I exclaimed in fear 😱.
I had just opened the Lawyer's intimidating pink Warning Letter.
It was for the $3,179.86 I owed to the telco M1 since August 2008.
How did I get myself into such a mess at such a young age of 25?
It all started earlier in 2008 after I heard my upline's friend swearing that it was cold calling that had catapulted her to Top Producer status.
Intrigued, I quickly went to implement this tactic without telling my upline.
I didn't have a fancy office or an office number.
But I had a desire to sell houses.
I had recently become a Property Agent a few months earlier.
So I went on a mission to cold call all home owners around Bedok.
First, I had irresponsibly signed up for M1's promotion, putting up all of my life savings from NS to buy an expensive Nokia mobile phone contract.
Then I got hold of Yellow Pages and started dialing in phone numbers one by one.
I didn't see it coming though, but that was the day I got into debt after cold calling homeowners had wiped out my life savings 💰.
My 25-year-old self was naive and inexperienced and too trusting.
What M1 said in its advertising and what it billed were two separate things.
So, in my enthusiasm for selling houses, I missed multiple warning signs:
- I called non stop, at all hours, during weekends, public holidays, weekdays, mornings, evenings, nights. Working 10 long hours. Was I even a property agent?
- I never took a single day off from cold calling in 5 months straight. But I never closed any deal consistently either.
- 70% of the time, the people answering the calls were busy, in a hurry, at the wrong time, not free etc. Bad start.
- 55% of all calls went unanswered even after 3 repeated attempts.
- Those who did not answer the first time might have been even asleep.
- I wasted time and money on false, obsolete, transferred numbers.
- Many even scolded me, verbally abused me and told me to 'F@$k Off!'
- Others angrily put down the phone or disconnected after hearing my first hello.
- Several nut cases (especially girls with sweet voices) even chatted with me for hours on end, making me their free psychiatrist!
- After thousands of phone calls over 5 long months, I only had 4 appointments to show for it. Only 2 deals were closed. 1 co-broke agent refused to share commission with me last minute.
- Final result: I had wasted countless hours and burned more than $5,000 in cash, with only a paltry $420 rental earnings to show for it.
It was all haywire...
But I had blindly carried on.
I habitually used to ignore warning signs, until it was too late.
(I never do that now. Learned my tough lessons)
The bills kept coming every month, but I wasn't opening them.
I was too busy calling.
I had confused activity with productivity.
I thought busy was good.
I thought 1 deal closed could set me free financially.
Then the pink Warning Letter came, and honestly, I got scared shitless.
The telco's lawyers were demanding their money back, shouting in CAPITAL LETTERS, and this was scary to a 25-year-old young man with no income, no savings to repay, unsupportive parents and a real fear of lawyers.
(My parents had enough problems of their own and wanted nothing to do with my massive debts. Yes, it was a lawyer who had caused their problems. Don't ask me why.)
I said to myself, cold calling is such a big hassle.
I never cold called to sell houses again.
(I never went back to M1 either.)
And I've never looked back since.
And the moral of the story is?
Stop Cold Calling. Start Reverse Prospecting (getting prospects to chase you).
More peace of mind. Less stress. And no debt. ;P
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Yasser Khan is a real estate coach, speaker, and trainer at YasserKhan.SG who teaches Singapore Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S.
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