Pending Business: Worst Cold-Call Ever

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — “Hello Steven. My name is_________. Do you work with a financial advisor? Steven, are you familiar with the various resources available to you here at________. Steven, here is my card, please reach out if you need anything.”

As I sat in the waiting area of an investment center known worldwide, that cold call really happened to me.

First off, very few people walking the planet call me Steven. That name really belongs to the late night TV celebrity.

The fact that I was minding my own business and waiting for the documents I had brought in to be processed, it should have been obvious that professionals in the financial field had already guided me through the paperwork.

Finally, I have been a customer of this well -known financial services company for a long time. So why would anyone come out from the office area to cold call pitch me?

Maybe I should have been less patient and channeled the thousands of retailers who rejected me when I cold called. Instead, I politely answered the questions and on the way out, filed the card in the recycler.

Do you make cold calls? Here are some real-world tips to help make those cold calls a little warmer.

  • Radio sellers could all use a little refresher-reminder in asking current clients for referrals.
  • I hope you have a business network be it formal or informal to share leads. The concept is as old school as it comes, but it works when the credibility is real.
  • Categorical prospecting. Chances are your radio station has a sizeable audience. If results are evident for one advertiser in a category, there is always room for more. Anheuser-Busch just dropped exclusivity for the Super Bowl. Learn from the biggest.
  • Sometimes it’s difficult to get a clear picture of the quality of the prospect. The online resources available today are quite helpful.
  • Keep score. Cold calling is still about numbers. Make the adjustments you need to help open the doors to new business.
  • Be smart about the time of day. So basic, so important. Some of my biggest wins happened when most were napping.
  • In person. Be prepared with a compelling opener when you walk in, and your goal when you walk out. Nothing worse than just fumbling in front of a gatekeeper and leaving with nothing but less time for the next call.

New business development is the oxygen that keeps your commissions alive. Never stop opening doors — politely.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: