Style: Can’t Be Taught, MUST Be Found

While it may seem odd for a cold-calling business to write a blog about style, the truth is every caller needs to find it if they want to achieve their cold calling goals.

Cold calling works because of the human connection factor. Today’s leading experts emphasize the importance of opening up a conversation with your prospect. (You can read how this point was hammered home at a recent sales and marketing conference in Boston we attended by clicking here.) This is a much less sales-y approach than the more traditional cold calling model, but extremely more effective as we know first-hand here at VSA.

Conversation is where style really comes into play. Your style is your personality. There is no rule to style except that it must be authentically yours. As humans, our ability to detect inauthenticity has been honed over thousands of years of evolution. Even over the phone, we know when someone is not being real and it turns us off. It certainly doesn’t pave the way for effective, open dialogue.

There are many aspects of cold-calling that can, and should, be taught. They include things like pacing, tone and how to overcome common objections. No amount of style can replace the benefit of understanding these techniques. However, no amount of technique can replace personality and true engagement.

Unlike technique, style cannot be taught. It needs to be found, or rather tapped into. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself. As stated previously, we humans are very adept at sniffing out the unauthentic. While you might admire a colleague’s particular flair or style and may, in fact, steal one or two catchy phrases or conversation starters from them, we strongly advise against trying to mimic them exactly. Unless you are Meryl Streep or Daniel Day Lewis, you’ll fail miserably at convincing anyone that’s who you really are.

Recently, we had a caller on a program who was driven to achieve better results on her calls. She spent quite some time studying and listening to the phone calls of a colleague who was the highest performer on the team. For a while, she tried copying her cold calling style, but to no avail. In a coaching session, her program manager encouraged her to find her own style and she soon became the second highest producer on the team.

It’s important to note that while you always need to be authentic, you don’t necessarily need to be as authentic as you would be with, say, your best friend. Think of your cold-calling personality and style as the “you” you would present to your future in-laws the first time you met them. You’d be yourself, of course, but yourself on your best behavior.