Separating Facts From the Fear

14 May 2008 at 6:55 pm Leave a comment

One of the simplest, least expensive and most effective techniques to generate new business is one that most people are absolutely intimidated by: Picking up the phone. Let’s take a minute to think about that. Why do most of us dread having to call a prospect for the first time? Is it because we’ve been told it’s impolite to ask for what we want? Is it because “dialing for dollars” seems so crass? Is it because talking to strangers feel “pushy”? I truly think there is some level of societal training that happens somewhere in our brains that makes “telephone terror” such a common issue.

I’ve found a couple of ways to get around this. The first is explaining to myself, that sooner or later you’re going to have to talk to “them” on the phone, and not just talk, but pitch. It matters only slightly if the person on the other end is someone you met at a networking event, a social event or even a referral. A minimum of information was exchanged and now you need to make the call to move this business relationship forward. So putting it off only makes whatever initial contact you might have had weaker. 

The second is that I have come to realize that I invent worse situations and worse scenarios in my head than ever take place on the phone. In my head I’m ready with a whole set of negative outcome scripts:  I’m bothering them, I’m interrupting them, they’re going to despise me for calling like this, they’re going to hate what I have to offer, etc. The reality is, I dial and I either reach them or not. If I do, I say my piece, they say their piece…and that’s typically as bad as it gets!

Now, imagine instead if I started going into these calls with the idea that the person on the other end wants to talk to me, is interested in what I have to say and needs what I have to offer. So if you believe in the value of your products and services…that should be the reality of how to approach these phone calls.

I don’t think anyone will argue with this approach: Belief informs action and action informs results.

In these iffy economic times, isn’t it worth the effort to challenge your beliefs about why you hate “cold calling” so much? Shift your focus from imagined negatives to the actual benefits you have to offer, pick up the phone and tell someone about it!

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May 2008

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