Most people often dread the idea of having to pick up the phone and prospect for business. The truth is, depending on your business, you may need to pick up the phone to build your customer base, increase sales and revenue. So what's stopping you? FEAR. It’s that fear of rejection that seems to be a hurdle that most people feel they can’t seem to “leap over”. “What if the person who answers is not in a good mood”? “Am I calling at the right time”? “What if I forget what I want to say”?
Here’s the thing, there is no such thing as the “perfect time” to call someone whom you have no direct relationship with to purchase your products or services. Second, everyone has “bad days” and if you do come across someone with a horrible attitude, don’t take it personal, their mood has nothing do with you. The more calls you make, the easier it will be. So how do you overcome your anxiety when it comes to cold calling? Here’s how:
Prior to reaching out to your prospects, research the company, try to look up your contact person’s bio or information online. You never know what you’ll find, you may find that the two of you have a common interest or hobby. You can actually use the information to open your conversation. Another tip for researching your prospects is to call customer service or human resources to ask general questions about the company, such as “so that I’m better prepared to talk to the Director of Sales, can you tell me a little bit more about what territories does Berger and Fine cover?”
Preparation is Key
Create a Script. You don’t want to necessarily read the script verbatim. It’s used for the purpose of preparation to ensure the message that you’re conveying is well thought out and planned. Some people have the “gift of gab” which means they can essentially sell anything to anyone without a script. Others, need to put a little more thought into what they’re trying to say which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Don’t take the “no” personal
Don’t take a “no” personal. It could very well mean that the company isn’t interested at this time, but may consider your products or services at a later date. Always ask if you could email your contact information to use in the near future. Sometimes the company you’re prospecting may not have the funds to purchase your products or services at the time, or both brands may not be a good fit for either party. Another thing to keep in mind is, closed doors can be a “blessing in disguise”. You never know what is going on behind the scenes so that rejection could be your “protection”.
Cold calling gets easier over time, with repetition. Don’t worry about “rejection”, “no” today can very well mean “yes” tomorrow!