Are your social media and inbound efforts generating enough quality leads to keep your sales pipeline healthy? If so, you cannot get better than that.
However, for most salespeople, they must proactively prospect on top of other initiatives to make sure they achieve their goals.
Prospecting is an emotional as well as intellectual endeavor. When your energy and enthusiasm for pursuing new business lags, you may be suffering from sales call reluctance.
Sales call reluctance is the emotional hesitation to prospect and self-promote. In our culture, the highest rewards do not go to the smartest, best prepared, or the hardest working individual. The rewards go to the person who is most willing to prospect and self-promote.
Here are four steps you must take to banish fear of prospecting and achieve your greatest success.
1) Lock in your motivation.
You must be motivated and have the will to succeed. If you are not motivated, you have a completely different issue. It might look and feel like sales call reluctance, but it requires a totally different treatment. You may need to contact a psychologist, a career counselor, or a well-trained coach to get your motivational infrastructure in place to succeed.
2) Identify your “negative intruders.”
What are negative intruders? Well, what goes through your mind when you reach for the phone -- and then stop? What are you thinking about when you swing around and check email one more time, refill your coffee cup, get into a conversation with a coworker, and then realize it’s lunch time and push off your calls until after lunch? What is causing you to hesitate? What thought stops you from making prospecting calls?
Here is a list of thoughts that stop many salespeople:
- The prospect probably already have a vendor they are happy with.
- They will say, “No, I’m not interested.”
- I’ll appear unorganized.
- I don’t know what to say.
- I worry about their perception of what it is I am trying to accomplish.
- I am not comfortable with my script. I need a new script.
Your freedom from sales call reluctance lies with identifying your negative intruders.
3) Realign your thinking.
Your brain works in amazing ways. It allows you to create visions of the future and dream about achievements. How do you envision your success? How will it change your life? Learning to visualize your future success is important to overcoming sales call reluctance.
Stop reading right now and answer this question: “What would I love to achieve or have in my life?” Is it easy for you to answer that, or are you struggling? This is the key to transforming your sales results.
Conversely, the brain has a way of creating obstacles through limiting beliefs, assumptions, perceptions, interpretations, and the ever-present inner critic. If you allow yourself to identify with or believe your obstacles, overcoming call reluctance will be difficult. Awareness is key!
Human beings are meaning-making machines. We are always attempting to make meaning out of what we experience. Our stories can either serve or sabotage us. It is the way we are wired.
Here's an example. Think about the last time you had an “engaged” prospect who agreed to the next step in your sales process; however, when you attempted to reconnect they ignored you. What kind of stories did you start making up? Maybe you thought, “Oh, he is just an insincere jerk,” or, “She was just placating me to get me off the phone.” Then you probably stopped contacting them, simply because you bought into your own story.
Thought realignment is one of the crucial prescriptions to overcome call reluctance. Remember: The situation doesn't cause you anxiety -- your thoughts about the situation do.
4) Don’t judge yourself (or others) harshly.
After you have allowed yourself to admit to your negative intruders, say, “These are very interesting.” Notice you are not adhering a negative label. There is no better word to neutralize the negative than "interesting."
Here’s an exercise for you: Choose one of your negative intruders and counter it. In the case of “I don’t know what to say,” immediately counter it with, “That is not true. I simply need a script with a value proposition from my prospect’s perspective.” Another one: “What if they say ‘no?’" Simply counter that with, “I will have at least three pattern interrupts to combat the reflexive ‘no.'”
Your confidence will soar once you start prospecting. Self-confidence is the by-product of productivity!