"I'm afraid of cold calling!" is one of the most common cries by people in Sales. Rationally, this fear seems incredibly silly. All you're doing is talking with another person. "But the rejection!" the salesperson comes back with.
I have to take issue with this idea of "rejection".
Rejection is not "They didn't want to talk to me right now." Rejection is your significant other or a friend, who actually knows you, saying they don't want to see you anymore. See the difference?
The Irrational Fear that Makes You Say I'm Afraid of Cold Calling
Something is interfering with rational thought about cold calling. And I've found it doesn't matter whether English is the salesperson's first language or not: the same two fears about cold calling persist:
1. The prospect won't be available (nobody will answer my call)
2. The prospect won't be interested in what we have to say (no one will want to talk to me).
These two fears are floating around in the heads of people new to prospecting. And then they go out there without understanding any of the expectations of the reality of making prospecting calls--and what happens?
Their fears are realized.
Many people aren't in.
Of those who are, most quickly interrupt and say they're not interested.
The calls are over in 10 to 30 seconds, and the salesperson takes it all very personally.
Can you see where the problem is?
Two Stats that Will Change Your Mind About Cold Calling
I am going to share with you a couple of numbers. These two numbers will explain the reality of prospecting by phone. Once you know them, they will clear up a lot of the fear you have about calling.
First, on average half the people you call won't be available.
One day could be better, another worse, but over time that's what it will average out to.
Second, on average half the decision makers who answer the phone can't talk right now.
They can't even talk to their own mother now.
These are averages, and they are the reality of cold calling. No matter how good you are, no matter how much experience you have, this will always be the case.
Consider this. What it sums out to is that three-quarters of the dials you make won't reach a decision maker who can talk to you today. And it has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!
A Huge Mistake that Makes You Continue to Say I'm Afraid of Cold Calling
The reality--that on average 3/4 of your dials won't connect with a decision maker who's free to talk right now--has nothing to do with you. Not your tone of voice, the things you're saying, the time of day you're calling, the niche, the alignment of the stars, the way your pens are arranged on your desk.
And yet...these are the things newbies rush out and try to get advice on and change.
ALL of these variables. At once.
Look at any business forum discussing cold calling, and you'll see it. "I made three dials and this is what happened! What am I doing wrong?"
No statistical relevance. No understanding of the reality of calling.
And worse, this desire to change every variable you can all at the same time. Imagine a science experiment. What are you supposed to do with an experiment? Change ONE variable and see what happens. But if you change a bunch of things simultaneously, how will you know what cause had what effect?
So How Can I Stop Believing I'm Afraid of Cold Calling?
And now step back from the problem even further.
Notice you cannot change these averages no matter how hard you try. That 75% is going to be there, no matter how hard you work or how many changes you make. This is where salespeople give up. They exhaust themselves trying to change that 3/4 average, which cannot be altered.
Now that I've explained the reality of prospecting to you, you should be able to see where you can get improvements. Yes, in that 20-25% of the people who do answer the phone and can talk right now.
This is where you'll make your improvements.
Most calls are begun so badly that there is no rest of the call! So this is where training and technique helps. Getting better results--more and deeper conversations with prospects--in that 1/4 average when people can talk.
Accept the fact that the 3/4 average isn't going to change. Concentrate on improving the results of that 1/4 average. You'll persist and start seeing success if you do.
Now that you know this information, do you believe it's silly or smart to get all bent out of shape, upset and shut down when people aren't in or don't want to talk right now? Should you still be saying "I'm afraid of cold calling"?
In closing, I do have a method for improving your odds beyond getting a conversation on an average of one in every four dials. But surprise surprise, it takes work.
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Great post Jason I worked in a phone room and yeah the first couple of calls are always going to be blahhh! But the best remedy is when you get a sale on the first call… there goes your fear!