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Influence with ease Featured

6:11am EDT July 19, 2002

The cold call is a hard fact of doing business. Few people like them but they're a part of every sales strategy.

If your sales team is having trouble with cold calls, consider changing your approach.

Odds are, you're beginning your calls as if you already know the person you're talking to. Instead, when making a business call to a stranger, try this: "Hi, Jane, my name's so-and-so. We haven't met yet. The reason I'm calling is ... "

The key is that you point out that you haven't met yet.

People often receive calls from strangers who take the opposite approach. They don't introduce themselves and instead fake familiarity by asking, "How are you?" This annoys the person being called because it sounds insincere and wastes their time. Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry who develops training programs and consults to business owners looking to improve their staff's service. He can be reached at (800) 566-9288.