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The King of Cold Calls on CLIFFVIEWPILOT

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

If there was ever a time for motivational speaker Chuck Piola to temper his go-go message, this economic climate might be it. But he’s not. He’s actually pushing it even harder.


Chuck Piola

“It’s a numbers game. It’s always been a numbers game, no matter what you’re selling,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT, as he prepared for the launch of his column on the site today (See: Quitting Is Not an Option ). “So, in this economy I’ll have to double my calls.

“It’s scary, of course. But it’s all up to you. You just have to hammer the numbers. If the other salespeople are doing 50 calls a week, I’m doing 100. If they’re in the field at 8:30 in the morning, I’m out there at 6:30. If they’re done by 7, I’m done by 9.

“Remember: No matter what goes on, people still have to buy stuff. So even if this economy, you can be laughing all the way to the bank while keeping the wolf away from the door.”

Chuck isn’t much of a nut-and-bolts guy. That’s how motivational speakers operate. He gives speeches, sales motivation talks, attitude talks. As such, he insists the attitude comes first, then the practical steps.

“You could study this stuff all day,” he said. “But unless you embrace the fact that you have to change, unless you confront the fear, you’re gonna continue making — or not making — the same money. You’re in a groove, you’re in a pattern, you’re in a comfort zone. To get out of that is a monster.”

The numbers game is easy — if you’re smart enough to know not to take rejection personally, Piola said.

It all begins with the number of stops you make to potential customers, he said, followed by the number of contacts you make with the people you need to talk to once you get there; followed by the number of appointments you can make, and, then, the number of presentations. The bottom line, of course, are your total amount of sales.

So there is a direct correlation between the number of stops and the total amount of sales you make, Piola said. In between, there will be all kinds of rejections, along with plenty of acceptance.

So, no matter what your percentage, high or low, you can always increase your bottom line by starting at the beginning. More stops can only generate more sales. Not the same number. Not fewer.

Salesman, Renaissance man, visionary corporate leader, the King of the Cold Calls was once a grade school teacher. Then, in 1986, Piola and a partner formed their own company — one that threatens to soon reach 100,000 clients and more than a billion dollars a year in revenue.

For those newer to the game, he says, the first thing you have to expect is difficulty. It’s also the one thing that stands between you and success, Piola says, so you might as well put it to bed as quickly as you can. And that takes work.

However, he says that doesn’t necessarily mean being overly aggressive with potential customers.

“Sometimes you have to sit down with your clients and slowly build up relationships with them, consult with them, let them use you as resource, and let them know that you are there to help,” he once wrote.

“When you help your customers get what they need, the money will come. Sure, you can nab them with a cold-call, but i’ts the follow-up and the real commitment that counts. Selling, after all, is not getting someone, it’s not hooking someone, it’s not forcing someone to do something that they do not want to do. It’s helping a person get something that they need.”

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