off the Rigors of Cold Calls
Take a sample
audience in sales in just about any industry you’d like and ask
them to name their least favorite part of selling. You’ll find that
a large percentage of sales
reps, even those with decades of experience, point to cold calling
as their least favorite activity. It’s no surprise! Cold calling
can be a very stressful experience. Many
sales careers have ended (or failed to even start) due to the
pressure that many feel when cold calling. Some find the activity
to be futile and simply can’t deal with the rejection.
Others feel so much anxiety that they suffer from call reluctance,
a term that applies to those who would prefer to do just about anything
in the world other than to pick
up a phone and make cold calls.
dollars can be difficult but it can also be highly
rewarding. It can allow a company to get a leg up on the competition
by uncovering opportunities before a prospect is shopping. It can
also enable a company to “throw their hat in the ring” wheil a company
is actively reviewing proposals. There are a great deal of opportunities
out there…many of which need to be sought out. To deal with the
stress of cold calling, here are some strategies that can be
implemented by new and experienced sales professionals:
· Don’t Take it Personally
– The person you are reaching doesn’t know you. They
don’t know anything about who you are, what you are like and your
personality. When they say “no” to you, they are saying no to the
sales situation. They reject the act of receiving a cold call. They
are not rejecting you personally. Keep this in mind as it is important.
Our self-worth is not defined by
what an unknown prospect thinks of us. If you face constant rejection
from clients, remember that it’s not about you. Emotionally
detach yourself from the project and focus on the task at hand.
· What is the Worst That Could
Happen? - This is a question
many of us use every day. Let’s say you call and prospect and they
tell you, “I don’t want to buy any and don’t call me again” *SLAM!*
OK… now what? You’ll never talk to that person again. That’s it?
That might actually be the worst thing that could happen. Just
remind yourself that no matter what happens, even if someone hangs
up on you, you can move on and never have to worry about that call
· Know Your Prospects
– Before you make
that call, know what you can find out (within a reasonable amount
of time) about your prospect. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy
to pull up a company’s web page to get a quick feel for their products
and services. Understanding what a company does and who is in their
space will enable you to tailor
your calls. This will help your calls be more effective and
thus will decrease the stress you face from cold calling.
· Mix Up Your Approach –
Leaving message after message for the same prospect can get frustrating.
Sometimes, sending a follow up e-mail
will get the results you need. I know of many clients who prefer
to use e-mail to communicate. Try different
approaches to reach
your prospects and you should see better results.
· Walk Away – Sometimes
it helps to just take a quick brake from calling. Get a cup of
coffee, talk a spin around the floor or go work on something else.
This should be done infrequently and for short periods of time.
Little breaks can help restore focus.