How to overcome the fear of cold calling, part 2

If you have a fear of cold calling, well, you are not alone. I was like that, and I have written another blog post recently about it, but I have managed to get over and I want to share with you how I did it. I’m not selling anything, I’m just sharing my tips with you because I know how tough and intimidating it is. Once you get over that fear, then you realize how easy, or let’s say, less scary cold calling is.

What is Cold calling?

It’s the unsolicited call. It’s a call out of the blue with a business interest, or better yet with a sales interest.

It’s calling someone you have never talked to before with the intention of selling something.

This is a very simplified definition of cold calling, by me. If you have a better explanation please feel free to share it in the comments.

The beginning

I was told at work I need to find new customers. Great. That’s what companies do and that’s what salespeople do. I work in a sales department so one of my tasks is to reach out and find new prospective customers.

There was a little problem though. I was scared shit of picking up the phone and talking to a total stranger.

I was thinking:

  1. I’m bothering them
  2. I’m interrupting them
  3. I don’t know what to say to them
  4. They are not going to like me.

and all that kind of stupid excuses.

I thought to myself, c’mon this is just silly. I have to get over it. And what I did was to turn to Youtube, Google and to experienced colleagues to find answers to my problems. 

One of my colleagues actually told me that excuse number 1. That I think I’m bothering them is the most common mistake many beginners do. So I tried to analyze it and I came down to this.

I’m calling on working hours from my business to another business and for something that is related to their work. So it’s work, it’s business, I’m not bothering them. 

That was it! As soon as I realized it my biggest fear disappeared.

But I needed some practical advice as well. That’s where Youtube and Google came to the rescue.

I searched for “cold calling” on Youtube and I was not disappointed. There are many channels that offer amazing advice for beginners. What did the trick for me was this channel who is run by this woman who offers sales training. What I saw was her doing some cold calls on camera and I was amazed by how simple, relaxed yet effective her phone calls are. Her style and the way she spoke on the phone inspired me and actually made me realize that yes, I can do it!

Then I googled for “best books about sells” or something in that direction and I found a book that I highly recommend if you are new to the sales business. It’s called: The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy.

I have an audible subscription so I got it instantly.

After watching some of the videos and listening to a few chapters of the book, both sources had given me pretty much the same advice or explained what is one factor that can affect sales. That is:

Self-confidence 

If we believe in ourselves, then cold calling is done much easier.

So why don’t we believe in ourselves?

We have insecurities, we have our own fears, maybe we don’t know the product well, we don’t know what to say if a prospective customer asks us details about the product, and so on.

That’s why I want to help you by giving you some tips that might be beneficial to you.

 

Here are my top 4 tips for overcoming the fear of cold calling:

  • To script or not to script? I’m on the not script team here. I thought that this was the way to go only to realize that I sound like a robot. The problem with script – like a piece of paper that we keep reading – is that we focus on the written text in front of us and we don’t pay attention to the other line. So avoid using scripts. Try and learn your product well and do a mental rehearsal of what to say instead. You can write a few phrases if you like but don’t read them while you are on the telephone. Learn them until they become second nature to you. Practice until the words come natural and soon you will realize you don’t need a script.

 

  • Always say your name and your company at first.  This is something that I have been doing already, and this is also what the books I’m reading are advising to do. It’s polite and it’s only fair to give a proper introduction of who you are and where you are calling from. It’s professional and you want to show that you are a true professional. I don’t encourage starting a phone call instantly with a sales pitch

 

  • Research and study your next company you will call. Especially in the B2B if you don’t do your homework you are sloppy. If you have a company name that you want to contact for the first time then visit their website. Read what they offer. How can your product fit in their needs? Read and understand them. This shows that you really take an interest in your prospect customer and it will be appreciated.

 

  • Speak slowly. This one is something I struggled cause I usually speak fast. But it’s important to speak slow and clear so that the prospective customer can understand who it is that is calling him/her and why you are calling him/her. I have been following the tips of the above experts and so when I present myself and the company I’m calling from, I try to say it as clear as possible and then I pause for a second to give the other person the opportunity to process and really understand what they just heard.

These are my tips and these are things that I’m using every day when I reach to new customers. I’m not the best sales person (YET 🙂 ) but I’m working on it and I hope you will become one too. If you have a certain question please let me know on the comments or contact me through the email form. I will be happy if I have brought you any value with my above tips so feel free to share them with your friends or colleagues.

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See you next time.

 

 

The fear of cold calling and how to overcome it, part 1

Not everyone is born a natural salesperson. There are people that are geniounly talended and love cold calling, it’s their oxygen.

I’m not one of those but I know that cold calling works and that’s why I’m doing it.

It’s not easy when you have to call someone out of the blue.

I have been lucky though to work in the B2B area which makes things way easier. I know who I’m calling and the people I’m calling pretty much expect phone-calls like mine.

However, I still do feel awkward and the first few times I did it I was shaking. It was probably obvious in my voice as well but the person on the other phone was always kind to me. Maybe they sensed that I’m extremely nervous and stressed and out of politeness they stayed on the phone to hear what I had to say.

But what is that makes us dread a cold call? I suppose a natural born sales person doesn’t have that fear. But for the rest of us that do, I have good news:

The fear goes away.

I don’t know what the reason is that makes us feel scared.  Is it the fear of rejection?

The fact that we have to talk to a total stranger?

The fear that we will make a fool of ourselves?

Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know, but there is one thing I do now:

Cold calling works

I don’t have any e-course or webinar to sell you. This is my personal experience and whatever tips I have I’m willing to share them with you for free cause I know how it feels like.

If I get to help ONE person, then I would be extremely happy.

So here are a few tips that have worked for me:

Try not to over think it. Just call, be prepared for a either positive or a negative answer, and don’t take it personally if they reject you. They don’t reject you, they reject the “service” or the product you are selling. I say, whatever, their loss.

Try to write down some scripts. Test and see what works for you. Write down a few lines and try to avoid sounding a selling bot. I know I know, easier said than done, but if you practice you will get better.

Think like a sales person. This one is a bit tricky I suppose.  But what is it really that you are trying to sell? If it’s a physical product, why do you want to sell it? Write down some of the benefits, what is the problem that this product is solving? In other words try to put together a mini script where you mention that you have a solution to this “common problem in the market”.

Avoid asking questions. I know I do that mistake as well but avoid “Would you be interested in …”.
Instead use “I will send you an email with more information so you can take a look at your own time”. That way the person might or might not read that email, but you have something to follow it up.

Practice, practice, practice. At first you will most probably suck, or maybe you won’t. But if you do just know that the more you do the easier it gets.

Statistically you will get a positive answer. And that’s going to boost your shelf confidence big time!

People are generally kind, at least in the B2B area.

One small advice, from my humble point of view:

If you are in the B2C sector, avoid calling random people. Do some market research. What are you selling? Who might be more willing to try it?

–  Bonus tip from a colleague:  Pretend you are talking to your buddy. It’s funny but it works because you lose that “sales bot talk”. It becomes more casual if you pretend you speak to your friend and you have more chances to get the other person on the phone interested in you and your solution.

I hope the above was helpful to you and if you want please share it with your friends or colleagues.

Do you have questions or comments? Leave them in the comments below 🙂