Cold Calling Anxiety? These 6 Tips Will Help You Overcome Your Fear

 

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Nobody likes to be told no. We didn’t like it when we were three years old, and we don’t like it now.

But what happens on cold calls? We get told no. So we avoid cold calls and drop-ins to save ourselves from the rejection. But at what cost?

1. Understand That Rejection Is Better Than Avoidance

In reality, what’s the worst thing that can happen on a cold call? They say no. So don’t sweat it. It’s not that bad. You probably will never see or talk to that person again. They won’t call you and say, “You’re that sales rep I didn’t want to buy from!” The worst result is them turning down the product and leaving you in the same situation you’re in now.

It’s like the two vacuum salespeople who go into town to sell door-to-door. At every house, they get the same response — no. They get to the last door, with just a few minutes before the end of the day, and one salesman says to the other, “Hey, let’s skip this one. We know they’re going to say no.”

The other one says, “So, if they say no, where will we be?”

“Exactly right here.”

Rejection doesn’t mean you lost — you just haven’t progressed yet. But you’ll never progress and never make a sale if you don’t ask. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So if you ask and they say no, at least you can move on.

2. Move Past Mean People

Yes, some people are mean and nasty. But do you really want them as customers? Probably not. So if they’re rude, shake it off and move on. A rude “no” doesn’t leave you in any worse condition than a polite rejection. So let go of the emotional attachment to these brief prospects. They rejected the product, not you. Don’t take it personally.

If you’re going to make a sale, you’ve got to make calls. It’s worth the risk of dealing with a rude person if you have a chance of making a sale.

3. Use Objections to Improve

So when you hear “no” (you will, so just accept it), use each prospect’s objections to help with your sales approach. Why aren’t they interested? If you can find out why one customer says no, you can use the information to overcome that objection in your next pitch. Then you can tell your next prospect how you’re different than what they expect and why that objection isn’t such a big deal after all.

Related: How to Build Trust Over the Phone With Cold Prospects

4. Be Confident in Your Product

Cold-calling anxiety is real — especially if you’re new to sales. So will you ever get over it? Absolutely, yes!

If you’re wondering how to overcome sales anxiety, the solution is confidence — in your product, pitch, and solution. To move past the nervousness, you have to be truly confident in the solution you’re offering. You need to believe it’s good value that will help your clients. And if you really believe that to your core, you’ll carry confidence in your voice, attitude, posture, stance, and persistence.

5. Trust Your System

Then rely on your system. If you have a plan for dealing with each potential cold call outcome, you’ll know exactly what to say, no matter how the prospect responds. No matter what a prospect says, there are only three potential response categories: active, latent, and not interested. There’s no fourth option. So, based on your conversation, identify which group they’re in, then follow your process for that response.

Related: A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

6. Work in Your Strengths

Being good at sales doesn’t mean you never have anxiety. But some people’s mindsets and personality types work better with either prospecting or closing deals. So, ideally, separate the roles so that people work in their strengths.

Early on, I made mistakes by hiring people to make cold calls because I thought they would be great in sales. It turns out some people just aren’t wired that way. They can do it for a short period of time, but eventually, they’re done. However, many of them were still great at closing deals.

When it’s possible, separate your sales team into different roles: hunters, farmers, and account managers. If you have someone awesome at keeping clients happy, make that their main job. When someone is great at closing deals, designate their time for appointments with qualified prospects and let others make cold calls.

Want to know how to separate your team into their best roles? Read 3 Ways to Increase Sales Without Hiring a New Salesperson

I used to own call centers. I’ve dealt with cold-calling for over 20 years in sales. I know how it feels to pick up the phone, but when it’s all said and done, don’t sweat it. Just do it. Not calling is even worse than being rejected.

Jim Rohn says, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” So don’t carry around that extra weight of regretting the times you didn’t try! Pick up the phone — you’ve got this.

Salespeople: Avoid These Costly Social Networking Mistakes

salespeople social networking mistakes

Staying off social media all day is tough. Checking your news feed is a habit that’s hard to kick. But we all know it impairs work productivity, so when we jump online to check in or check up on what’s going on in the social media world, we tell ourselves, “It’s for work.”

Social media potentially helps your sales game – if you use it correctly. But these five mistakes may be getting in your way.

1. Confusing Social Media With Lead Generation

Is your time investment in social media going to pay off? We often tell ourselves there’s a prospect out there we might find through our connections. But nine times out of ten, it’s not worth your time. In fact, the risk of being sucked into other feeds is far greater than the potential reward of finding a prospect.

So here’s the rule of thumb: only browse social media during situations you have no control over (like standing in line). But, if your industry can’t benefit from browsing social media, don’t get on it at all during your workday.

2. Lack of Strategy and Schedule for LinkedIn

LinkedIn provides you the opportunity for seeing who’s changed jobs and if new decision-makers have entered the scene. However, we often use it aimlessly. It’s easy to get lost in the posts of articles, updates, and advancements.

When you get on LinkedIn, set a goal and a time frame for browsing. LinkedIn’s primary benefit for salespeople is showing when a key prospect moves to a new business. So schedule a time to browse your feed to look for new decision-maker opportunities. Then only visit the site once a week to see if those connections have changed.

3. Wasting Time on People Who Have Nothing to Say

To make browsing simple, hide the people that aren’t beneficial to your network. If someone doesn’t add value to your organization, you don’t need to see their posts on your News Feed. Change these settings on both LinkedIn and Facebook.

Also, follow the right people. Some people use Facebook as a channel to whine and complain. Block them. You want to follow the people who contribute in beneficial ways, not those that drain you. It’ll make finding the right posts much easier.

4. Alienating Your Audience

As a salesperson, your income relies on making people happy and getting people to like you. So be careful about what you say. Don’t post about topics that offend your customer base.

Don’t post political opinions. You’re bound to offend someone if you endorse Trump or Hillary. You’re entitled to your opinions, but don’t advertise them at the expense of your sales career.

Don’t brag about your lifestyle. High-end salespeople bring in big bucks. If your client base doesn’t have a similar income, don’t post about your high-dollar purchases. Be aware of how clients perceive posts about vacationing in Tahiti, meeting celebrities, or buying a new car. With these types of posts, you no longer relate to your average-earning client, and they may even grow to resent you.

Don’t complain. People get frustrated with online whiners. In fact, I just told you to block them. So don’t be someone others dread hearing from.

Instead, use Facebook to post pictures that make you a “real” person. Pictures of family time, for example, are something people identify with. Also, stay positive and post content that adds value to your followers.

Use LinkedIn to remind your audience what you sell and what you do. Your posts should always point back to your products and how those benefit your clients. Also remember that on LinkedIn your title is key. Think of it like your email signature and phrase it effectively.

If you want a more personal outlet online – for things like posting pictures from your nights out – use Snapchat or Instagram. Typically, buyers in professional organizations pay more attention to Facebook and LinkedIn.

5. Spending Too Much Time Browsing

The biggest problem with using social media isn’t the research you’re doing; it’s the distractions along the way. Media posts and story hooks are designed to grab your attention and draw you in. But no online story is going to get you a sale.

There’s undeniable benefit to using Facebook and LinkedIn to research your prospects. So schedule a time for it. Otherwise, steer clear from social media during the work day. You’re far better making prospecting calls than browsing meaningless content.

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The 4 Biggest Mistakes A Sales Manager Can Make

Callproof 4 Biggest Sales Manager Mistakes

There are mistakes a sales manager can make, and then there are the biggest mistakes a sales manager can make. Check out these four costly, and sometimes irreparable, mistakes and then do your best to avoid them.

Mistake #1: The Cell Phone

If you think having a salesperson use their own cell phone to cut costs is a savvy move, think again.

Here’s what really happens: Rather than giving your salesperson a cell phone, you have him use his own. The salesperson then puts his own cell number on his business cards. He proceeds to hand out many of these business advertisements, which is great for your company — as long as he’s working for you.

Long after he leaves the company, people will still be holding on to the business cards. And who do these prospects call once they’re ready to talk — or buy? The sales guy whose number is listed on the card!

What happens if the sales guy has already left your company? You’re out a potential sale. You can’t direct his calls to a new number, so the contact becomes a lost prospect.

Mistake #2: The Email

Let’s say this same sales person has left your company, so you quickly call IT to shut down his email.

Big mistake. You’ve effectively shut off communication entirely with his prospects and leads.

Don’t think that creating an off-the-cuff standard reply saying “the salesperson is no longer with the company” will work either.

Both of these actions lead to abandoned inquiries. The prospect will assume that no one is available to help them with their problem, and they’ll simply move onto another company who has a warm body that will reply to email requests.

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Mistake #3: The Autoreply

It seems so innocent, doesn’t it? And so handy at the same time.

Set up the email’s autoreply just like you would for an absence due to vacation or meeting, let prospects know that the sales guy is no longer with the company, and prospect will take action to reach the right person, right? Wrong.

Here’s what you should do instead:

Make sure the salesperson’s email address is redirected to you, the sales manager. Then, you can personally take care of every lead that comes in from that address.

Make it a priority to respond to email inquiries — especially those directed to a salesperson who’s no longer at the company.

Mistake #4: The CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are a terrific tool. But they’re not foolproof.

In fact, they’re notorious for having incorrect data. So don’t assume the data they spit out is always true. This is especially important when you’re dealing with prospect status. A lot of times, the information is not in real time.

Here’s an example:

You suspect a salesperson is slacking off, even though your CRM shows lots of activity. When you’re in the neighborhood, you stop by a client’s place of business for a face-to-face.

The client is happy to see you, but mostly because he hasn’t seen anyone from your company in months—contrary to the activity the salesperson had been recording in the CRM.

As a sales manager, it’s up to you to spot-check your salespeople, especially if your gut is telling you something is off.

Now that you know some of the biggest mistakes sales managers can make, go out of your way to implement these best sales-manager practices. Provide a company-owned cell phone, optimize email communications, and keep up with CRM data in real time.

What other sales mistakes would you add to the list?