by Brendan M. Lynch | February 01, 2006


It’s a task that sends shivers down the spines of even the most confident and professional of employees. But it’s not difficult to become better at cold calling, says John Tisdale, president and CEO of San Clemente, Calif.-based ExpoCall, a company that delivers tailored, prerecorded voice mail messages for the events industry (like an e-mail blast over the phone). Tisdale has perfected the way to hook a call’s recipient with a focused message. Following are some of his tips.

Research first. “Don’t spin your wheels by contacting non-prospects,” says Tisdale. “Do your homework and have a purpose.”

Stand up and smile. Your voice projects better when you are on your feet, and a positive attitude will shine through.

Write a script that works. Key elements of your spiel should be who you are, why you are calling and why the prospect should listen to you. Any additions to those basics should be carefully rehearsed. “Try not to ad-lib,” recommends Tisdale.

Be funny but reverent. “Gatekeepers deal with dozens of people like you a day,” Tisdale says. “If you can differentiate yourself through creativity but maintain the respect of your target, you have a leg up.”