LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter connections. They may have posted content we enjoy.

When we call these people we note what makes them warm leads. We introduce ourselves by saying we also belong to the ABC Association or hold a DEF certification.

It’s not a cold call. It’s a warm call.

When we do the phoning ourselves, we only call warm leads. We are too sensitive and careful about how we use our time to pester people who are highly unlikely to use our services.

Unfortunately, phoning gets a bad name because it is erroneously called “cold calling.” Cold calling sounds so repugnant that anyone would choose any other marketing over it.

In fact, many marketing systems and their coaches use this aspect of cold calling to make their offering look more desirable. Learning any technique that replaces the horror of call calling is worth forking over the bucks regardless of its likelihood or unlikelihood of greater success, they say.

When we phone warm prospects, we are offering our help to people who are likely to benefit from it.

We offer a useful, valuable service.

And that’s what motivates us to keep phoning.

Originally posted 5-25-15

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