The First Call May Be The Hardest, But It's The Most Rewarding!


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I admit it: success went to my head.

For years, I didn’t really have to hustle that much for business because my best-selling books did it for me. Out of hundreds of thousands of readers, a statistical few would always come through, and purchase seminars, audios, videos, and consulting from me.

But the model was by no means perfect. Inevitably, there would be good years and lean.

If you rely on indirect marketing, which is what books do, then you’re always at the mercy of the schedules, the whims, the needs, and the reading habits of other people.

Cold calling, making outbound calls, reaching out and selling someone, normalizes the marketing mix. It evens out the peaks and valleys, restoring rationality and predictability to one’s revenues.

And after living off the fat of the land for extended periods, when you feel you’re effortlessly printing money, it isn’t easy to downshift to direct selling. But the pain stops the instant the dialing begins.

As you’ve heard, fortune favors the bold, and this certainly applies to cold calling. Inevitably, when you finally strap yourself into your work space, you get lucky.

It has always happened this way for me. During college, my former Time-Life manager, himself a capable entrepreneur, knew I was rock solid on the phone so he hired me to pitch appointments so window and door security bar salespeople could uglify yet another neighborhood.

I worked on straight commission, so if I didn’t sell the appointment, and if it wasn’t later closed by a field salesperson, I earned the right to get skinnier. It was one of the hardest challenges I ever faced in selling.

But what’s amazing is that the first call went smoothly, and before long, I had actually set an appointment that the field salesman closed. Good news: we both ate!

The other day, I finally waded into a pile of ads that I had been collecting over the course of the year, ads that I intended to call to drum up business. I was so enthusiastic with my first prospect that he nearly closed himself!

Having done that, I went on to create an incredible opportunity for myself on the next call.

One of my clients, a savvy salesman and entrepreneur in his own right, said, “Selling is so easy, it’s hard!" Triple that sentiment for selling over the phone.

The hardest part is making the first call, but happily, that can be one of your best!

Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. Gary’s programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. A popular guest on radio and television, worldwide, Gary is headquartered in Glendale, California. He can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: .


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