The dreaded cold call. The bane of the salesperson’s existence. Why then, do we keep using it? Because it works! Is it the only way to sell effectively? No, not at all. Is it the most efficient way to book appointments fast if you have an empty pipeline? Absolutely!
What makes cold calling so scary? Fear of rejection. We, as people, love to be accepted. We have an innate desire to be wanted, respected, and loved. Obviously rejection does not do that for us. So of course we fear rejection because it goes against our nature to seek out negativity. Every time we hear “no”, it breaks us down a little. We don’t hear “I don’t want your product”, we hear “we don’t want YOU.” This can be very deflating, and it shows for a lot of sales people. According to Health.com sales workers ranked 10th in depression rates by profession.
What can I do? One thing that separates a “sales person” from a “sales professional” is the ability to separate product rejection from personal rejection. I’ve talked to quite a few top sales professionals across multiple industries and I’ve found that almost all of them see prospecting (including cold calls) as a challenge rather than a struggle. To the top dogs, it’s a game. They relish in the hunt. It’s a part of their personality and it drives them to perform. In many cases this competitive spirit is present in all aspects of their professional and personal lives.
What can I do to start thinking that way? There are several ways to push yourself towards the mindset of competition over personal rejection:
- Visualize your successful day when you wake up. Keep it mind all day. Don’t let little hiccups get in the way. Just focus on your vision and “know” that your day will be great!
- Focus on the uplift! Listen to uplifting CDs. Things like motivational speakers and positive music. Don’t hang around negative people. Walk away from “bitch sessions” around the watercooler. Focus on the positive that your product can do for your prospects and know that you aren’t just “hunting for money”, you are actually helping people with your product or service. Feel good about that.
- Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are you. You can’t be anything else. Celebrate YOUR unique strengths and view your weaknesses as opportunities to improve your skill set. Be proud of your accomplishments.
What if all of that stuff doesn’t work right away? What can I do RIGHT NOW? In case you hadn’t noticed, the advice above is fairly long-term stuff. Luckily, there IS something that you can do to try and get yourself “over the hump” ,so to speak, and start training your mind to feel the competition and not focus on the rejection:
Call Faster! Try this method a few times and it just might do the trick. I probably don’t recommend using this for ALL of your cold calls, but sometimes it helps to shift the mindset a bit:
- Have a big list in front of you (or use an auto-dialer).
- Create a shorter script. Exclude “how are you?” and “do you have a minute?” and other chit chat. Get straight to the point. You: “Hi Jim, my name is Steve and I help small businesses get qualified high conversion leads through social media and digital marketing. I’d like to stop by and drop off some free information and introduce myself. Will you be in the office at 2:30 tomorrow?”
- If they say “yes”, thank them and confirm “Great, see you tomorrow at 2:30”
- If they say “no”, just thank them and end the call. Don’t toss in “have a nice day” or some other long winded time waster. Your whole goal is as many calls as possible.
- Move on to the next call RIGHT AWAY. Don’t pause, don’t think about it, just go.
What this exercise does is it removes the focus from the “sale” or the “appointment” and forces your mind to see it as a race. Sheer numbers will guarantee you some success. And it feels good at the end of it to see how busy your next few days have become.
The cool thing is that when you “stop by” with the information, you effectively have an appointment. You told the owner (or decision maker) that you would stop by and introduce yourself personally. That will get your information into their hands and not into the gatekeeper’s trash. If the prospect doesn’t have more than a couple minutes to discuss the product or service, use that introduction to set the next “sit-down” appointment. They will be more likely to agree to an appointment now that you are face to face than he would have been over the phone.
If you can organize your leads (in advance) by proximity to each other, you could set a dozen appointments 15 minutes apart if you get quite a few near each other (or better yet in the same building).
As you can see, this technique is all about quantity over quality. You will get some prospects from this method, but your close rate will most likely suffer because you are doing no real qualifying over the phone. Just remember this technique when you start feeling rejected and taking everything personally. It works.
Let me know in the comments how these methods work for you if you try them. I’m always looking for feedback and I love reading success stories.
Bill Price is one of the founders and COO of Business Begins Here LLC. He has over 16+ years of experience in Business Management, e-Commerce, Customer Service, and Project Management across multiple industries. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs start and grow their dream businesses. In his spare time he likes to learn languages, watch sports, and dream big dreams.