It's not just salespeople. We all have to "cold call" once in a while.
In business and in life, you can't afford to sit around waiting for the phone to ring when you need something.
At one point or another, you're gonna need to pick up the phone and call someone to get something from them. Whether it's money, or a favor, or a stick of butter.
And for a lot of people, the idea of calling someone out of the blue to ask for something - even a stick of butter! - makes them too anxious to even pick up the receiver.
There are countless cold calling tips out there, but I think there's only one that everyone should know:
Instead of calling to ask for something, call to offer something.
It doesn't even have to be a thing. It could be an idea for helping them, or solving some issue they have, or just something interesting you want to share.
My calls always start with: "I have an idea to help you or save you money or grow your business." (Of course, it's nice when the idea overlaps with something I'm selling, but it doesn't always have to.)
Yes, in the end, I'll need to bring up the thing that I need. But it's a lot easier to do that after I've shown the other person that I'm not just all about me.
When you develop a reputation as someone who calls with helpful ideas, people want to pick up the phone and talk with you. Business associates, friends, whoever.
Not everyone wants to be "sold" but with the right idea, most people want to buy.