Understories 009: Karel-Oscar van Hengel, HyperTalented


In this conversation, Lindsay and Karel-Oscar Van Hengel, an industry expert in cold calling, discusses the importance of overcoming fear and taking action, especially in the context of cold calling.

He talks about his early career in arts and theatre and how he transitioned to sales and cold calling. He shares his approach to creating a persona for cold calling and how he discovered and signed comedians. Lindsay and KO discuss importance of sales skills and building relationships with clients. He also provides advice on detaching from money and fear and building a pipeline while overcoming rejection.

Karel-Oscar also highlights the importance of cold outreach and making the first connection with potential clients. He explains the difference between outbound sales and inbound marketing and the need for both in growing a business. Additionally, he addresses the practical considerations of paying bills and building a business. Karel-Oscar delves into the fear of talking to people and the biological programming that contributes to it. He emphasizes the importance of moving forward and the impact of technology on communication. Finally, he discusses the fear of rejection and its biological response, as well as the importance of putting trust in the first call and understanding the audience to present value. Karel-Oscar concludes by emphasizing the need to take action, understand numbers, and find an accountability buddy.


Karel-Oscar van Hengel (LinkedIn)


  • Overcoming the fear of rejection is crucial in sales and entrepreneurship.
  • Understanding the audience and presenting value are key in cold outreach.
  • Both outbound sales and inbound marketing are necessary for business growth.
  • Practical considerations, such as paying bills, should be taken into account.
  • The fear of talking to people is rooted in biological programming.
  • Moving forward and embracing discomfort are essential for personal and professional growth.
  • Putting trust in the first call and understanding the audience can lead to successful connections.
  • Taking action, understanding numbers, and finding an accountability buddy are important steps in achieving sales success.


00:00 Introduction and Background

01:20 Overcoming Fear and Taking Action

02:53 The Importance of Cold Calling

06:14 Early Career in Arts and Theater

10:02 Transition to Sales and Cold Calling

13:20 Advocacy for Creatives

16:55 Creating a Persona for Cold Calling

19:40 Discovering and Signing Comedians

22:09 Sales Skills and Building Relationships

27:02 Creating a Balanced Client Relationship

32:07 Detaching from Money and Fear

35:23 Building a Pipeline and Overcoming Rejection

35:56 Overcoming the Fear of Rejection

37:12 Changing Perspective: From Salesperson to Entrepreneur

38:17 Understanding the Audience

39:12 Cold Outreach: Making the First Connection

40:11 Outbound Sales vs. Inbound Marketing

41:11 Practical Considerations: Paying Bills and Building a Business

41:28 The Fear of Talking to People

42:27 Stepping Outside of the Comfort Zone

43:01 Biological Programming and Fear of the Unknown

44:26 The Importance of Moving Forward

45:31 The Impact of Technology on Communication

46:34 The Fear of Rejection and Its Biological Response

47:31 Putting Trust in the First Call

48:29 Understanding the Audience and Presenting Value

49:47 The Rational Brain and Overcoming Fear

54:21 Taking Action and Understanding Numbers

56:35 Finding an Accountability Buddy