(Sales Article): For Sales Managers – How to Diagnose Fear of Cold Calling


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Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

For Sales Managers – How to Diagnose Fear of Cold Calling

By Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

Possible Cause #1: Doesn’t really believe in what they’re selling.

Solution: As a manager you need to have your salespeople use the product or service and become familiar with all the positive attributes and effects.  Only by being a ‘user’ can they really understand the benefits of the product or service, which in turn will allow them to sell with confidence.  If they truly believe in their product’s ability to help others, then they’re not selling, but sharing and helping others see the benefits and advantages they’re enjoying by using the product.   If it’s not possible to purchase the product or service (e.g., too expensive, not for personal use, etc.), find those who are using it with great success and use those testimonials to show others how the prospect can benefit.

Possible Cause #2: Takes rejection over the phone personally.

Solution: A salesperson who identifies too much with the product will always take rejection over the phone personally.  Remind your salesperson that they are not the product.  So when a prospect rejects the overture or sales call it should be clear that they are rejecting the product not the individual salesperson trying to deliver the message.  Too often salespeople take th ings personally when on the other end of the line (or other side of the desk) is a client who is very clear about what he is saying no to; the product or service not the salesperson.  Salespeople obsess and ruminate about rejection long after they’ve been rejected.  Remind them that the prospect stops thinking about them no sooner than they hang-up the phone or leave their office.  When the salesperson gets a ‘no’ on the phone they should take the word ‘No’ to mean onto the Next One or Next Opportunity.

Possible Cause #3: Feel like you’re interrupting or bothering people when you call

Solution: The underlying cause of this symptom stems from a salesperson inability to intrinsically believe in the value of the product they’re selling.  Any salesperson who truly believes their product can help others will have no inhibition about picking up the phone to sell (ie., help) others.  If the salesperson doesn’t believe in the value of what they’re selling, there will always be a nagging doubt when it comes to calling up first time prospects. In their mind’s eye they see the prospect picking up the phone on the other end and rolling their eyes when they find out it’s another sales call.  The salesperson has either a low opinion of the product or of the profession of sales itself.  Many salespeople see themselves as ‘dinner interrupting‘ telemarketers.  This self-image is why they feel like they’re bothering when they call.  The key to overcoming this mental block is to have the salesperson imagine for a moment that the prospect they just called was at that very moment trying to figure out a way to solve a problem the salesperson has a solution to.  Ask your salespeople this question to get them to reframe how they view cold calling, “If you knew that every person you called could use or better needed your product, would you still feel as though you’re bothering them?”  The answer is an obvious.

Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

Copyright © 2010 by Victor Antonio.   All rights reserved.  Author, speaker and sales trainer Victor Antonio has a BSEE, MBA and over 20 years of executive sales experience.  This post MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body.  All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio at info@victorantonio.com.

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