For sales people, call reluctance refers to the tendency to avoid or postpone making phone calls to prospective clients. It is the hesitation that sales people feel when they have to pursue new leads.
Sales reluctance has been identified as one of the greatest hindrances to the growth of the careers of most people in sales, and it should, therefore, be conquered at all costs.
1. Rehearse a number of possible icebreakers.
In any sales call, the first few moments are the most difficult ones to get through. Call reluctance can stem from the fear of not being able to connect with the prospect at the start of the call. Although it is not possible to script an entire call, you could script the first few moments, and rehearse a few alternative icebreakers that you could use to start off your sales calls. You can use any information that you have learned while researching your leads to plan out your icebreakers.
2. Use the No FEAR Technique.
In this technique, sales people are encouraged to think of fear as an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. By thinking of it this way, you can rationally conclude that the worst case scenario that is informing your reluctance is unlikely to be manifested. Often times, sales people have the fear of rejection at the back of their minds, and this contributes to call reluctance. By using the No FEAR technique, you can remind yourself that failing to pursue a lead is worse than getting rejected.
3. Avoid being overly invested in the outcome of a call.
Some sales people think of a call that doesn't end with a deal as a failure, although this is really not the case. At the end of the day, sales is a numbers game, and not all calls will net you a client. When you are too invested in a call, you can end up feeling unprepared and you will likely hesitate. You should always give each call your best shot, but the fact remains that you can’t control every parameter in a two-way call. If you are not overly invested in a call, it will be easier for you to carry on with other calls if that one doesn't turn out the way you wanted.
4. Use positive affirmations to talk yourself up before making calls.
The power of positive affirmation is a great weapon against call reluctance. Positive affirmations can be in form of phrases you say in front of the mirror, chant at your desk, or write on post-it notes. Have a list of affirmations with you so that you can read them out whenever you need some motivation.
5. Practice and prepare in order to build your confidence.
Like most other problems, call reluctance can be overcome through practice and preparation. You can practice your call with a fellow sales person if you feel that you need to go through a few scenarios before making the actual call. It is also important to remember that the more calls you make, the more confidence you will develop, and you will, therefore, be less likely to experience call reluctance.
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