What can I do to overcome sales call reluctance to prospect new business for my company?
I'm currently going through a period of "call reluctance". It's as bad as having writer's block -- worse, even -- because I need to prospect to be able to bring in projects for my business. Has anyone been through this before? If so, how did you overcome it?
I've been through this MANY times, as almost EVERY position I've had involved using the phone to prospect. Two things work for me. The first is remembering the phone is my friend. It is the most important tool in my tool box. It enables me to make money and money allows me to do things I enjoy. The second is remembering that in sales, everything is subject to "the numbers". Without getting the "No's" out of the way, I won't be able to reach the wonderful, exhilarating feeling all the "Yes's" bring. I remind myself constantly that I may need to wade through many No's until I reach a Yes, and the numbers can be challenging. I adopt a tough and resilient attitude. If I need to make 100 calls before reaching a Yes, but then reach 3 Yes's in a row, it's worth any discomfort I might feel. I am a professional, and making calls is the foundation of everything I do. I've learned to stop feeling sorry for myself and JUST DO IT!
I will share what has worked for me and my teams that I have mentored - Before making a call, energize yourself with a positive outlook. make it a point to tell yourself that every call you are going to make is to help understand your customer's needs and your enthusiasm and committment to genuinely solve your customers problem. With that frame of mind, get yourself mentally prepared with a well thought of and rehearsed script. Always remember to remind yourself that when and if the recipient turns you down, it was nothing personal and mostly because that recipient did not find your services/products adding any benefits or meeting his burning requirements. With every well thought out phone call, you are making customers realise the value you bring in and you are closing in on your next closed won deal and a satisfied customer. Good Luck
Laurie Davis gives you an excellent guideline for staying on point with the calls and getting to the "No's" so you can get to the "Yes's" I motivated our sales force many times by reminding them that if you make 10 calls, get opportunities in 5 and close 3 then in baseball you are hitting .300 and those are Hall of Fame numbers....
You may wish to try face to face cold calling----Body language comes into play here....
Hello George. It's interesting that you connect Sales Call ReluctanceR (someone has protected the term) with writer's block because the antidotes are identical. You simply do it anyway. If you'd like to understand what might be keeping you from talking with prospects, you can read the book Earning What You're Worth? by Dudley and Goodson. You can also complete a survey questionnaire that will pinpoint your specific areas of SCR and begin addressing them immediately. I'd be happy to discuss this with you in greater detail after assisting sales professionals, sales managers and executives on identifying and overcoming this career killer for nearly 25 years.
Of course you've heard the parable of the merchant who found a "pearl of great price" and sold everything to own the plot and consequently the pearl. It's about doing everything possible to hold something of value and therein, I think, lies the problem. You may "say" that your product/service is great but do you believe your own words?
If you did believe this, then you'd be shouting from the rooftops about it and that is motivation - without which, cold calling becomes a drudgery. There are plenty of tools, self-help & magic bullets to try and correct what is at essence a disbelief in the value you are bringing to the conversation. Look carefully at this aspect, workshop and define your value and how you articulate it. Then find the perfect target for your "pearls of wisdom" because casing them to the swine will blunt ANY motivation.
Everyone in sales has been there and the only solution is to "kick your own butt" and get out there and DO IT! I have found that once I make the first few calls, then I am in to it. Getting started is the hardest part. The solution is simple, although it may not be easy.
Do you have anyone else who is selling over the phone for your business? If so, sometimes the best way to break a slump is by helping the to other guys close some of the folks in their pipeline. Call the their leads as their sales manager and simply ask "Why aren't you doing business with us yet?" Often this will cut through to the real objection and you can handle it and close the business from there. Once you get a win or two under your belt the positive momentum will help carry you out of the slump.
Are you talking about sales calls or cold calls? If is the latter, no issues. Cold Calling is dead now. Don't waste your time on cold calling.
Cold calling is a thing of the past - immerse yourself in communities your target industry actively participates in. Waving the sales flag and pushing has become a major turn off. The idea is to build trust in communities you can participate in. Share ideas, knowledge, technologies etc - this gives you more credibility. Go from sales guy to Business consultant - help your clients gain more business with your product/service. Create Opt-in opportunities such as events, meet-ups and related info-sharing meetings etc. In one month I opened 50+ doors. Don't spam or send creepy sales emails LOL - the idea is to attract vetted target company decision makers to your table. *Again this depends on industry and products/services! Strategic opportunity planning enables you to filter the fluff from well aligned clients as well.