Overcoming Sales Call Reluctance Must Be Done to Build Business
by Connie Kadansky
Nothing is more foundational to sales success than prospecting. Yet most people hate to prospect! It does not have to be that way. The majority of entrepreneurs and salespeople suffer from call reluctance®, the hesitation to initiate contact with potential buyers in sufficient numbers. Call reluctance is not fear of rejection or fear of failure. It is due to an emotional interference which renders our knowledge, skill, ability and talent useless. It is not just cold calling and telephone prospecting. It is much more.
Research shows that in our culture, the highest rewards do not go to the hardest working, the most intelligent or the best prepared. The highest rewards go to the people who are most willing to self-promote. For a very few, self-promotion comes naturally. When the fear to self-promote limits prospecting behavior in entrepreneurs/salespeople, it becomes Sales Call Reluctance®.
The most financially successful salespeople/entrepreneurs are those who sell the most. That’s pretty obvious, right? But why do they sell more? Because they make enough contacts day in and day out so that they always have people to see, to talk to and to sell to.
Tips for Overcoming Sales Call Reluctance:
- Be honest with yourself. Many people are more willing to admit they are alcoholic, than that they are sales call reluctant. Are you getting in front of qualified prospects consistently and comfortably? If not, why not? Many people want to hide and deny their call reluctance. Admitting they are call reluctant is the first step to overcoming the debilitating disease of prospecting.
- Observe your behavior on the sales call. Call reluctance shows up there, too. What happens when it is time to ask for the business? Do you shy away? Do you hope that if you are nice enough, they will ask to buy?
- (If you are making all the money you want and meeting your objectives, do not do this exercise!) Write down your self-defeating behaviors. Do you commit to making 50 calls a day and stop at 20? Do you get caught up in busy work so you can avoid prospecting? Do you lose business cards? Do you write a prospect’s name on a sticky note and then misplace it? Do you have selective forgetting when it comes to asking for referrals? Do you target avoid certain people? CEO’s? Lawyers? Doctors?
- Be able to clearly, concisely and confidently articulate your potential value to your prospect. If you can do this, you are not wasting your prospect’s time.
- Take an inventory of what you have to offer. Once you are convinced of your value, the process of prospecting becomes much easier because you are “sold” on you.
- Use a sales preference assessment. A validated instrument can quantify specific challenges and suggest appropriate steps to address sales call reluctance issues.
- A powerful technique to overcome call reluctance is to capture what the self-critical inner voice is saying to you ON PAPER in YOUR HANDWRITING. Recognize this voice? It is an internal saboteur that must be defused. This hyperactive voice says things like, “I don’t want to intrude” or “I haven’t done enough research about their company.” “They are probably still at lunch.” Once captured on paper, write realistic responses to the critic’s claims. Engage the internal voice in written dialogue. For instance, “I may not be totally knowledgeable about their company, but I have the basics down.” Recognize the goal obstructing statements and counter those with goal supporting statements. Once an individual is willing to do these exercises, they are on the fast track to becoming incredibly comfortable prospecting.