Fear of Phone Calls – Avoid This Prospecting Handicap
Fear of cold calling on the phone is a prospecting handicap that you must avoid. Sometimes this fear is not blatantly obvious. Sales people may know how to sell and enjoy talking to people. Talking on the phone to prospects is not intimidating to them. However, an illogical fear of picking up the phone […]
Fear of cold calling on the phone is a prospecting handicap that you must avoid. Sometimes this fear is not blatantly obvious. Sales people may know how to sell and enjoy talking to people. Talking on the phone to prospects is not intimidating to them. However, an illogical fear of picking up the phone and dialing may manifest itself. Recognize it! Admit it! Learn from my own personal experience in this episode. I will offer an extremely simple solution for you. But you may not like the solution. Remember our slogan: prospecting isn’t easy; it’s not fun; and you’re never going to like it.
The fear of the phone may manifest itself a couple of different ways. You may not make many calls per hour. There will be many distractions you allow. Does this describe you? “I plan to prospect for two hours a day on the phone, but I’m only doing thirty minutes.” That’s a fear of the phone.
Perhaps your perfectionism kicks in. You’ll feel compelled to research all possible information about a company before calling. Looking at the website and connecting with the owner on LinkedIn is not necessary for prospecting.
On my very first sales job I had a big stack of white papers with one prospect on each. I had the papers, a number, and a phone. That’s all. I carefully analyzed every detail on the paper. I wondered what kind of business it was and what part of town it was in. I might even wonder if they made enough money to afford the service I was selling. I spent too much time thinking. However, my company tracked the number of calls per day and posted the numbers on a board. I was toward the bottom of the list! I quickly realized I couldn’t take time to think at all; I just had to dial the number.
There are two prominent fear factors in phone prospecting. (1) Fear of rejection. None of us enjoys the feeling of rejection when we hear “no.” (2) Fear of dialing the number. This also entails the fear of rejection. The fear is that someone will answer the phone and reject you if you dial the number.
The obvious and simple solution is don’t take any time between calls to think or research. Just make the next call. As soon as you hang up, go on to the next call immediately. There are very good dialers available now. Some are not auto dial. A list of numbers can be loaded and called one after the other. The next call will be dialed as soon as you hang up. These force creativity in using time. You can make some comments on your CRM while on the phone with prospects. A dialer will eliminate the fear factor.
Those who have interacted with me in consultations and training or calling through a list have probably noticed I never want information before making a call. The reason isn’t that I don’t want to know anything about the prospect. Now you all know it’s that if I wait too long, I’m going to be afraid to make the call! While the line is ringing, I’ll try to glean some information.
For those of you who suffer from this fear as I do, practice dial, dial, dial! True, we won’t be as prepared. That may cost us a sale here and there. Or a prospecting call may go bad because of it. But by the sheer fact of the amount of calls made, we can dramatically overcome the shortcomings.
No matter how much you’d like to, you won’t be able to eliminate phone interaction. You may say, “I’m never going to call anybody; I’m so much better face-to-face.” Preferring face-to-face rather than phone is fine, but there are definitely times when phone calling is also necessary. The truth is that you’re probably not that much better in person. You just prefer face-to-face.
Recognize it! Admit it! Validate that fear of phone calls is a real problem in your career. Prospecting is the sacrifice you make to be good at sales. In sales you must interrupt people. Prospecting isn’t fun; it’s not easy; and you’re never going to like it. Don’t beat yourself up by saying, “Oh, I must not be cut out for sales because I don’t like prospecting.” Nobody likes prospecting! That’s like a baseball player saying, “I hate working out at the gym!” In every profession there is something to dislike. Just do it! That’s the difference between success and failure.