Do you have a sales team of fearless prospectors? There’s not a company out there who can afford to have their top prospectors, hunters and rainmakers become a little gun-shy when looking to attract and develop new business.
So, are you aware of the limiting thinking you may be harboring towards cold calling and your prospects? When salespeople resist cold calling, a typical response from many sales managers is to provide additional training, role-playing, a revised presentation, or more qualified prospects to call on as the solution to improving cold calling results and productivity.
Granted, salespeople do report an increased level of confidence and a decrease in call reluctance when they have been provided with the right tools, processes, and systems. Unfortunately, these tactics don’t always eliminate the anxiety or level of resistance that salespeople experience when cold calling.
Perhaps the real issue is not tapping into the source of cold calling reluctance. Fixing the symptom without understanding the true source of the problem only results in a temporary solution.
Instead of focusing on strategies that only address the symptom, explore the source of your anxiety to permanently overcome the fear and resistance to cold calling; your beliefs surrounding cold calling.
Cold Calling Isn’t a Dirty Word
When I ask salespeople about their feelings or attitude towards cold calling, I hear the following responses. Compare your list to the following common responses:
- I fear rejection.
- I don’t what the prospect to say “No” or hang up on me because I take it personally.
- The people I call on have other things to do than speak with someone they don’t even know. I’ll just be interrupting them.
- I’m a stranger. Why should the talk to me and give me their time?
- I don’t want to say the wrong thing.
- I don’t want to come across the wrong way.
- I’m not going to come across professionally. I would rather meet with them face to face, since I present myself better in person.
- I’m not comfortable with my prospecting approach so I don’t want to look bad.
- They’re not interested.
- I don’t want to be intrusive.
- They’re probably happy with their current vender. If they weren’t they would call me.
- I hate being cold called.
- I don’t want to have to close hard or push something on someone.
I don’t want to deal with shoppers.
- They never answer the phone and I hate leaving voice mails.
Conversely, when I ask salespeople what they love about cold calling, what I get is complete silence. Shocking, I know.
Whatever you assume or believe about cold calling, your prospects, yourself, selling, and your career is exactly what you’ll manifest in your life.
I know this may challenge traditional wisdom and your current beliefs as well as stretch your perception and point of view. However, if you’re looking for extreme results, then it calls for extreme thinking and not just a change in what you do and how you do it. With the business community continually evolving, change is critical.
Salespeople have tendency to exploit all of the reasons why they don’t like cold calling or why they won’t succeed at cold calling. However, have you ever taken the time to develop the reasons why you will succeed?
To make this real for you, if you believe that cold calling is, “Forcing someone to accept something they don’t want, intrusive, annoying, manipulative, a waste of time, intimidating, scary, something I hate being subjected to myself, and so on,” that’s exactly what you’ll continue to experience every time you cold call.
If you believe that all prospects are a certain way (uninterested, shoppers, rude, are only concerned with price) then how do you think you are going to approach cold calling and deliver your presentation, whether you realize it or not?
Think about the type of prospect that you are going to be attracting and the kind of objections you’ll be hearing? Based on your current assumptions surrounding cold calling, prospects and selling, every new experience will now become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Joy of Cold Calling
To combat this, consider challenging these assumptions and replacing them with healthier ones that would better serve you. For example, I love (or like) to cold call because:
- Cold calling is informative. It lets the prospect know where they can locate the best product/service they need.
- Cold calling is beneficial. I can share all the incredible advantages of my product/service with the people who can benefit from it most.
- Cold calling is a way to genuinely deliver value, educate my prospects, serve people, and improve people’s lives, regardless of whether or not I make the sale.
- Cold calling enables me to become a prospect’s trusted expert or advisor so that they can make the best purchasing decision.
- Cold calling is a way to prevent people from making potentially costly mistakes that result from purchasing the wrong product/service or using a company that may not effectively fill their needs.
- Cold calling makes it possible to earn the business of more prospects who I wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect with otherwise. The more I cold call, the more I sell. The more I sell, the more happy customers I have.
When working with different sales teams, I always find it interesting that some salespeople attract the difficult customers. They then find themselves in a position where they have to negotiate price, have more cancellations or returns, or have to deal with prospects that want to review three separate proposals before making a purchasing decision.
Conversely, there are other salespeople who seem to effortlessly generate the best leads and get the desirable, loyal customers and repeat business.
This is not a coincidence. At some point, you need to ask yourself, “What role is my attitude playing in this? How is my thinking affecting my performance?” Once you can identify your current limiting beliefs surrounding cold calling, I’m sure you will see the answers to these questions staring you in the face.