It’s an inanimate object, made of plastic, and sits on your desk. And it’s amazing how much fear it can generate.
What is it? The phone!
Which is ironic because the phone is something we use every day to call friends, family, order products etc.
But when it comes to calling a potential prospect to generate business, picking up the phone can be one of the most nerve racking things imaginable.
That lightweight piece of plastic becomes as heavy as lead and you’ll do just about anything rather than make that call.
Over the years I’ve seen this countless times with clients. And believe it or not, even with some professional sales people.
I say, “Pick up the phone and call them. Tell them how you could help them get a better result using your products and skills and ask for a meeting.”
They promise they’ll make the call. But when I check a couple of weeks later, nothing has happened.
Here are some of the things that came in the way. See if you can relate – ask yourself if you’re exhibiting the same behaviours.
Needing Supporting Marketing Material:
“I need a marketing brochure/website/other collateral which explains our product and it needs to be designed.”
So the next few weeks go by – backwards and forwards with a designer to get a brochure and other material ready. And no calls are made.
Something would always come in the way of picking up the phone. Whether it was being busy with other projects, proposals, travel etc., some other priority always came in the way.
Once they’ve run out of excuses, they start to argue that cold calling people doesn’t work and calls always go to voicemail.
So why does this happen?
It all comes down to a fear of rejection. None of us likes it, but it is a part of life.
So the faster you can get over your fear of rejection and realise they’re not rejecting you, but don’t necessarily see a need for what you have to offer – at this time, the more successful you’ll become.
Easy to say – not always so easy to do.
So here are a couple of tips around how you could motivate yourself into taking action.
Ask yourself if you want to succeed in your business because you ultimately want something – i.e. independence, financial freedom, lifestyle etc. Or is it that you want to avoid something – being broke, working in an unfulfilled job etc.
Whichever way, crank up the feelings so they become stronger than the fear.
So if you want independence, lifestyle etc., how badly do you want it and what fears are you willing to push through to achieve your reward?
And if you’re trying to avoid failure – what is likely to happen in your business if you don’t make the call and contact potential clients? Be honest and articulate what the eventual results will be.
Ultimately the cost is failure. Not achieving your dreams. And this is not some imaginary failing. Business owners go out of business all the time and have to lose their independence and go back to possibly unfulfilling jobs.
Remember, leaders take ownership, shoulder responsibility and are accountable for their actions. Victims justify themselves, make excuses and create reasons why something didn’t work.
Picking up the phone and connecting is a choice. And ultimately only you can make it.
I know that it’s not always easy. But the rewards can be very worthwhile.
One other thing before I finish…
Coming back to the people who said no… which I always take to mean, “Not at this time”.
Made some calls to prospects I’d spoken with 6 – 12 months ago. People who at that time didn’t go ahead with us. Every one of them was happy to hear from me, and we picked up business. One said he’d been wondering who to ask for help the day before, and then my call came in.
The irony is I don’t always feel like making calls. Sometimes I engage in avoidance behaviour. But every time I do push through, we get positive results.
Make sure you do the same.
And finally, if you’re worried about what to say when your prospect does pick up the phone, we offer comprehensive sales training and coaching in how to immediately get rapport with someone on the phone (or physically), engage them in conversation and find out if there’s a potential fit.
Then how to move the conversation forward.
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 for more information. Yes, that means picking up the phone! *smile*
P.S. We can of course create marketing material that will support your sales efforts as well. We have relationships with world class graphics designers, web developers and social media experts – so can provide an integrated solution to all your marketing and sales needs.