Marketing – Cold Calling

It’s cold outside…so what better time to talk about Cold Calling… Is it still a useful tool or should “Smile and Dial” be relegated to the trash bin of history?  You CAN make it work for you (or kick it to the curb) with the aid of some hard and fast ground rules. Tune in as The BOSSES help you tame the dreaded dinosaur know as Cold –Call-osaurus.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Smile and dial works, but only if you have a great ‘phone personality’.

  2. Rejection over the phone or otherwise, requires resilience.

  3. Do research before you call.  Know the person, their industry and what they want/need from you.

  4. The best sales people don’t sell you, they “help you.”

  5. Make sure you have a company name/caller ID that doesn’t make people run for the hills

  6. The phone can be a potential source of stress for the person on the other end, so don’t sell, just chat.

  7. Don’t state the obvious. VO actors who profess to be professionals are often viewed as anything but.

  8. If you are intimidated by cold calling, there are other options. Try a warm e-mail.

  9. Most great sales leads happen through referrals. Name drops never go out of style.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Recorded on ipDTL


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>> Pretty voice.

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>> Boss.

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>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

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Anne: Hey, Gabby. Before we start the show, I want to talk about a really cool product that we have on the VO BOSS website, and it’s called the Bookout Builder.

Gabby: Yeah, I’m excited that we’re talking about this because there is a little bit of misconception about this product, and I want to clear that up.

Anne: Ah yes. While it was originally intended as a method of communicating with your potential clients about when your studio was booked out or when you were booked out.

Gabby: Regular, we were saying monthly basis —

Anne: Exactly.

Gabby: Or quarterly, either one.

Anne: You don’t entirely have to do that for your monthly Bookout Builder.

Gabby: Yes. You’re not restricted to just that. We’ve had people say to us, “oh, but you know, I don’t have dates where I’m unavailable every month, and I don’t travel that much,” and we’re like, “OK.” [laughs]

Anne: That’s fine with us.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: We have got three different options for you: bookout dates, featured videos, and featured clients.

Gabby: As well as topical and seasonal type things that just have to do with what’s current. You don’t have to feel obligated to have a bookout inside of your Bookout Builder.

Anne: Exactly, and this is one way that you can have a consistent way to communicate with your potential clients.

Gabby: Plus, it’s so affordable, guys, oh my gosh.

Anne: Super affordable.

Gabby: Please go to, click on the shop tab.

Anne: The branding and marketing section, yup. And now on to the show. Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely cohost, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hi, brr.

Anne: Gabby!

Gabby: It’s cold outside. I’m freezing.

Anne: It is cold! What is happening, oh my gosh.

Gabby: It’s cold, it’s December!

Anne: It is December. Right? What is that, what is that noise? Do you hear that Gabby, it sounds like a —

Gabby: Oh, yeah, yeah, that would be my heat. That’s what that is.

Anne: [laughs] Are you kidding? Wait, you have heat, you have heat in your studio there?

Gabby: Well no, I have the heat on in the house because otherwise everybody would freeze, and my toes are really cold right now.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: I mean I could put shoes on, that might help, but my toes are cold.

Anne: You know, Gabby, speaking of cold, that reminds me of discussions that I see almost, I swear on a, on a weekly basis on social media about cold things like cold calling.

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: I think we should talk about cold calling.

Gabby: Perfect time of year, absolutely.

Anne: Perfect time of year, it’s cold out. It’s cold outside. You’re cold. How can we warm people up to us? [laughs]

Gabby: [scream laugh]

Anne: Using cold calls or cold emails? Or what are your thoughts on that, Gabby?

Gabby: Freaking hate it.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Freaking hate it. Couldn’t hate it any more.

Anne: Wow. That’s, that’s a solid [laughs] solid opinion there.

Gabby: Well, look, smile and dial works for some people. There’s a certain personality type that is totally good with it and can make it work for them. I’m not that person.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: I accept this.

Anne: [laughs] “And I accept this about my personality.” [laughs]

Gabby: Yep, it is a limitation, but I’m OK with that.

Anne: I just keep thinking, and you know because every time we’re on a meeting, right, how many phone calls do I get during one of our meetings, right? [laughs] I would say during any given hour, I’m getting like two to three to four phone calls. And you know, by the time the hour is up, I just, I literally either unplug the phone, or I just want to pick it up and fling it across the room, because they’re either automated kind of calls — and like I said, I do a lot of, you know, telephony and voicemail messaging and stuff, and I certainly don’t want to shoot my own self in the foot, because I enjoy doing that type of work. But when I get a call from somebody that I don’t know, from an unassigned number or something that is not in my contact list, the hair on the back of my neck kind of stands up. And it’s just, it’s going to take a lot to get me to pick up the phone.

Gabby: You’re not alone in that. The new norm is that everyone screens calls. You are guaranteed not to get a call back unless you leave a message, and a lot of folks just don’t prefer the telephone as a way to communicate anymore.

Anne: Yeah, you know, I don’t even know if it is going to make a comeback, I mean, in the way that it used to be, really. I mean I enjoy —

Gabby: It will be retro.

Anne: Well, yeah. I do enjoy picking up the phone and talking to my clients, the ones that I know, right? I think it really helps in terms of, you know, getting quick answers and communicating effectively with your client to find out like what their needs are, but that is if I know my client, right, and I can pick up the phone and just give them a call. If I don’t know my client, there is so many unknowns, so many unknowns on both ends, right, the person that’s making the call, as well as the person who potentially will or will not pick up that call. And I think we really need to — do your research, if that is something that you feel is going to help build your business.

Gabby: I, I always give my clients the option to call me. To go over details, to discuss the job, to talk about what direction they want, whatever it might be. They almost never do. Because it goes the other way. They really, they don’t want to talk.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Like, I’m OK with that.

Anne: We’re all so busy these days. I think that has a, that has a huge impact on it. Right?

Gabby: There is a perception of that too. There is this perception that we don’t have time to talk on the phone. You could make time to talk on the phone. It’s not that big a deal.

Anne: Yes, and I say that to my friends all the time. [laughs] Nobody is ever that busy. Right?

Gabby: True. I mean you and I talk on the phone, but I do feel like it’s a novelty.

[Both laugh]

Gabby: Like it’s, it’s pretty funny. But now let me ask you, Anne, so how do you feel about the warm lead as opposed to the cold call, because they are very different things?

Anne: Yes. I, I certainly think the warm lead is something that you can kind of grab a hold of and explore and run with. I think that that greatly increases your chances of having a successful communication with a potential client, absolutely. I think that the warm lead, and Gabby, I’m going —

Gabby: How do you define it, first of all? Yeah.

Anne: That is a good question. I was just going to say, your definition of a warm lead is what? Because I will tell you what mine is, if you tell me yours.

Gabby: OK, so — right, I’ll show you — I’ll show me — you yours and you’ll show me yours. I don’t know what the hell I’m saying. OK, yeah.

[both laugh]

Gabby: So I define it as any time I have a referral. If I have a referral from another party, that is acquainted with the person that I’m wanting to communicate with, then I can name drop essentially, find some common ground, and to me, that qualifies as a warm lead.

Anne: Yes, yes. That’s, that’s pretty much my definition as well. As a matter of fact, speaking of that, I just, just had a webinar workshop with a talent agency who goes by referrals only. That’s their number one criteria —

Gabby: Oh yeah.

Anne: — for accepting somebody into their talent agency is they first must have a referral so that they know that you’re a good person first. [laughs]

Gabby: [laughs] So —

Anne: A real person.

Gabby: That has been the L.A./New York top tier agent norm forever.

Anne: Yep.

Gabby: That’s how they do it. Yeah, you can’t even get in the door if somebody on the roster is not willing to go to bat for you.

Anne: Well, I, yeah. I absolutely think that that is, that is the way to acquire clients successfully, I think. You must at least have a warm lead. A mouth to mouth referral like kind of, yes, speaking, “I have worked with this person, and she is amazing, and I think that should give her a call, hire her for your next project,” that kind of thing. I think that that is amazing. I don’t think it gets better than that in terms of a really great lead, if somebody verbally is going to talk to somebody and refer you. Now there’s also a warm lead that can be a warm lead in an email. So I think that there’s, there is also a cold email, right, and then there is a warm email. So I think the warm email kind of follows like the warm, you know, testimonial, from a person’s like mouth of saying, “yeah, she is great.” There is also an email where like you mentioned before, name drop and say, “it’s so nice to meet you, my good friend and colleague —