Early in my speaking career and struggling to stay in business, I was often on the phone. Life was different back in the late 80’s. We had this thing called a…telephone. And, we actually called prospective client organizations. 😉
It had gotten bad. I mean, I was at the point where I was sneaking peeks at the help wanted pages in the newspaper (another thing we had back then) thinking I could always take a job in sales. This would allow me to continue speaking part-time and hopefully re-build it into a full-time practice. Words cannot possibly describe how much I did not want to take a job. I was loving my new career and was just a couple of…something away from making it a self-sustaining business.
But, it wasn’t looking good. And, on a late Friday afternoon, with my one-person staff gone, and calls getting me nowhere, it was time to leave for the day. A true sense of discouragement settled in. Guess I’ll go home and really do some soul-searching over the weekend.
I then remembered something I used to do when I first began in sales. I was selling advertising for a small television station, making cold-call visits to businesses throughout the day. And, every day at the end, when the day was over and there were no more businesses to visit…I’d visit just one more. And, I can’t tell you how many times that last one ended up paying off in new business! Kind of amazing how that worked.
So, I decided to make just one more call. In the directory I was looking through, I saw an organization that there was no way it seemed they’d have a need for what I spoke on at the time. But I called anyway because it wasn’t about getting a yes; it was about making just one more call.
Well, it turns out that not only did they need what I was offering…they apparently wanted it, as well. They also had, what they called “sectional organizations” nationwide. Over the next three years, I’d speak at 41 of them. Sure, my fee was quite a bit less back then, but it kept me in business and gave me the confidence I so badly needed at that time.
That call — that one more call — turned out to be the difference-maker.
Could one more call/contact/visit, etc. help your business? If so, go ahead. You don’t have to make a whole bunch of extra calls. But once the day is through, make just one more.
Just one more call.
Have you had a similar experience as mine? Please share it with us!
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Awesome post Bob! Even with Social Media CALLS are still necessary. And because so few do it, it is an incredible differentiator. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement. I’ll keep this reply short, because I’ve gotta go make some calls! 😉
Thank you, Michele. I agree with everything you wrote, my friend. With less people using the phone, those who use it tend to be even more effective. Now, yes…go make your calls! LOL
Excellent suggestion as usual, Bob! Just the shot in the arm lots of us out here in the marketplace need, myself included, when trying to stay positive while making sales calls to businesses facing unprecedented challenges dealing with this economy. As always, thank you for such valuable and timely advice!
Thank you, Allan. A great resource, by the way, is a book (and they have a DVD) entitled, “Go For Now” by my friends, Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. Helps you get to the “Yesses” through all the “No’s” :-). You can get more info at their website, http://www.GoForNo.com
Great story Bob!!!
Yes, I still do cold calling even in this day of World Wide Web and Social Media use… I‘ve found in Small Towns in Rural America tend to be a bit technically challenged with fewer using the internet effectively…
Cold calling is still one of the most effective methods, but not just on the phone, but to set 1-2 days a month to walk through a door of business that I think might have need of the services I offer – just shake a hand & introducing myself often paves the way for future business…
Great reminder Bob, hand in hand with my latest blog post – It is not what we know that will make the difference but what we do with that what we know 🙂 right?
Isn’t it a funny thing – life rewards us for our actions not for our knowledge (in school we were rewarded for knowing by getting good grades / so most ppl. never move on to applying what they walk around with in their heads 🙁 –
To our success.
Excellent advice, Charles. You’re setting yourself apart! Thank you for sharing with us!
Lorena, terrific points. So true, isn’t it? Please write back with a link to your blog post. I’m sure we’d enjoy reading it. Your posts are always outstanding!
This is awesome Testimonial, Bob. “Just one more call”! Thank you for this great reminder that we all need from time to time.
This post reminded me of something Bill Britt always says, “Do everything it takes… and little bit more” as the secret to success!
Thanks for this awesome post.
That one was just for me. It’s those type of stories, the real work in the trenches and process of building a business–whatever business that is, that keep me grounded.
Thanks Bob. Share some more stories with us like that one! 🙂
Great and inspiring post, Bob! I believe you shared this story at the Big Event in January. It is so true that confidence plays a big role in obtaining goals and making a difference in business. I had a similar instance where I reached out to a bigger company to do seminars/trainings. I did not think there was a need but reached out anyway since the opportunity presented itself. Great results, indeed! The company was actually creating a new division and needed the seminars to train their employees. Thanks again and Keep up the awesome work, my friend!
Hi Snigdha. Ahh, “a little bit more.” So often, that is the difference, isn’t it?
Hey Jennifer, thank you for your kind feedback!
Hello Chi Chi. I believe you are correct. And, I enjoyed reading your above story. Way to go; you put yourself out there and made it happen!
Thank you Jason!
Hi Bob, you must have been whispering in my ear this afternoon lol.
Here I’m back home, tired, with sore feet of standing at a great (but long) networking event.
I have been on the road since this morning 8am and I am tired. So, there I was, finishing a conversation with someone (trying to apply your good principles) and telling myself that it was time to call it a day. But (that is when you whispered…), I forced myself to smile, go to the next person, start a conversation and guess what… that person is a mover and shaker, would like to introduce me to a lot of people because he believes in my product and wants the product for himself. So, definitely, YES, the last call pays off.
And thank you for reminding us that “the extra mile” is productive. Your encouragements are always a blessing.
Nadia, I LOVE it!! Thank you for sharing that with us. Very cool!
This reminds me of the 3 Feet from Gold analogy Hill used in Think and Grow Rich. The Universe seems to have a clever way of testing our persistence. When you feel like you can’t do anymore keep going for a little bit. Seems to be a silent force who rewards us for moving forward in the face of discouragement.
I remember when I was modelling and totally fed up that I hadn’t receiving any casting calls. I laid down in the middle of my floor, tearing up and totally fed up. Something told me to check one more email and keep working a little bit more. The next email I read was from a well-known photographer – the dude who discovered Michael Bergin – and he wanted to do a shoot with me. I was elated, but saw his agency was located in Miami. Mini-bummer, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to take off of work to travel there.
On chatting with him a few minutes later I found out he lived 10 minutes away, in the next town, and he his studio was in his home. Thanks Universe 🙂 Pretty cool, the way things work out if you will simply continue to work.
Thanks for sharing the inspiration Bob!
Ryan, yes, excellent comparison to Hill’s story and Russell Conwell’s “Acres of Diamonds.” I love your thought on how the Universe tests our persistence and seems to reward that extra effort. And, congratulations regarding your personal story of getting that gig! Thank you for sharing with us!