In my experience, many people have difficulty picking up the phone and contacting new customer prospects. But still they want more sales calls.
Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.
The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be!
For some, it’s something that must be overcome, for others it can be a frightening task.Should you or your colleagues feel that way, you will find ten tips for how to conquer your fear below…
1. You don't have to make it difficult for yourself
Every day, I receive calls from hopeless cold callers. They have received half an hour of training in a product they don’t understand and, armed with a manuscript, believe that they can sell something to anyone. They can’t. So don’t copy a culture that doesn’t work. The smart-ass method doesn’t work, so you don’t have to learn it.
2. You don’t have to love it
Recognize that part of your job is to establish contact to new prospects, and if that includes telephone canvassing, then that’s the way it is. It would be more fun if customers were queuing up in reception, but that doesn’t happen so often.
3. You don’t have to sell anything
Many set themselves an unrealistic benchmark: to sell something. But canvassing is about making contact, setting up a meeting, sending out materials, getting someone to sign up for an event – or whatever the objective of your canvassing activity is. You won’t get an order just by calling someone for the first time – you just need to start a dialogue and schedule a sales call.
4. You don’t have to pretend
If you wouldn’t sell what you are selling to a close friend, you need to find something else to do. It is difficult to sell something you can’t wholeheartedly vouch for. But it is even more difficult to motivate yourself to cold call prospects in order to later sell something you don’t want to put your name to. So reflect on whether you believe in the quality of what you are selling. That doesn’t mean that everyone should buy it; there may be valid reasons why what you are selling isn’t relevant to a specific prospect. But you have to believe in what you are presenting. Otherwise, don’t try.
5. You don’t have to feel rejected
The typical reason to fear cold calling and prospecting is the feeling of being rejected. But you won’t be rejected if you speak properly and respect a no. What the prospect may reject is the time of day (if you are calling at a bad time), or your product (maybe they just bought your competitor’s product), or talking to someone (if the prospect is having a bad day), or just having something new presented to them (if they have no cash reserves). There are many other possible reasons for a rejection, but the rejection is not about you.
6. You don’t have to force a sales call
Telephone canvassing and cold calling is really about finding the answer to an important question. You know your product and the prospect knows his/her situation. The only way you can work out if your product suits the prospect’s situation is by talking to the prospect. So what you want to do is to clarify and investigate if what you bring about, do, deliver, produce or advise on is relevant in relation to the prospect’s situation, goals, challenges, obstacles, vision and strategy. If so, it will be natural for the dialogue to develop into a sales call, but neither you nor the prospect know that at the start of your conversation.
7. You don’t have to keep going until you succeed
Canvassing takes discipline and that to the extent that you won’t get it done unless you set yourself some concrete targets. It is the kind of task that always gets postponed. So set yourself a concrete target. I recommend measuring completed conversations, instead of calls where you only spoke to a receptionist or counting booked meetings. By counting completed conversations with the right contact, you get a specific target that you can take responsibility for. Some times you will have booked a lot of meetings, other times none. Focus instead on completed conversations and be proud that you have achieved the target; regardless of how many meetings you’ve gotten from the conversations.
8. You don’t have to make a long speech
It is actually an advantage to make it short and precise. Get straight to the point and get the prospect’s reaction to whether the subject matter you are describing is relevant for further dialogue.
9. You don’t have to talk about your product
Forget what you are selling, forget who you are, forget what you do and how you do it. Forget how fast the machine can run, how many gears it has and what it weighs. What have other customers achieved or avoided by working with you? What have they saved or earned? What have they maximized or minimized?
10. You don’t have to do it alone
For some, it may be helpful to have more people cold calling at the same time. Turn it into a party, a competition, and reserve the time for cold calling. Several of our clients have a fixed weekday morning where everyone is cold calling in the same room at the same time. Attendance is compulsory in the same way as an internal meeting or trainin
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