I know that the sales reps I am coaching hate cold calling.
I know because they tell me at every opportunity. They tell me about the worries, dreads and fears before they even pick up the phone and dial.
The REAL Problem with Cold Calling
This got me to thinking that the real problem with cold calling is not so much the cold calling itself but rather the thought of cold calling.
If you’re not a fan of cold calling you probably do what most callers do: you agonize about making the calls. You work yourself into a lathered frenzy and you delay the inevitable moment for as long as you can:
- you check your e-mails,
- you read a short article in a newsletter,
- you straighten your desk,
- you check your e-mails again,
- you get your call guide out and ready
- you decide a coffee is in order,
- you need to make a fresh pot,
- you chat with a colleague about some issue,
- you get back to your desk and resolve to pick up the phone
- but first you check your e-mail…
- oh…look… something you can reply to.
- And so it goes.
You see what’s happening, right? You waste time, you spend energy, a sweat breaks out on your brow, and you fret. In other words you prolong the agony. It wrecks your psyche and eats away at your resolve. You sometimes –often?- don’t make your cold calls at all…
The Key is Momentum
But here’s the thing I have noticed when working with those who have to cold call. Once you start dialing, once momentum is created, it’s not as bad as you thought it was. Call it ‘resignation’ but you’ve surrendered to the moment the process of cold calling becomes more manageable than trying to manage the stress and worry of thinking about it.
And the best thing is, once you get it done, it’s over. No more worries. There is a fantastic sense of relief and accomplishment, isn’t there?
5 Steps to Avoid Prolonging the Agony
So the trick is avoid prolonging the agony and start making the calls before worry has a chance to take a firm hold of your resolve. Here’s how to do it:
First, schedule your calling for the first thing in the morning. Get your cold calling done. Don’t let it hang over you like the sword of Damocles. Make an appointment in your Outlook or other CRM. Put an alarm on it. Don’t be tempted with choices. Make the commitment. Schedule it for the entire week, like an exercise program.
Second, before you leave your office for the day, have your prospect list open on your computer (or on paper on your desk) ready to go. If you can, put your computer into sleep mode so that you need only touch a button. You don’t want to have to wait for the computer to warm up because that creates delay. Have at least 25 names prepared on a spreadsheet or whatever you use. You don’t want to be hunting around for names.
Third, have your call guide and job aids (or whatever you use) sitting in front of the computer ready to go. Don’t bury them away so you have to search for them. Remember the agony that comes with prolonging the moment.
Fourth, when you arrive in the morning boldly go to your desk, sit down, touch the key to access your list, and boldly dial the first number on your list of 25. Dive in. Don’t chat with friends, don’t grab that coffee, and for heaven’s sake don’t check your e-mails. They’ll be there when you finish making your calls. Make that first dial. You’ll be glad you did.
Fifth, go through your list of twenty five prospects. Don’t stop at all until you’ve gone through the entire list. At that point you can decide if you want or need to continue dialling, take a break or move on to something else.
Regardless of what you do, you’ll have already done something! The heavy lifting has been started or has been completed. What a relief. Hallelujah! The rest of your day by comparison is a walk in the park.
Do you know what you’ve done here? You created momentum and spent your time and energy on getting the task done instead of fretting about it. You’ll feel good. Real good. And the added bonus is you’ll start picking up leads and sales here and there.
Don’t prolong the agony. Hunker down. Do it.