Sales Leaders: Are Any of These Cold Calling Myths Holding Your Sales Reps Back?
When I talk with sales leaders whose reps are struggling with prospecting, quite often I find the root of the problem is actually with the leaders themselves.
Upon examination of their methods, processes, and beliefs I often can spot mistakes being made due to belief in one—or many—of the cold calling myths that still are being perpetuated.
Most of these are nonsense, and just plain wrong. Perhaps you’ve heard them. I’ve list them, along with the Smart Calling truths.
Cold Calling Myth: “It’s just a numbers game.”
Smart Calling Truth: Actually, prospecting professionally is a quality game. It does not matter how many calls you place; what’s important is the amount with which you have success. A baseball player could swing at every pitch, but only the quality attempts have a chance of hitting the ball. Casino games are numbers games; sales and prospecting is a quality game. With that said, quality and reasonable quantity are not mutually exclusive. You can still have high levels of quality activity. But, the key to prospecting success is not to simply increase the number of bad calls.
Cold Calling Myth: “For every no you get, you’re that much closer to a yes.”
Smart Calling Truth: You are no closer to a yes unless you are doing the right things to get the yes. The previous “no” has absolutely no bearing on your next call. Activity solely for the sake of activity does not get you closer to success.
Cold Calling Myth: “You need to love rejection to be successful at prospecting.”
Smart Calling Truth: You want to avoid “rejection.” It is a state of mind based on how you react to what happens to you. I’m not a psychologist, but I would say it is impossible to love “rejection,” unless you have some type of mental illness. You can get a “win” on every call — even when you get a no. For example, you can plant a seed for the future, or simply keep the door open for a future contact. And you certainly can learn something on every call. Experiences as a result of placing prospecting calls have no meaning until the rep gives it meaning.
Cold Calling Myth: “The telephone is just for setting an appointment.”
Smart Calling Truth: Even before the pandemic and everyone was forced to sell remotely, salespeople were using the telephone to SELL every type of product or service. Limiting oneself by getting off of a call too early unnecessarily lengthens the sales process. Indeed, your sales model might involve a web demo or face-to-face visit, but those interactions will always be more productive if the initial call is taken further. One of the most challenging things to do in prospecting is to actually get someone on the phone. Why would we want to jump off as soon as possible?
Cold Calling Myth: “Never give the screener any information.”
Smart Calling Truth: First, I detest the negative term, “screener.” I prefer to call them “assistants.” The assistant may in fact be a decision maker, or at least an influencer, and needs to be treated like the buyer. Trying to go around or above an assistant, and being evasive labels the sales rep as a cheesy buffoon, and simply intensifies the assistant’s resolve.
The “cold” part of the statement “Cold calling is dead” is accurate; there is no reason to place a cold call. But the calling is very much alive, when done in a Smart way.
For over 30 years Art Sobczak has helped sales pros say the right things by phone to get through, get in, and sell. He is a speaker, author, trainer, and lifelong salesperson. His flagship book, “Smart Calling- Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling,” was just released in the new, Third Edition, and the process has become the prospecting standard for sales pros worldwide.
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