Monday, May 2, 2011

Just hit call

Monday is always my worst day of cold calling. After a weekend off, I just can't bring myself hit the call button for the first time. If I'm not careful, I start checking Facebook, reading Twitter and catching up on FLX -- and suddenly it's 11 o'clock and all the prospects are at lunch.

This Monday was extra brutal because I took the day off from cold calling last Thursday and then wrote all day Friday, so I really lost my momentum.

A few tricks for getting yourself to hit the call button when you REALLY don't want to:

1. Have strict "cold calling" hours. At 9:00, you're calling until you reach your goal for the day. No whining. **cracks whip**

2. Reward yourself. Make an agreement with yourself that if you get through your cold calls by a reasonable hour, you can have a little treat (a shorter workday, a break with a favorite TV show, a cheeseburger. Seriously, whatever it takes).

3. Remember why you're doing this. I posted a list of the things that cold calling is going to bring me: the chance to travel, move to Denver, and get my own place. I force myself to look at it when I'm flagging.

4. Repeat: The first is the worst. Once that first call is done, the others will be easy. Do what you have to to break the ice.

5. Keep your momentum up by calling every day. Twenty-five calls should take 1 to 2 hours, which leaves plenty of time for other projects.

How do you motivate yourself to make that first call on a Monday morning?


  1. I have the same problem at times with interview phone calls. (I haven't worked up the nerve yet to cold call, but you are inspiring me!)When I have a several calls to make, sometimes, I just have to crack the whip, like you said. I tell myself I'm going to start at a set time and keep calling until I get through my list. Usually, I'll reward myself by taking the rest of the day off, if I can.

  2. Interviews scare me too, Teresa. I like the idea of taking a day off. I do that sometimes after cold calls (or at least quit an hour early).

    Honestly, you may find that interviews are way scarier than cold calls once you get rolling. Good, bad or ugly, cold calls are over in two minutes tops, while interviews often take on a life of their own!

  3. This post -- and this blog -- is really good. I, too, am afraid to pick up the damn phone. Your bravery encourages me. And I always love hearing things like, "...after the 200th call, the fear was gone." It's always nice when someone vanquishes 'fear,' that nasty beast.

    I like the humor in this blog, too.

    Nice job.

  4. Thanks so much, Caren! And if you need anymore encouragement, even just 10 calls goes a long way toward lowering your fear level. My advice -- just take a day and call the 25 places in your area that you think would be most receptive to freelancers. That first day is a huge psychological hurdle. After that it's much easier.

  5. This is the hardest part for me. Rewards is probably the best one I can think of because it encourages you to literally just indulge once you have done the work.