The daily task of cold calling can strike fear in the heart of many, and it's even worse when you dislike cold calling, but your income depends solely upon how many cold-calling prospects you can convert into customers.
Ari Galper, an authority on cold calling and sales training, and a published author with several books on effective sales tactics under his belt offers motivation and words of wisdom in his books and on his website. The following provides a detailed overview of his techniques for understanding and getting past your fear of cold calling so you can excel in your chosen job.
On a daily basis, visitors to Ari Galper's Unlock The Game™ website click on the live instant-messenger chat button, which invites them to "Ask Ari a selling question." Not surprisingly, their most common question is: "Is there any way I can break through or overcome my fear of cold calling?"
Most sales professionals have at least some resistance to cold calling, and some people have such a paralyzing visceral and emotional fear of cold calling that they can't even consider doing it.
The Traditional Thought Process
In some ways, the fear of cold calling is practically an epidemic, like the fear most people have of public speaking. The fear of cold calling is a painful, daily struggle for many entrepreneurs and salespeople who have been trained in traditional selling techniques.
Traditional sales trainers often coach their students in cold calling as follows:
- "All you have to do is make more phone calls."
- "All you have to do is think more positive thoughts."
- "Just learn to accept rejection as a normal part of selling."
The underlying message is that it's the sales person's fault that they aren't succeeding in sales and that they just need to "get over it" and everything will be fine. Very few people successfully overcome their fears that way, because the underlying message is that, if you force yourself to do something uncomfortable, "just doing it" will magically solve the problem.
This thought process shows a lack of consideration for all of the psychological barriers that underlie the fear of cold calling, which leads to a low success rate.
Three Concepts That Break Tradition
A different approach to understanding the fear behind cold calling involves an understanding of three simple concepts:
The Traditional Approach and Rejection
- It's easy to think there's something wrong with you when sales trainers and managers tell you that something shouldn't be a problem, but your own inner feelings tell you that you aren't comfortable doing it.
- The "old boys' club" sales-conditioning mentality prevalent in certain countries, that says, "I had to suffer to succeed in sales success, so you need to, too!" This thinking comes from traditional sales programs that continue to be the accepted approach to selling.
- You may fear cold calling because you have probably been exposed only to traditional selling approaches, which triggers rejection.
- Classic approaches teach students to make cold calls in a formulaic way: introduce yourself, explain what you do, suggest a benefit to the potential client, and then pray that they won't reply with "Sorry, not interested" or "Sorry, I'm busy."
- If you use this traditional approach, you will likely hear responses like these the moment you stop talking.
- You may experience a high rejection rate, which is reason enough to make you dislike, fear, and avoid cold calling.
- It's difficult for cold calling to be a positive experience if rejection is the most common response you get.
Your Self-Perceptions Matter
- Many sales professionals dislike making cold calls because they don't want to be perceived as "aggressive."
- This becomes another part of the internal battle, where sale people beat themselves up for being too passive and lacking the confidence to make the next call, while also having the fear of being too aggressive.
- To be effective salespeople need to find a middle ground between "aggressive" and passive."
- This a place where salespeople can be themselves while still being effective with cold calling, while also minimizing rejection.
- The Unlock The Game™ website offers information and training on how to be more effective in cold calling without triggering rejection from potential clients, which offers many possibilities and income potential.
Learn to Let Your Language Match Your Thinking
- Bring yourself into a mindset where you can let go of feeling that you have to use traditional cold calling "scripts" and behaviors and start using language that you would use in a natural conversation.
- Speaking to cold-calling prospects exactly the way you would with someone you know can transform cold calling into a refreshing and productive experience.
- As you move away from the old-school cold calling model, in which your product or service is your only way of generating a phone conversation with a prospect, you'll make the most crucial transition of all: you'll begin thinking of approaching potential prospects not from your perspective, but from theirs.
- Imagine what it would be like if you could hear your prospect's thoughts about the problems they are having and that your solution can solve.
- Suppose you could also make note of the words and phrases they're using as they think about their problems and that you could take that language and embed it in your cold calling approach.
- It's simple to do; just ask your current clients what three core problems your product or service has solved for them.
- When you change your thinking, you will unconsciously change the language that you use, which lets you connect in a whole new positive way with the other person you are calling.
If you can let go of the traditional cold-calling system and open up to the possibility that there is a more natural, comfortable way to cold call, one that doesn't trigger rejection, you may be surprised by how easily you'll break through to your prospects and overcome your fear of cold calling.