Whenever I meet new people and they hear about my work, I get a lot of the same remarks.

“Oh! Where do you get the courage to pick up the phone and call people you’ve never met before and try to sell them something?”

Or

“How can you stand hearing ‘no’ all the time?”

Certainly, every day presents opportunity for rejection in new business and I’m not going to lie – hearing “No” stings. However, powerful ways to keep rejection to a minimum revolve in great part around the idea of setting the table before “calling people you’ve never met before”.

In his book, You’ll Never Get “No” for An Answer, author Jack Carew’s advice includes:

  • You’ll never make a spray-and-pray sales call — if you FIND THE AREA OF OPPORTUNITY
  • You’ll never feel like an unwelcome guest — if you ASSUME THE RESPONSIBILITY
  • You’ll never have a rejection hangover — if you MAKE THE CUSTOMER PART OF THE SOLUTION
  • You’ll never fumble over an objection — if you INVEST IN THE RELATIONSHIP

With all the information and tools available to us at our fingertips – some for a fee, a lot of it free – business development professionals have no reason to start a conversation with a true “cold call”.

Online networking tools are widely used for introductions and research but dig deeper.

Invest in the relationship before you pick up the phone.

Find that area of opportunity to make your call relevant to the prospect at the outset.

At the heart of minimizing rejection is building familiarity with your prospect and their business before the call.

It won’t be so much like “calling people you’ve never met before”.