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“If Money Were on the Other Line, Would You Pick Up the Phone?”

“If Money Were on the Other Line,
Would You Pick Up the Phone?”

You’d have to be an idiot NOT to say “yes.”

Yet, that’s what millions of millennials do every day of the week.

They fail to either:

  • Answer the money call, or
  • Make money calls.

Tragically, this generation is so glued to texting, playing Candy Crush, or updating their Facebook page that they can’t see the golden opportunity that they are holding in their hands.

It’s not their fault, really.

This generation was raised on online chatting and texting—two forms of communication that didn’t exist before the 1980s.

So it’s no wonder millennials see a phone call as an unplanned interruption or an annoyance.   According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, millennials think that “[c]alling someone without emailing first can make it seem as though you’re prioritizing your needs over theirs.”

That’s got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. Calling without emailing first? You must be kidding.  

Which is why this so-called connected generation can’t find work after they graduate from college.

After all, they filled out the online form, submitted their resume, and emailed the human resources department 500 times and nobody wrote them back.

I’ve met a number of college grads who are still looking for work, and when you ask them “why not find out who the decision maker is and call them directly?” they tilt their head like a dog that doesn’t understand the command.  

It’s as if they suffer from some sort of “phone phobia.” Yet it is precisely this inability to use the phone to connect with others that may be keeping them from getting what they want in business and in life.

Dialing for Dollars

Look, when I graduated from San Diego State University in 1980, I couldn’t find a job either. Just like today’s college grads, I did the submit resume gig too (only through the mail). But no one was hiring speech communication majors whose only experience was two years in a record store and two years as a concert producer’s assistant.

That’s when I discovered the phone and pitched a local restaurant on my being their advertising guy. I’m not sure of my exact words at the time, but when I told him about my two years as a concert producer’s assistant at San Diego State and my internship at Bill Graham Presents, he was all ears and hired me instantly after I showed him my portfolio.

That was just the first of many phone calls that resulted in my acquiring not only dozens of small-business clients but also clients that included some of the publishing industry’s biggest names, such as Eagle Financial Publications, ForbesPrevention Health Books, Men’s Health, Consumer ReportsInvestorPlace, BottomLine Inc., AgoraWeiss Publishing, Lombardi Publishingand StreetAuthority, to name just a few.

And picking up the phone and making the call landed me every single one of these clients.

The Advantages the Phone Offers You Are Priceless

First and foremost, you don’t have to wait for someone to email you back. You have their attention immediately.

Just as important, you gain something that is lost in texting and email—the tone of your message.


Unless you’re JK Rowley and your emails are incredibly spellbinding, chances are that you are missing the tone of intention. If you’ve ever sent an email or a text that offended someone or you’ve been on the receiving end of the miscommunication, chances are you were missing the importance of tone.

Clients today want to know that you are honest, sincere, and hardworking and they can hear that in your tone. They can’t in an email.

And while I write email promotions for a living and understand the art and science of adding a tone to your message, when it comes to getting business—I always want to get them on the line so that not only can they get to know me better but so that I can get to know them better too and build trust. That’s just something you’ll never do by text or email.

The First Thing You Must Understand to Be Successful

You will hear “no” more often than you will ever hear “yes” when you start dialing for dollars. I would be less than honest with you if I didn’t tell you how many times I was told “no thank you” and “not interested,” and I’m pretty good on the phone.

So if you’re going to succeed, you’re going to need to deal with the setbacks.

Frankly, that’s the advantage that sticking with cold calling gives you—even in the face of a barrage of nos. But how can that be an advantage?

Simple: Since most of your generation wouldn’t make cold calls if their lives depended on it, they’ll give up. So if you can deal with the setbacks, you’ll just get better with each call as your competition runs back to the computer and hides behind the monitor.

REMEMBER: Cold calling, like all marketing, is a numbers game. So when you get rejected on the phone, it’s not personal. They don’t know you.

Master Key to Success

In my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula coaching program I tell my students success comes down to knowing four things:

  1. Who to Call
  2. What to Say
  3. What to Send
  4. How to Follow Up

It’s the “what to say” that trips people up. They simply don’t know what to say in real time.   As a result, they don’t know how to react and respond to questions. It’s as if we have a whole generation that can’t think on their feet.

You’ll never learn if you don’t try.

My secret is as simple as 1-2-3.  You need to map out what:

  1. You are going to say.
  2. Their response could be.
  3. Your response to their response could be.

I say “map out” because I know many are uncomfortable with a script.   If that’s you, an outline will help keep you on track and prevent you from getting tripped up.

It’s also important to know what, exactly, the purpose of your call is. For me, the first call is simply about getting acquainted with their needs and finding out how I can deliver on fulfilling those needs.

Most important, it’s about establishing a winning relationship.

The Money Is Waiting for You—Just Make the Call

I simply can’t tell you how thrilling it is to pick up the phone, land a project, and have them overnight a check to you. I’ll never forget the first time a client FedEx’d me a deposit check for $12,500 to begin a copywriting project. I guarantee you’ll feel the same the moment you start dialing for dollars too.

Starting this year, I will be giving away my six-part $3,500 How to Sell Yourself as a Copywriter course PDFs along with FREE copies of my 10 favorite marketing campaigns when you sign up for my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula coaching course.

Not only will you learn how to find more work and get paid more money, but also take your skills to the next level.

Click here for more information.


Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.