• Alia Bostaji

Master the Art of Cold Calling: Part 1

Updated: Jul 27


When I was approached by hertelier to share my experience about cold calling, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be judged…” but when I reflected on what it would’ve meant to me if I knew at the beginning of my real estate career what I know now, and how much of a difference that would’ve made in reducing the wasted time dreading and stressing over making cold calls, I decided to go for it.

Recognise your fear

The fear of rejection was stopping me and thinking how embarrassing it would be to be hung up on. I didn’t know how to handle someone telling me “no”. We’ve all been told you need to get prospects to say “yes”.


Find an accountability partner

I faced my fear head on and admitted, “I am stressed out about making these calls.” Reaching out to an accountability partner, someone you feel comfortable talking to without being judged, will help you take this step. In my case, I tried talking to many people but the one person who really helped me out was my sister; she does a similar type of work and had to deal with cold calling herself. We supported each other through and cracked out of our shell of hesitation together.


Arm yourself with knowledge

I have to say, reading, or in my case, listening to an audiobook while driving, is a great tool to expand knowledge and help personal growth and development, and is motivational all around. Since I started with audiobooks in 2018, I have listened to 41 books. Like most people, I am always on the go, and I would never have read that many if I were to sit down with a book. I have three books that I recommend for all aspects of life, not just business.


1. “Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success” by Rory Vaden

2. “Get Out of Your Own Way” by Larry Winget

3. “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended on It” by Chris Voss


The key takeaways from these audiobooks that helped me with conquering my fear of cold calling were:


1. Face your problems. One of the takeaways from Rory’s book is his philosophy that it is best to face problems head on like a buffalo and not to run away from them like a cow. In the book, Rory mentioned that in Boulder, CO, the storms coming from the west over the mountains to the plains are faced differently amongst animals; cows run east trying to escape the storm, which ends up prolonging their suffering from the storm because they are ultimately running with it as it travels. Buffalos, on the other hand, charge west towards the storm, running through it, which ultimately minimizes the duration of the storm that they must endure.

2. Don't limit your growth. In Larry’s book he explains how human beings are the only species on the planet Earth who knowingly choose to be less, do less and have less than they could. Nothing else on the planet does that; for example, plants do not grow to a certain level and just decide to stop growing. Ultimately Larry is trying to show that often times humans get in their own way of growing, because they are willing to accept the results that they have instead of working towards more, and although it may be a bit harsh, I certainly agree with his observation.


3. Beware of the "yes" and master the "no." Chris Voss is a former FBI top hostage negotiator who has field-tested tools for talking anyone into (or out of) just about anything. I had a breakthrough when he said to beware of the “yes” and master the “no”. Some selling techniques are designed to get to the “yes” at all costs; however, pushing hard to a “yes” does not get the negotiator any closer to a win, it just angers the other person. That shows that we have it backward; you would rather have the person you’re selling to say “no,” which is pure gold. When they feel they are in charge, you can get them to explain their “no” and what their preference is while having a conversation about them and not you. Once you have mastered the skill of handling “no,” you will come to love it. It’s not only you will get over the fear of hearing “no,” but you will appreciate what it does for you and how you can build deals out of it.


Bottom line: cold calling is terrifying, but you can work on the skills that build your confidence by recognizing what scares you, find a partner to keep you accountable, and continue learning. In the next installment, we share 5 top tips for successful cold calls.


Alia Bostaji, Brokerage Associate, Colliers

Alia Bostaji​ is a Brokerage Associate in South Carolina representing owners and users in the sale and leasing of hotel and hospitality properties around the South Carolina area. Alia is a member of the Zaver Hotels Team of Colliers, spanning several offices in the southeast and covering the region east of the Mississippi River. Her team has sold a large range of hotel assets including full and select service, limited, and extended-stay products. Her background as a female business owner and supporter of business development, gives her unique insights into the needs of owners, investors and users, helping her to translate their needs into smart commercial real estate decisions. Reach Alia with any questions on cold calling or real estate alia.bostaji@colliers.com.