In my last post here, we discussed if cold calling was a viable way to land freelance writing gigs. In my opinion, it definitely is. However, it scares the bejeezus out of most people. I devised a method that got me past the fear. While I never grew to enjoy cold calling when I used to do it, I did come to dread it less using the method below.
Take the Fear Out of Cold Calling: The Email, Call, Email System
The thing that makes cold calling so scary is that there is no contact beforehand. It’s like walking up to a complete stranger and asking them to consider you for a job. When I used to do cold calling, I used the email, call, email system. This made my call a “warm” call, instead of a cold one. And even though it was still scary, it was less so.
When I’d send emails to prospects about my service, I’d mention that I was going to call in [you name the time]. Try not to make it more than a week later, or you risk the prospect not remembering your email.
And, even if they never received your email because it went to their junk folder or they simply deleted it, at least you have a reason to state for the call once you have them on the line. Following is how my calls proceeded.
Sample Cold Calling Script to Land Freelance Writing Jobs
Hello, this is Mary from Mary’s SEO Writing Service. I’m following up on the email I sent last Wednesday about my writing services. I know you’re busy and will be very brief.
If prospect is receptive, continue with:
I’d like to know if you have any questions about my services and how I can help your firm with its SEO writing needs. As I stated in my email, I offer a wide range of SEO and other writing needs like press releases and newsletters. I turn projects around pretty quickly and do well handling ongoing projects like blogging. More than a few clients have told me that they mean to start things like blogging and social media marketing, but they just don’t have the time or in-house resources to get to it. Of course, this is where I come in. I can provide references and am available to start immediately.
At this point, the prospect will usually start questioning you about your various services, your rates, types of projects you’ve worked on, etc. Be sure to have all of this information at your fingertips. Also mention that they can find more information on your website (it goes without saying that you should have one before you start calling).
If prospect is not receptive, say:
I understand you’re busy. When would be a better time to call you back?
Note the time and call back at that exact time. And in the meantime, send a follow-up email thanking them for speaking with you – no matter how brief the conversation was.
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Once you do a few calls, they become easier and more natural sounding. You’re going to be nervous when you first start. Just accept that and plow through anyway. When you get the first few sentences out though, your nerves will steady. Remember, you can help them. They need you. So proceed with this positive thought in mind.
In tomorrow’s email, I give you some more tips on what to say and perhaps more importantly, what not to say. I’ll also tell you a friendly group to start your cold calling campaign with.