Hi “cold feet Claude”
Is cold calling getting the better of you lately?
Is , trying to sell a product or service to an unknown and unqualified prospect getting to be so confronting that it freezes you into a state of inaction? Are you daunted and stopped dead in your tracks at the prospect of making cold calls?
Well , Claude, you are not alone, and I have been there!!
Sadly, as the need for cold calling frequently accompanies the launch of a new business, or the launch of a new offering, such inaction
(caused due to numerous reasons) can have dire consequences for your personally and definitely for the business.
Let’s try to fix it by looking at what actually causes our dislike and then introduce some new strategies- shall we?
- Not surprisingly, the biggest reaction that’s generated by cold calling is the fear of failure. We know the incidence of sale is extremely low; we know the chances of even getting to the decision-maker are slim; is it therefore any wonder we are fearful of failure?
- Running a close second, is the fear of rejection. No one likes to be rejected at the best of times and less so when the rejection is at best, abrupt and at times, downright rude.
- The third fear is that of giving offence. It’s natural we don’t want to be seen as a nuisance — after all, this is not the atmosphere we look to foster with a potential customer.
So, we know cold calling has a low success rate; we know it generates fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of offending. How can we combat this and move forward with any degree of positive action?
I reckon the answer lies in our measurements of success.
Imagine you set yourself the goal of making twenty-five cold calls to set up meetings to promote your business.
Now let’s assume that twenty-three of the calls are met with either rejection or total failure to connect with a decision-maker.
In this scenario, the chances are you’d be feeling pretty miserable. You might feel like you’ve failed in twenty-three out of twenty-five of the calls. And you’d be right.
Imagine instead, you had approached the exercise with this goal:
‘To attract people who are genuinely interested in hearing about my work’
By choosing your language carefully and not linking your goal to a finite number of calls or sales, it is possible to switch the emphasis away from the fears of what may be coming (failure, rejection, offence) and more towards your sense of what you’re actually hearing.
By listening out for those ‘who are genuinely interested’ it is possible to quickly disqualify anyone appearing unsuitable or disinterested. Through these means, you’ll move more quickly to the next call and with a greater sense of purpose. What’s more, you’ll do so without being rendered inactive through fear.
Too easy? Try it and you’ll see why successful telesales people are able to make call after call, seemingly totally unfazed by any of the classic fears.
Confession– This piece is motivated by a patch in my life as a sales professional when I went through this rut myself and it was a friend of mine who worked in a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) firm who put me through the paces and taught me how to overcome my fears on cold calling.
This piece also helps young sales reps to understand how to qualify a serious lead through the process of cold calling, which is very important!