RV Park Mastery: Episode 50

How To Cure Your Fear of Cold-Calling RV Park Owners

It’s a fact that the #1 fear of Americans is public speaking. It ranks one notch above death, which comes in at #2. With that type of fear permeating all levels of speaking before a strange audience, it only makes sense that cold-calling RV park owners to see if they want to sell would be far outside your comfort zone. But the fact is that cold-calling represents one of the best ways to find an RV park to buy at an attractive price, and without the inclusion of a broker. In this RV Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review some constructive methods to cure your fear of cold-calling RV park owners.

Episode 50: How To Cure Your Fear of Cold-Calling RV Park Owners Transcript

The number one fear of Americans is public speaking. Death is in fact just number two. This is Frank Rolfe, the RV Park Mastery Podcast. We're gonna be talking about how to break through your innate fear of cold calling RV Park owners. Now, why do we all have this fear? Apparently, humans just have an innate desire not to embarrass themselves. We like to be liked, we like people to think well of us, and we have this fear that when we talk to others, to strangers, we expose ourselves to them thinking less of us. I don't know why this occurs. Perhaps we all learn early on in school, if you're brought up to the blackboard, you have a chance to embarrass yourself. I'm not sure what we're doing wrong as a country, but clearly we don't have enough instruction in school in the art of public speaking, which then translates through to cold calling.

Now, what is cold calling? Cold calling is is when you call that RV Park owner to inquire whether they would like to sell their RV Park, and if so, at what price? It's not a complicated thing to do, but you definitely have to get out of your comfort zone in order to do it, and it's really, really hard for people to get out of their comfort zone. It's like having a swimming pool and asking you to get in that pool, and you know that pool water is a little cold and you just don't wanna do it. But let's say you need to get in that pool because you need that aquatic exercise to fix some kind of physical ailment you have. Well, you'd have to force yourself to get in, but you do it because you know it's good for you, and that's the same thing that cold calling is all about. In fact, unlike that pool, once you understand cold calling and the fact that it's not scary and it's not bad, it actually can become a bit of a fun exercise. So, what are some ideas we can use to help overcome this fear of cold calling? 

Well, the first one is, instead of making a cold calling, because the term cold calling means basically calling someone you don't know and pitching them some idea or product, what if we instead change that over maybe to warm calling. So to do that, what you would do is rather than pick up and call that RV Park owner, first, why don't you send them a direct mail piece, a letter or a postcard saying, "Hey, I'm interested in buying your RV Park, and if you're interested, give me a call." And then when you call them, you just simply say, "I'm calling to follow up on that letter," or that post card that you sent them. It's a really great ice breaker, because cold calling salesman, they can't use that technique, they never send something in advance, because they know if they did, the person wouldn't talk to them. In this case, it's very different. Go to them and say, "Hey, just want to follow up, I sent you that letter and that post card, would you like to sell your RV Park? Do you have any interest?"

The simple fact that you sent in something in advance will set you apart, because then they will realize, "Wait a minute here, this is not my regular kinda call that I get." And of course, we have to acknowledge that all owners of any asset, they like to hear values, they like the idea of you liking their property, wanting to give them money for it. So really a lot of the uncomfortably of a cold call stems from the fact they really don't know what you're talking about on the front end. When you start off by saying, I'm calling to follow up on that letter or a postcard you sent, then that sends a signal to them that you have made them aware, you're not afraid, you're just trying to give them money. Another idea you can use is not to focus so much on each call, but more trust in the value of all those calls as a group. I read a book a while back called, You Can Sell Anything. It was written by the person who holds the world record, the Guinness Book of World Records for most cars ever sold in a year. I think his name is Joe Giordano, I believe.

He's probably long dead now. The book was a very big seller back in the '70s, but I re-read it again recently, I've owned it for decades. And in the book, he talks about the way he got to be the number one car salesman. He's just focused strictly on volume, and he had this mental illusion that every time he talked to a customer, he was putting them in a little car, in a ferris wheel. And as long as he kept that ferris wheel full, and every time the ferris wheel stopped, a customer would get out of that particular little car and buy a vehicle. So, you need to kind of think like that as well with RV Parks, when you're talking to these people, don't get too nervous thinking, "Oh, this could be my one big chance of buying an RV Park and changing my financial future." No, just like, "Oh, this is one of many, many, many, many calls I'm going to make, and as long as I can load this person into the hopper, then just in sheer volume, I will ultimately prevail and buy that RV Park."

Another idea you can do is to reward yourself based on how many calls you make. So, in this case, what you would say is, "Well, I'm gonna get out of my comfort zone, I know that, but there's this other thing I really, really like to do, which is," I don't know, maybe bad for you, eating a Hostess cherry pie or ordering a pizza. "But every time I complete X number of calls, I am gonna go ahead and go to the gas station and get one of those delicious Hostess cherry pies and chow down on that thing." So if that's the case, pick that item that you love more than any other, even if it's a bit of a bad thing for you to digest or to do, and reward yourself with that. Trade off the good with the bad. So if I make 50 cold calls, which is good for me to do, I'll go ahead and eat that horribly caloric fat ingrained food that everyone knows no one should possibly consume. So just simply create a Pavlov dog type of reward system to help spur you on to greatness to make those calls.

Another thing you can do is, just think of yourself as a consultant, and just don't even stress on the RV Park purchasing dynamic, but simply the fun of talking to people, trying to see if they want to sell, and if so, how much? Kind of in the role more of a matchmaker than an RV Park buyer. You're gonna find that most RV Parks are owned by moms and pops, who are very, very nice people. Now, sadly, a lot of the greatest generation who were the greatest people ever in American history, they passed away at this point. There's not that many of them left, sadly, just because of the biological clock. When I got in the business 25 years ago, most of the moms and pops I talked to, in fact, were greatest generation people, the people who fought in World War II in that period. Today, it's mostly silent generation people, people that were born sometime between The Great Depression and World War II. They're also super interesting.

Bear in mind, if you were born in the mid 1930s, think of everything that you've seen in your lifetime. You saw first hand the Great Depression, you saw first hand World War II. In fact, pretty much everything in American history that's heralded in the media and in textbooks, those people have seen it all. It's really fun talking to them and getting their opinion. It's like a college class, and some of the most important lessons learned that people have ever had. So, another way to cure your fear of cold calling is just to relish the ability to talk with people. And remember that RV Park owners are a very friendly and inviting group. Rarely will you ever... I've never had a cold call at an RV Park where the person was mad or where it went bad. That's not to say they've all said, "Hey, I wanna sell," or that they've all said, "Yeah, I wanna sell it this reasonable price," but I think I pretty much learned something from every call.

Finally, the best way to cure your fear of cold calling is just to break through the ice and do it. Because you'll find with every call you make, you're a little more comfortable, that's because you'll key in on the calls that go well, and you will learn and you will adapt what you say to what went well, and that'll make the next call go even better. After a while, cold calling pretty quickly, you won't even think twice about picking up the phone and calling people, because it becomes second nature, so simple, you can cold call, and eat a sandwich and multi-task all at the same time and have no problem whatsoever. But the problem is you gotta start. You gotta start the process. Now, RV Parks have multiple ways to find one to buy, and cold calling is among the top of that pile, top of the pyramid, and that's why it's so incredibly vital that you find mechanisms and methods to break through your innate fear.

If cold calling wasn't that important, if only 1% of all good deals came from cold calling, then I'd say, don't even worry about it. Since we don't like it, people fear it, then who'd wanna waste the time to even learn how to do it? But the problem is, when you're out looking for an RV Park to buy, cold calling is a very, very important ingredient. For that reason, it's worth the pain and the suffering and the awkwardness and breaking out of your comfort zone, because if you can only do it, if you can only master the skill to reach out and phone RV Park owners, the quality of the properties that you can look at to buy goes up exponentially. This is Frank Rolfe, the RV Park Mastery podcast. I hope you enjoyed this, and we'll talk to you again soon.