A lot of people will talk about cold calling and the importance thereof. Let me start by saying that I am not a salesperson. I genuinely am not. I believe in myself, I believe in our products, I believe in what we do, but at the end of the day, I don’t like feeling like I’m a salesperson. There was a time right after I got out of radio, I didn’t really get out of radio. What I did was I went freelance and a lot of guys were doing it back then. I was part of a group of about 80 other producers in the country, radio producers who were sharing voices. We all worked at radio stations or at small agencies. And so it gave us each, the ability to have a larger pool of voices to be able to use into different spots.
It gave us value as individuals. Another, mentor of mine back in those days, his name is Andrew and he had been building his freelance business for quite awhile. I said, well, I want to do that eventually too. I wanted to get out on my own. I wanted to be my own boss. Everybody wants to be self employed. In 2006, I finally made the leap. I already had one radio station I was working for out of Oklahoma that was actually through a friend who had worked at the same radio station. So he knew me, but that gave me the springboard to be able to cover my basic bills and then move on. So first thing was I decided, well, the only people I’m going to call are the general manager because I don’t want to call the production director, you’re essentially asking him, “Hey, by the way, do you want me to help work you out of a job?” it’s not going to go over very well.
I made the choice to call only the general managers. Again, I’m not a salesperson. So building up to that moment was very difficult for me. Finally I went online, to the radio locator website, which is still up and I found a radio station just randomly. It was an Entercom station, matter of fact, it was Entercom Milwaukee. I got ahold of the person. It was really crazy how fast I got ahold of her. We talked for about a good 30 minutes, I gave her the entire spiel, we have 80 voices, unlimited creative, which means script writing, all these different things. I also had a music library that I was working with at the time. So again, that was part of the sales pitch, if you will. By the end of the conversation, she said, “Geat! how much?”
I was kind of floored. I had no idea, so I just pulled a number out of the air. Which, yes, means I kinda lied. This is not how to be great at cold calling. I turned out to be lucky at cold calling. My first call was a success and I think that that event, possibly more than any other, made me feel confident in my ability to talk to people about the projects that I wanted to work on. This has definitely stayed with me, be bold, be fearless when you’re gonna make a call of any kind, whoever it’s to, whether to somebody you want to option the rights from, for a project or somebody you want to work with on a project, at the end of the day, don’t be afraid. Just go ahead and make the leap and actually make the call. Talk to them about it. Worst case, you’re no worse off than you were when you picked up the phone.