We’ve heard millions of people say that they are scared of a dentist’s drill and that it is the most dreadful experience in the world, we bet they’ve never heard or made professional cold calls in their lifetime. Cold calling is tough and at times the scariest thing that salespeople ever encounter in their work. While cold calling involves picking up a telephone and calling potential customers, it is not as simple as it sounds. To overcome the fear of cold calling you need more than just confidence, because there are many factors that you need to think of.
Imagine you wake up every morning and head to work with the intention to make things work the way you want it, you dial your first cold call of the day and someone on the other side picks up the call and instantly reminds you that you are nothing more than an unwanted and unexpected interruption to his or her busy schedule.The line disconnects even before you could get started. You begin to wonder what went wrong. Did you accidentally say something you shouldn’t? Did you call up at the wrong time? Should you try again? Did anyone in the office listened to what just happened?
The number of questions that hit you never ends, and in that entire mental and emotional onslaught your confidence perishes.
Bit by bit.
As you keep continuing making cold calls until your motivation finally flies out of the window and your telephone becomes the most haunted device on the planet.
But how to battle such dreadful feeling?
Change Your Mentality
The most important thing that you need to know about fear is that it isn’t real. Your fear to fail is not real. It’s only in your mind and that alone is enough to break your confidence in the first place.
You have to prepare your mind that it’s okay to fail and that no matter how hard you try you will be interrupting someone somewhere and that you won’t be able to achieve 100% results, but then there is no salesperson on the planet who hasn’t dealt with failure. Your fear of failing translates into your voice and your tone and you instantly hear the word ‘Not Interested’.
Also, remember that the other person has nothing personal against you, so the unpleasant tone from the other side was not intentional. It’s not directed at you, just a general approach that most sales people have to go through. So move on to your next call.
Plan Your Conversation
Planning here doesn’t imply having a script that you can read through when your call connects. This would be a complete disaster because people like talking to other people. Reading a script would make you sound like a robot and no one likes listening to a machine.
You need to plan on when you should call a certain person and how you would approach or start a conversation. Every call is different so don’t use the same conversation template because it just doesn’t work.
During your planning, work on how you can seek a personal connection. If you cannot find a point of personal connection, you may want to ask them few questions about their immediate concerns before you actually sell your product or service as a solution.After all, you need to understand that people don’t care about you, but they care about themselves and what you can do for them.
Establish Your Tone
In sales, it is important that you cultivate relationships and for that, you need your prospects to like you. Surprisingly, your voice and tone can play a critical role in letting the other person know your personality even if they can’t see you.
Your tone establishes your trustworthiness so work on it and always smile while you’re calling your prospects because although they can’t see your smiling face, but it reflects in your voice.
What helps me to improve my tone is getting out of my chair and standing in front of a mirror while talking with the other person. This makes me feel more animated and better. Be sure to try it yourself.
Maintain a Record
Success or failure, always maintain a record of your work and how many calls you made, how many of those calls resulted in appointments and how many you need to call at a later time.
Measuring your progress is a great way to know where you stand, to know your accomplishments, your failures, and your future opportunities. Even if a prospect isn’t ready to buy yet, you can certainly write down whatever information you received and use that effectively in a follow-up call. It also allows your prospects to realize that you’re actively listening and they don’t have to repeat things over and over.
Be Creative and Flexible
Since your prospects are not expecting your phone call they can easily disconnect the call to avoid you. Hence, you have to be creative and think about different ways to start a conversation or get connected in the first place.
However, being creative doesn’t mean that you have to get started even when they are busy. If they say it’s a bad time to talk, propose a new time. Be crisp and to the point when explaining the reason why you called them. If you promise them that you will only take their 90 seconds, make sure that you wrap up your part of the conversation in 90 seconds. Of course, unless they ask you to share more details.
Always follow-up and, if possible, ask for face-to-face meetings or at least Google Hangouts, GoToMeet or Skype calls. They work miles better than just making numerous follow-up calls and arranging details that way.
Cold calling certainly strikes fear in the hearts of many salespeople, but cold calling also allows you to improve yourself in many different ways.
When you change your mentality, you actually embrace the mindset of an optimist. While you may be getting a lot of rejections, you never accept defeat in the first place. You prepare yourself in a better way for the follow-up and that helps you to perform better next time. Remember to stay creative and thoughtful at the same time. After all, sales requires you to use both parts of your brain:
On the other hand, when you plan your conversations you become well aware of what people need and how you can approach and start a conversation that can finally lead to sales. Since you are nothing less than a risk-taker, as a salesperson your tone and voice have the right amount of positivity that is required to win the trust of the person on the other side of the phone. It is also very important to maintain a record of the calls you have made and how you will follow-up with the rest. You also get the opportunity to be a creative thinker as you can come up with different ways to impress different prospects.