Cold Calling Reluctance

Most salespeople I know consider cold calling a dreadful, but essential activity in our profession. Even those who are good at it rarely like it. Nevertheless, those who are successful in sales do it regularly because without prospects, one does not sell anything.

If you hate cold calling to the point where you won't do it, you've got a serious problem. Let this go on long enough, and you'll watch your commissions drop from low to zero as you lose your job.

If you truly hate cold calling to the point where it is really hurting your sales, I may know one of the reasons why.

Where's The Pressure?

Too many salespeople take the bulk of the pressure on themselves in the sale. We've been conditioned into it by a society that teaches us that buyers shop, and sellers are there to "serve". You've heard this before... "serve the customer".

In "serving the customer", we feel that we have to do whatever they ask to get the sale. Some prospects act like bratty children that just have to have their way. This can be quite annoying to deal with.

In letting this belief "serving the customer" dominate our attitude towards buying and selling, we give up a lot of power. It's kind of crazy if you really think about it. The prospect is the one who does or does not have a problem to solve. Its not your problem - you are just offering a potential solution.

If your prospect does have a problem to solve, then it is his responsibility to solve it - not yours. What you can do is help him figure out how to solve it, and offer your products or services if they solve the problem.

When cold calling, you are looking for problems that you can actually solve. How effective you are at cold calling is really a matter of how effective you are at uncovering problems that you can solve. It is *not* a game of how good of a "pitch" you can deliver over the phone.

If you plan your cold calling by trying to craft the most interesting, exciting, and sparkling pitch to wow your prospects into meeting with you, then you are putting way too much pressure on yourself. This may just be stressful for you, or it can even be disabling to the point where you can't or won't do any cold calling.

I have a simple formula to take the pressure off of yourself and put it where it belongs - on your prospect.

Cold Calling Formula

  • Introduce Yourself, Your Company, and Your Results.
  • Get Permission To Ask Questions.
  • Ask Questions To Uncover and Amplify Problems and Opportunities.
  • Simple, huh? So simple, it may seem too easy.

    The secret to the cold calling formula is how you do each step. Here's an example:

    "Hello, this is Shamus Brown calling."

    "I am with Jupiter Financial Partners, and using private equity, I help people get high investment returns without the risk and volatility associated with the stock market.

    "Do you have a few minutes to let me ask you a few questions about your investments?

    "What percentage did your investment's increase this past year?

    "Oh, they didn't increase... they declined by how much?... hmm, sounds bad to me, but I am not you - is that kind of performance OK with you?"

    This follows the simple format outlined above. Introduce yourself and your company, and wrap that introduction with a statement of the results that you provide for your customers. This is one of the keys to making cold calling easier.

    The only thing your prospect will likely hear at the beginning of the call is your results. When you are cold calling someone, you are interrupting them in some way. Their attention is elsewhere. When they hear the results that you offer, you will get their attention IF they are interested in those types of results.

    Next, if they are interested in those results, they will more than likely answer yes to your request to ask a few questions and talk further.

    Finally, you immediately get into probing for problems, and amplifying the consequences. Once you are there, you will stir up their motivation and desire to talk further about your product or service.

    Stop using lengthy introductions in your cold calling. If you get that slightly uncomfortable or nauseating feeling in your stomach while delivering your phone "pitch", it is because your pitch is too long. The longer your pitch is, the more you are "at risk" because you do not know how the message is being received.

    Shorten your cold calling opener to just the essential results that you provide, and then get right into probing for problems. You'll sell more this way.

    © 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.

    Shamus Brown is a Professional Sales Coach and former high-tech sales pro who began his career selling for IBM. Shamus has written more than 50 articles on selling and is the creator of the popular Persuasive Selling Skills CD Audio Program. You can read more of Shamus Brown's sales tips at http://Sales-Tips.industrialEGO.com/ and you can learn more about his persuasive sales skills training at http://www.Persuasive-Sales-Skills.com/

    In The News:

    This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

    Forbes

    Victoria's Secret, Facing A Slide In Sales And Profit, Is In Need Of A New Brand Pitch Fast
    Forbes
    The once-hot Victoria's Secret is losing its cool, and not even its upcoming “Angels”-graced annual fashion show broadcast will make much difference. The No. 1 U.S. lingerie label, extending a string of comparable-sales declines since 2016, reported ...
    Victoria's Secret Chief Is Out Amid Declining SalesWall Street Journal
    LB - L Brands Inc Stock quote - CNNMoney.comBusiness
    NKE - Nike Inc Stock quote - CNNMoney.comBusiness
    CNNMoney -CNNMoney
    all 175 news articles »

    Harvard Business Review

    Replacing the Sales Funnel with the Sales Flywheel
    Harvard Business Review
    I've been using the sales funnel for 28 years, my whole career. This year, I retired the funnel — threw it a party, gave it a gold watch, and congratulated it on its move to a condo in Florida. It was the right thing to do. For one thing, in an era ...


    Reuters

    Target third-quarter comparable sales, earnings miss estimates; shares drop
    Reuters
    (Reuters) - Target Corp (TGT.N) reported third-quarter earnings and comparable sales below estimates on Tuesday at a time when a strong economy has boosted consumer spending at rival retailers, sending its shares down 7 percent in premarket trade.

    and more »

    USA TODAY

    Airlines roll out Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales
    USA TODAY
    First, airline sales have become ubiquitous. It's common to see them throughout the year, often at prices so low that they'd be hard to top. Don't necessarily assume the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals are better than ones you might see at other ...
    Walmart's Black Friday 2018 Sale Has A New Nasty SurpriseForbes
    Best Black Friday Sales for 2018U.S. News & World Report (blog)
    45+ of the best Black Friday sales on women's clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelryBusiness Insider
    BGR -TCPalm -confirmsubscription.com favicon
    all 1,373 news articles »

    CBS News

    Massachusetts mayor first in line as recreational marijuana sales begin
    CBS News
    Massachusetts became the first state on the East Coast Tuesday to allow recreational marijuana sales, meaning tens of millions of adult consumers, including those in New York City, are now within a three-hour drive from a pot shop. CBS News ...
    Recreational marijuana sales to begin in MassachusettsUSA TODAY
    Connecticut marijuana advocates bolstered by Massachusetts' first salesHartford Courant
    Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin In Massachusetts TuesdayWBUR
    Gloucester Daily Times -MassLive.com -WWLP.com
    all 497 news articles »

    Forbes

    iPhone 'Sales Panic' Is Good News For Apple
    Forbes
    More details from the supply chain have come to light this weekend and the consensus is growing that the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR sales figures are not meeting expectations. Why is this good news for Apple? Because this short-term reporting will play ...
    Analysts: iPhone Sales Panic is 'Overblown'Tom's Guide
    Apple Suppliers Suffer With Uncertainty Around iPhone DemandWall Street Journal
    SEC FORM 4 - SEC.govSEC.gov
    SEC.gov
    all 778 news articles »

    Forbes

    What We Can Learn From Rocket Science About Closing The Sales-Marketing Loop
    Forbes
    Knowing what works in marketing has long been a popular goal, but the growth of people-based marketing and availability of transaction data have finally made it more achievable. The ability to tie groups of people to their sales enables businesses to ...


    Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Target sales up 5 percent in 3rd quarter, but earnings miss forecast
    Minneapolis Star Tribune
    Target Corp. offered reported strong sales growth in the third quarter both in stores and online, and said it saw gains in all of its major sales categories. But earnings per share were lower than forecast, as the Minneapolis-based company has invested ...
    Target's stock tumbles after profit, same-store sales miss expectationsMarketWatch
    Target Shares Slide Ahead of Thanksgiving and Black Friday After Slight Sales MissFortune

    all 345 news articles »

    Forbes

    The Dark Side Of Holiday Shopping: As Sales Surge, Retailers Brace For Record Amount Of Theft
    Forbes
    With 164 million American consumers expected to flex their shopping muscle between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in what's expected to be record holiday sales season this year, retailers are also bracing for a record of a different kind. Organized ...

    and more »

    The Seattle Times

    Oregon marijuana prices dive — and sales soar
    The Seattle Times
    While Oregon has no general sales tax, it does levy a 17 percent sales tax on marijuana. Marijuana taxes generated nearly $70 million in revenue last year and are forecast to generate nearly $90 million in 2018. State forecasters believe marijuana may ...
    Oregon marijuana prices drop 50 percent - and sales soarKVAL
    Oregon marijuana prices dive, driving up sales and tax revenueKTVB.com
    Oregon marijuana prices plunge – and sales soarOregonLive.com

    all 58 news articles »
    Google News

    Closing Sales Is Not A Problem, It?s A Process

    In my opinion, the most overrated topic in sales training... Read More

    Peddlers, Hucksters, & Empty Suits

    Ever feel like you were "just a salesperson"? I think... Read More

    Dont Let Rattlesnakes Scare You

    Recently I was out trail running along the South Fork... Read More

    10 Incredible Ways To Sell Your Products Now

    1. Make your reader visualize they have already bought your... Read More

    Instead of Discounting, Back Some Value Out of Your Proposal

    Last minute discounting has become so prevalent that many companies... Read More

    Before You Sell Do The Math

    This is an important and potentially profitable piece of advice.... Read More

    What is Lead Generation?

    Lead Generation is vital to all businesses. All companies try... Read More

    How to Set Appointments

    The Importance of setting appointments is crucial to running a... Read More

    Leave a Better Voice Mail Message

    Yesterday I received a call from a financial planner named... Read More

    Chicken Little And The Disintermediation Myth

    If Chicken Little were alive today he wouldn't be running... Read More

    15 Ways To Get Really Motivated

    First, recognize that motivation is an inside job. The word... Read More

    Two Mistakes That Will Cost You Money

    You've met a new prospect, accurately assessed their needs and... Read More

    Caring - The Secret Sales Strategy

    Sales information resource Just Sell, calls caring "sales love". Here's... Read More

    A Little Something Special Goes a Long Way

    Keeping the 80/20 rule in mind; that is that 80%... Read More

    Get The Help You Need With Fund Raising Ideas

    There are many fund raising ideas on the market today... Read More

    When Selling, Keep It Simple Stupid!

    After our first half-hour telephone coaching session, when asked what... Read More

    When the Nose of the Camel is in the Tent

    My new job was to sell Commercial Service Agreements. It... Read More

    Eighty Percent of Success is Showing Up

    The above quote, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."... Read More

    Overcoming the Fear of Selling

    For many of you the Fear of Selling is a... Read More

    Going Global: Communication Across Mental Boundaries

    A completed communication consists of a sender and a receiver.... Read More

    I Don?t Want To Be Sold; I Want To Buy

    I went shopping for clothes today.My plan was to buy... Read More

    Five Keys to Make Your Cold Calls Sizzle

    Do you clam up on the telephone? An advertising rep... Read More

    Refining Your Telephone Prospecting Techniques To Be A Master Closer!

    Let me create a picture for you. This is the... Read More

    Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Somthing

    You can always tell a good salesperson, they are always... Read More

    The Force That Drives Buying Decisions

    What do people buy? They don't buy your wonderful presentation.... Read More