A lot has been said about the art of cold calling and, while some make it sound easy, I’m not going to – it’s hard work.

When people come to me and say that something is too hard and that they are about to give up, I usually show them this little piece by Shia LaBeouf.

So, what is he saying? Let’s try to relate that to the journey of learning how to cold call. Here’s five steps for you to complete to be a successful cold caller.

Step 1: Don’t read this guide - Grab that phone and call the first lead. Fail miserably if you must. Do it again. Feel bad about it. Get stressed about it. Force yourself to do it again.

Just do it!

Shia LaBeouf

You’re not going to like it. The leads you call are not going to like it. Life’s not good in this phase. Cry if you must (but not on the phone). Still reading this? Don’t read any further until you’ve finished following the instructions in this step. Once you’ve done that and you feel awful, come back and read the next bit.

Step 2: Get your first reward - If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a reward. Share with us your experience so far, reflecting on your failures. If it’s been truly miserable, we’ll reward you with a free myphoner subscription for a couple of months.

Some people only dream about success, but you’re going to wake up and work hard at it! Nothing is impossible.

Shia LaBeouf

When you reflect, think about what parameters you can improve – not exactly how to improve (yet), but rather what areas you need to focus on – examples are tone of voice, natural language when pitching, speed of your speech, form and content of the pitch, quality of leads (is what you’re pitching truly relevant to those you call?) etc.

Step 3: Improve one thing - Identify the parameter that you think is most important, then practise to improve on that. If it’s something about your performance, practise in front of a mirror or a camera. Take a look at yourself when you pitch or afterwards in the recording. Are you smiling? Even if the lead can’t see you, he or she will sense if you’re smiling or struggling.

You should get to the point where anyone else would quit - and you’re not gonna stop there!

Shia LaBeouf

Put a smile on that face and get back to the mirror. Slow down your speech. Calm down. Practise the pitch so that you don’t have to read it. Defer a bit from the script, changing a few words while you talk to make it sound more natural, like you’re not reading something. You need to be so into what you’re pitching that your enthusiasm shines along the wire and inspires the people you’re talking to. This doesn’t mean speaking fast and not breathing while you speak. It means speaking slowly, believing that what you’re saying is worth waiting for. Perhaps you’ll discover that you need to rewrite your pitch to fit your new style. That’s fine, you’re learning and improving!

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat - Repeat step number one and step number three. Iterate over the learning process to continuously improve. There are no quick fixes here, it’s all about repeated practice, hard work and persistence. Take a break if you’re not improving. Take a run or go to the gym, reminding yourself that success requires hard work. When the challenge mounts, you’ll be the one that takes up the fight while others give up.

If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up.

Shia LaBeouf

Watch ‘Just do it!’ again. Celebrate your first win properly. Set realistic goals. Celebrate again when you reach your goals. Compete against yourself. Monitor your call rate and your win rate and celebrate when you improve.

Step 5: Tell us your story and get myphoner for free!

If you’ve come this far, you deserve another reward! Finish your story, describing what happened. Your account must include nearly giving up and it must end with success. Get your story featured on our blog and get another couple of months for free.