Many sales professionals have felt intimated at one time or another when it comes to cold calling. Sales representatives dealing with sales call reluctance are often stressed and frustrated as they struggle to hit their quotas while dealing with this very real fear. Fear of cold calling is a real problem, but there are inside sales techniques to help salespeople overcome call reluctance.
In today’s post, we’ll cover common causes of call reluctance and review inside sales techniques to overcome your fear of cold calling.
Causes of Cold Call Reluctance
The distaste for cold calling can stem from being unprepared and/or inexperienced. Merely providing a cold calling script to your reps isn’t enough. They should frequently practice their sales pitch to boost their confidence.
Company culture can also cause cold call reluctance. Many businesses, whether consciously or not, shame salespeople with the notion that they’re akin to sleazy car salesmen. Stamp out this negative stereotype in your organization.
Portray the sales team in a positive light to make them feel good about what they’re doing and to change negative perceptions held by other departments. You can do this by highlighting those who reach their goals and praising them publicly on big sales.
Introverts often have a difficult time with cold calling prospects. Maybe it’s fear of rejection or just uncertainty when it comes to initiating contact. Preparation, product knowledge, and an understanding of potential customers’ pain points can help boost a rep’s confidence and make the sales process a little less daunting. Anyone can sell over the phone, even introverts.
Inside Sales Techniques to Overcome Cold Call Averseness
The first step in tackling hesitancy to cold calling is admitting there’s an issue. A fear of cold calling is fatal for inside sales careers. This list of nine inside sales techniques will help you or your salespeople overcome the fear of cold calling.
Display positive affirmations and be sure to smile. Negative emotions like fear can be paralyzing, but the effects of positive thoughts on productivity can be immense. Positive thinking can boost self-esteem and even reduce stress.
Encourage your sales team members to read through some positive quotes, print out their favorites, then put a smile on and pick up the phone. Even forcing a smile can make you happier and even slow down your heart rate.
Use aromatherapy to bring on positive thinking. The Mayo Clinic has reported on the health benefits of aromatherapy. We know our sense of smell can trigger memories, so use it to your advantage.
Write a list of why making the sales call is necessary. Getting it down on paper is powerful. Yes, your inside sales reps likely know the basic reasons of why they need to make calls, but have them look deeper.
What is it that they want to achieve as a result of professional success? Maybe to save for a new car, get noticed for exceeding their quota, or go on a dream vacation. Having a list of their “whys” will give them a boost whenever they’re procrastinating making calls.
Set an objective to deliver value to decision makers. Your salespeople need to adopt a helping mindset and ask questions to find out how the product they’re selling can solve a problem or fill a void. Being helpful also means knowing when a prospect is not a good fit. Once you’ve determined someone is a bad fit, it’s time to stop trying to make the sale.
Reward achievement of personal goals. Have your sales reps create milestone goals to get them through the month. These can even be daily call counts. Rewards don’t have to be anything big either, a piece of chocolate, a walk around the building, just something they want.
Observe perceptions of cold calling. Encourage your sales reps to ask themselves what personal opinions they have around cold calling? Help reps understand that they aren’t fortune tellers — they don’t necessarily know how a prospect will respond to a call.
When reps spend time speculating about what might happen, they can put themselves into a negative mindset before they even hear the prospect say, “hello.” Instead of expecting the worst, they should train themselves to expect the best case scenario.
Provide time for continuing education outside of the initial training. Regular coaching and guidance are very helpful for inside sales reps. With products like VanillaSoft, you can review call recordings and spot any needs for improvement. Also, as updates or new products are released at your company, even experienced salespeople need to be informed of the features.
Simplify the process for inside sales by investing in sales engagement software. Technology takes out a lot of the work and increases productivity. For example, VanillaSoft’s auto-dialing feature queues the next call for your sales reps — no more depending on static call lists — thereby limiting procrastination. Logical branch scripting will make sales reps feel comfortable knowing that they have a roadmap for the call with exactly what to say.
Remind your reps that there’s nothing like taking action and doing whatever you’re afraid of to get over the fear. Your reps can build courage as they get through the first few dials of the day. However, the fear may come back every morning, you just have to encourage them to keep working on their call reluctance so that they continue to get new prospects started in the sales cycle.
Even the most experienced salespeople can feel cold call reluctance. Know how to spot it in your employees so you can help them get over it as quickly as possible.
What inside sales techniques and cold calling tips have you utilized to help your reps get over their reluctance to make cold calls? Let us know in the comments below!