Cold Calling and The Business Haunted House

By: Matt Gainsford


Imagine if you will a haunted house for businesses, instead of rooms filled with fear and dread its offices containing chillingly trite motivational posters (that aren’t even hung level) and a selection of your most terrifying work nightmares… What would it include? What would be so bone chillingly, spine-tingly, awkward office party mingle’y (is that even word) frightful and petrifying? What are those fears that once you conquer them make you stronger and more capable?

Here are some ideas:

  1. The social depravation bathroom – this for employees who spend too long in the rest room that the lights go out and you hope to all hope that your phone has enough battery to open the flashlight and that no one comes in before you’ve had a chance to either engage said flashlight or do that awkward stand and wave to try and turn the lights on. Will they know you’ve been in there for more than 15 minutes… the embarrassment, the shame, the depravity.
  2. The last-minute meeting/can you step into my office email? Are you getting a raise, are you being fired, did the company get a new coffee maker? Who knows, but you don’t have a good feeling.
  3. The accidentally off mute room – if you’ve been working from home and there is commotion in the house and you turn the camera off to settle the issue but forget to turn the mute on… Bradley in accounting didn’t come to work today to hear those things and Priscilla is considering her future with the company because she hasn’t heard words like that since, well never. HR are now involved and it’s a thing, all because the Cat knocked over the red wine you were keeping just out of shot…
  4. The cold call room (except every call is a car warranty call, maybe this one is too real) – now this is one that, if you can get over it, can put you in a position to connect with potential candidates/leads. To get out of this room you have to ask the right questions and set the right expectations.
  5. Deceptively long intros to blogs…

Nathan Hill says that: “Fear is just a state of mind” and the above examples have definitely not happened to me… now cold calls…

If cold calls are part of your role, if you’re looking to network and build connection, or if you just want to talk to someone here are some tips to take the cold sweats out of cold calling.

  • Do your research. Is there something you’ve seen about the person that can immediately connect you to them? A social media posting that you’ve liked, an award their company has won that they may have been a part of, anything that can build a connection.
  • Have a plan. What are the questions you are going to ask, how are you going to open the call (see above), what are you hoping to achieve (set small goals) and how do you plan on closing the call? Think it through before you get someone on the line.
  • Know what you are afraid of. Is it rejection, the dreaded no? Are you afraid of interrupting their day, or more accurately being an interruption? Your mind going blank and just breathing before hanging up, then the police are called when the number is traced? What if they say yes, then what? Knowing what you’re afraid of enables you to plan for what might happen, and often it’s never as bad as we think
  • Set small goals. You don’t have to close the sale right there or hire the candidate on the spot. It’s all about connection and developing the conversation. Maybe a win is getting the time to call back, maybe it’s an email address. There is always something you can leave with that gives you a reason to call back.
  • Practice. Get familiar with what you’re going to say and with hearing and responding to rejections. Not interested is a natural response to an interruption so don’t fear it, look for ways to move around it. Even without sharing the information or opportunity you have, there is a 99% chance that this person is clear about what they’re not interested in. Validate the statement and then clarify what you are hoping to do. A great response is, I hear that a lot and to be honest this is my typical response when I receive calls like this too. What I am hoping to do is [fill in the blank]. If we could connect at a more suitable time to see if what I’m looking to share with you would be valuable and we could do that in less than 5 minutes, what could be the harm in that? What would be the best day/time to reach you, or would email be better? A response likes that validates their reaction, clarifies what you are looking to achieve and leaves you with either a second call, contact details or another objection to overcome.
  • Three objections = an argument. If you’ve received two objections, be careful how you handle trying to overcome the third, and if there is a third make sure the recipient of the call has an exit strategy that doesn’t lead to them feeling pushed/cajoled. Remember, it’s not about backing the candidate into a corner but about fostering relationships and developing connection.

Track your progress, take notes, and keep at it. The more you practice the stronger you will get. Familiarity with the process will help reduce the fear, even if it’s something you don’t particularly enjoy.

Here at Titus Talent, we want to take the fear out of the hiring process. We sit on your side of the table and offer an approach that we believe is a true Partner-based approach to putting the right people in the right seats. We’re on hand to help you guard against hiring the werewolves whose resumes look great but when the moon is bright they decimate your company culture.

Connect with our team below to talk more about our proven hiring strategies and how we might Partner together!

Related Insights

Talent Checkup

Want to start a journey towards building a high performing culture? We can give you a roadmap. It takes less than 10 minutes.