Reluctance is a form of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of failing. False fear appearing real. Sales call, cold call, or phone call reluctance is a form of this phenomenon. Reluctant to call is a sister of fear to fail – a weak sister.
Here are the early reluctance warning signals. You justify your reasons for not calling new prospects because:
You’re too busy!
You have existing clients who need your help.
New product information is waiting to be mastered.
The educational classes your company offers are too good to resist.
It’s too near the holiday or it’s just after the holiday.
ANY excuse: It’s too early. It’s too late. It’s too hot. It’s too cold.
Do these sound familiar? Want to understand why you do them? Want to ELIMINATE your reluctance? Sales training expert, Emily Huling, has made a study of reluctance as it relates to the salesperson. “Call Reluctance (CR) occurs in even the most experienced salespeople,” says Emily. “It may be easiest to understand CR as a form of “stage fright.” Don’t worry, people like Barbara Streisand and Lawrence Olivier had it and they did OK. You got CR little by little, a step at a time, a call at a time. You beat it the same way. Call by call.”
Here are a few “Emily Remedies” to overcome this wallet crippling condition:
Get real with yourself. Make a (check) list of what takes place when making a sales call. What can happen? The prospect will hang up, be rude, have voice mail, tell you to call back another time, give you an opportunity to say what you called to say, or be excited that you called. Keep in mind, none of these responses are life threatening, and three of the six are positive. Pretty good odds.
Check your attitude and belief system. The prospect can “hear” in your voice, or “see” by your gestures, how you feel about your company, your product, and yourself. Before beginning your call, take a moment to review the value you have brought to your clients and why you like what you do. Does your voice reflect the enthusiasm and belief you have?
Know who they are and what they do. Use the internet to gain valuable information about the prospect and his business BEFORE you make the call. Being prepared with information about the customer builds self confidence, and beats CR.
Too much time is spent in preparation. You must prepare but not so much that the calls never get made. Limit yourself to web info, brochures, competition, and a few of their customers.
Find out why the “no” occurs. There are less than 10 reasons ‘no’ occurs. One or two of them are causing your reluctance. Overcome the “no” reasons and your reluctance will melt away.
Check your computer. Use contact management software such as Pipedrive. These enable you to keep your calling focused. The pertinent data about your prospect is loaded into the client file and updated with each attempt or contact. A key for success is to SET THE ALARMS. This gently forces you to deal with an important call or activity. Use the note screens to record your ideas and “angles” to make the sale.
Get better at listening. CR people feel they have to talk to win. False. Often the answer is being given by the prospect and you’ll go past it trying to “sell.”
Know why you are calling. Are you calling to set an appointment? Great just do that. Don’t try to get the contract signed over the phone. Here are some ways to generate interest: citing an example of how you have helped others, enthusiastically sharing how your product or service can improve their bottom line or increase productivity, or asking a thought provoking question about them. Give the prospect a reason to say yes!
Avoid sounding scripted. In other words, put things in your own words and relax when you present them. Join toastmasters for a reality check.
Stay tuned for some more answers to this issue but due to space reluctance (SR) on the part of this paper they will appear in the next issue. Meanwhile pick your butt up and make a few calls.
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