Aikido and The Art of Cold Calling


Imagine being in a crowded concert or bar. All of a sudden, afight breaks out between two men who've had too much to drink.

You happen to be a few steps away, and the next thing you know, one of the men turns to you and looks as if he's going to take aswing at you.

What's your first instinct? Most of us will do one of twothings. We'll either try to step away, or we'll raise our armsto deflect him and fight back, which can result in harm to youor to your attacker.

But if you were trained in Aikido, the Japanese martial art thatfocuses on diverting an attacker's energy, you could quicklydiffuse the situation by immobilizing him without harming him inany way.

In essence, you're diffusing the energy that he's using to tryand attack you in a way that takes the conflict out of thesituation.

Unlock The Game and the philosophy behind Aikido have manysimilarities. Traditional cold calling and selling are designedto focus only on the "close" by presenting -- or in too manycases, "pushing" -- your solution onto prospects, sometimes evenwhen they're not interested. But if you focus only on your goalof making the sale before having a discussion about the problemsthat you can help your prospects solve, something happens.

They start feeling that you're "attacking" them. After all, you're a stranger to them, and when you start talking aboutyourself and your solution rather than about them and theirspecific issues, you immediately trigger their suspicion andcause them to start "pushing back."

This pushback is the resistance or energy that Unlock The Gameteaches you to diffuse. Then both of you can quickly "get on thesame page" and open a natural dialogue that will let youdetermine whether it makes sense for you to work together.

Let's look at the cold calling experience.

Suppose you're at your desk and you receive a call from someonewho says "Hi, my name is Jack Johnson, I'm with XYZ Company, andwe're a full-solution provider of..." Is your first reaction towelcome and be open to his call? Or do your mental defensesimmediately kick in and you shut down against this stranger"salesperson"?

Probably the latter, especially if you sense that the caller isfocused on his interests and not yours.

That's why this old-school cold calling approach triggers theresistance and negative energy that prospects immediately throwyour way.

The Unlock The Game way to make a successful cold call --"successful" being defined as not triggering rejection -- is bybeginning your call with, "Hi, my name is Jack, maybe you canhelp me out for a moment?" That simple question is a verynatural way of beginning a conversation with a stranger.

But you can't just read this word for word, like a script. Itwon't work. That would be like an Aikido instructor teaching afirst-time student the physical movements before he or she haslearned the philosophy necessary to carry them out.

The same applies here. First you need to integrate a new Mindsetthat changes the goal of your call from making the sale, orgetting an appointment, to engaging the person in a naturaltwo-way dialogue.

To do this, your voice has to be low-key. You have to avoidcommunicating any hint of typical "salesperson" enthusiasm, orany sense that you're trying to direct the conversation to anend goal. Once you integrate the Mindset, all this kicks innaturally.

So, if you want to succeed in prospecting and cold calling, become aware of how you might be triggering the resistance orenergy that instinctively causes prospects to push back againstyou. Keep in mind that this process will work only if you fullyintegrate the Mindset so it feels as natural to you asbreathing.

In short, if you're using any form of traditional selling, youcould be triggering a resistance every time you communicate withyour prospect. But if you learn this new Mindset, along withwords and phrases that remove any conflict or tension from therelationship, you'll have taken your first steps toward yourblack belt in unlocking the cold calling game!


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