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Confidence in Cold Calling

The Sales Blog Mailbag always brings something interesting. Today, I received this: “I need your motivation. Whenever I make outbound sales calls I get cold feet. The result is that I end up losing interest from the prospect.”

This salesperson doesn’t need motivation. She needs confidence. Here is how she can get the confidence.

Planned Dialogues

The primary reason that salespeople lack confidence when making cold calls is that they don’t have planned dialogues. It’s difficult to be confident when you don’t know what it is that you are going to say, how you are going to resolve your prospect’s concerns, and what commitments you need to gain.

Planned dialogues provide you with excellent language choices. Continually refining your language choices allows you to improve what you say and improve your effectiveness. Planned dialogues also provide you with guidance and direction that your sales interaction is supposed to take.

I have never understood the resistance to planned dialogues. Why wouldn’t you want to capture the most effective language choices? Why wouldn’t you want to rehearse the most logical and compelling ideas that would allow a prospect to agree to meet with you? This doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative when confronted with a novelty, but you don’t need to be creative on every call.

Planned dialogues build confidence.

A Compelling Message

Why are you on your prospect’s phone? Do you have a message that your prospect is going to find compelling?

One of the other reasons that salespeople lack confidence is that they don’t have a compelling message. In order to be confident, you have to be able to help your prospective client. You have to have a message that they find compelling.

Your message can’t be about you. It can’t be about who you are, your product or service, or your features and benefits. That time has passed. Your message needs to help your prospective client know exactly how you can help them produce better results. What are the challenges that they face that you are going to help them tackle?

You need a compelling message that resonates with your client, piques their curiosity, and gives them confidence that spending time with you is worth their while. And speaking of spending time with your prospects . . .

A Commitment to Gain

Your confidence is greatly improved by knowing what commitments you need to gain from your prospect. The planned dialogue and a compelling message make it easier to ask for and gain these commitments, but you need know what you are asking for and you have to ask for it.

Sometimes, the reason that you are uncomfortable asking for commitments is that you don’t feel that you created enough value to deserve the commitment (that’s why you have to be a value creator). Or it might simply be your own resistance to asking for and obtaining commitment. Maybe you are too soft, or maybe you haven’t yet embraced that you are in sales.

Helping your clients produce better results requires that you ask for an obtain commitments. Your prospective clients need you to know what commitments you need from them in order to help them produce the results that they need—and they need you to ask for those commitments.

If you want to be more confident in cold calling, you need planned dialogues, a message your prospective clients will find compelling, and the ability and willingness to ask for the commitment that you need in order to help your prospect produce better results.

Questions

How important is confidence to selling well and to cold calling in particular?

How do planned dialogues help build confidence?

How does having a compelling message and value proposition help to improve your confidence and produce results?

What commitments do you need to gain? Do have the ability and the willingness to ask for them?


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Comments

comments

  • http://www.sterlingchase.com Steve Eungblut

    Hi Anthony,

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      I have no idea why we do so little prep work, Steve. It’s faster now than ever. It’s easy. And it makes you way more effective. It does build confidence, too! 

  • http://asalesguy.com Keenan

    Good post Anthony. My favorite part is the notion the sales person is too scared to ask for the commitment because the don’t believe they’ve created enough value.

    That’s a shitty place to be.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Jim! Loved your follow up post!

  • http://www.invokeselling.com/ Michael Scott

    I agree that confidence is vital when cold calling – however simply having a plan in my opinion does not do enough to enable this confidence.  Prospects are smart – the sales rep calling needs to be smarter, and an expert in their industry to portray the necessary confidence

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      I agree, Michael! Knowing how to help your client builds confidence, plain and simple. 

  • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

    I would add that minimizing expectations makes cold-calling easier. That doesn’t mean you don’t follow your excellent suggestions – certainly be prepared – but also be prepared for a small ROI. It makes the whole thing easier if you know you’re going to ONLY get a 1-2% return, on any level. Then, the wins actually matter!

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      The ROI if measured in appointments may be small, but the ROI in actual sales often outweighs most other prospecting approaches. 

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