What I’m about to say is going to surprise you: I hate the term “cold calling” too. For some reason, there’s just nothing warm and fuzzy about the name, or about the fact that a complete stranger just rang you at an inopportune time with a proposal you didn’t request. There. I said it.
Just because I don’t like the sound of cold calling, however, doesn’t mean that I avoid it at all costs. There are many things in life we don’t love. Taxes, root canals, maybe even extended visits with in-laws. But that doesn’t mean we don’t do them. In fact, the penalty for avoiding these types of critical tasks is often far greater than if we just bit the bullet, worked our way through the discomfort and moved on with our day. Believe me, the personal penalty to your business can be palpable if you refuse to actively prospect in favor of relying on old clients. We all need to follow up on fresh blood and new leads to keep the activity pipeline churning.
With that in mind, authors George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson wrote a very valuable book called “The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You’re Worth in Sales.” This psychology focuses on many people’s inability to deliver their important message with ease and confidence. Essentially, the book deals with becoming a master at self-promoting in the right way.
The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance discusses how the fear of “inconveniencing” the caller paralyzes some salespeople, preventing them from growing their business exponentially. In fact, the authors note that “sales call reluctance single-handedly accounts for over half of all failures in one of the largest professions in the world.” They even refer to it as a “social disease” and “emotionally uncomfortable.”
Dudley and Goodson even used Behavioral Sciences Research Press studies to come up with some disappointing stats, including:
- Almost 90 percent of salespeople participants had one or more forms of sales call reluctance
- Up to 80 percent of all new producers who enter sales positions fail to complete their first year in sales
- 40 percent ofall experienced, high-producing sales professionals readily admit to one or more episodes of sales call reluctance severe enough to threaten their continuation in sales
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to combat call reluctance. Do your homework ahead of time – not just on the prospect, but on the market, your competitors’ products and stories grabbing headlines in the media. Anticipate questions, concerns and comments, noting your talking points before you pick up the phone. One of the biggest tips I – and the Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance authors – can give you is to avoid procrastinating.
We’ve already admitted the term isn’t pleasant. We’ve already acknowledged ringing a stranger when you have no idea what mood they’re in or what they’re doing isn’t pleasant, either. BUT, we’ve also acknowledged that it’s just about impossible to grow your business if you’re not hustling, not prospecting and not putting yourself out there.
You know you’re a good loan officer. You know you’re a good salesperson. You know FAM has superior resources, wonderful support staff and fabulous products. Don’t limit yourself and your business out of a common fear we all experience. Instead, go out there and conquer it and be an example to everyone else who is letting a little mechanical device with a bell on it (that we otherwise LOVE!) stop them from achieving the success they deserve!