Why We Avoid Making Cold Calls -- And What You Can Do About It

Dan Flynn

PWN Founder
<center>Why We Avoid Making Cold Calls -- And What You Can Do About It</center>

Published 6/05/00
Mark Sanford

Cold calling works, but it can also be frustrating because of the high rejection rate. It's easy to find other things to do besides making cold calls. For anyone who suffers from sales call reluctance, here is Why We Avoid Making Cold Calls -- And What You Can Do About It.

Mary Lou, an insurance agent, finds that it's easier to bone up on her product knowledge than it is to make prospecting calls. Brian finds himself writing proposals for prospective clients rather than picking up the phone. Jack, a real estate agent, reviews the MLS catalogs to make sure he knows all of the new listings that might be of interest to his buyers instead of making the prospecting calls he knows will get him sales.

Ever feel like Mary Lou, Brian or Jack? You want to make more cold calls, you know it will get you more prospects, and you know it will make you more money, but you just don't do it. Many of us really want to make the calls, but we seem to be "paralyzed."

Paralysis is often what happens when we face something threatening that we don't want to do. So, we procrastinate or find a substitute activity. One of my friends in the securities field, Joe Murray, claimed he was the most creative procrastinator he knew. He would go to the bank, talk on the phone, write letters, make to-do lists -- anything to avoid picking up the phone to make cold calls.

Some people procrastinate to avoid taking action that would reveal their abilities, skills or intellectual competence. They hide out in other activities to avoid being judged. As William James once said: "With no attempt, there can be no failure; with no failure, there's no humiliation." Because many people feel their sense of self-worth is related to their abilities, they avoid activities that might get them judged, which could make them feel bad about themselves. It seems safer not to take that risk at all, even though cold calling could increase their sales.

You can overcome your reluctance to make calls by a using a formula I have developed. It is based on years of study, and personal and client experience. I have coined the acronym GIRDA to stand for this formula:

G -- Goal
First, set a goal for the daily quota of calls. Daily goals are more empowering than long-term goals. If you set a daily goal of even just one call at first, you'll make five more calls this week than if you hadn't set that goal. Daily goals give you an immediate sense of accomplishment.

I -- Increase
Then incrementally increase your daily goal so you learn either that:

The negative things you think might happen usually don't happen.
The negative things that do happen are things you can handle.

R -- Record
Keep a daily record of:
All the calls, contacts and agreements you secured
Each piece of literature you sent out
Actual sales you made
This way, you will begin to understand the ebb and flow of calling activity. A well-kept log will reveal that results are a function of the amount of calling you do. One of the false beliefs of sales call reluctance is the conviction that you never advance, but are continually rejected. Good records will help you disprove this.

D -- Disconnect
Disconnect from the inner critic that keeps providing excuses for why you shouldn't make cold calls. This inner critic cannot distinguish between real and imaginary threats. Salespeople who have done a lot of calling know that these threats are imaginary 99.9% of the time. The new prospects you identify and the sales you make, however, will be very real.

A -- Accountability
Have an accountability partner to whom you report progress toward your cold-calling goals. Find another person who is having difficulty making prospecting calls. (That shouldn't be too hard.) Talk about one another's progress weekly or even daily to ensure you both stay on track. The buddy system works.

Faithfully following this formula will do wonders for disproving the negative beliefs that cause prospecting paralysis.

Dan Flynn
Timberland Power Wash
Houston, Texas.


Hey Dan
We havn't been here before.GREAT POST AND GOOD IDEA

heck when things have been slow for us, shirley will get on the phone find the name of the right person to talk too, or ask if if they would like us to send them a brochure if there intrested, or offer free demo!!!
I ALSO offer the free demo when I make these cold calls and it has never failed us to pick-up a job or 2, even a account when we needed it the most.
never give-up, practice will make you better and you learn from your mistakes.



[This message has been edited by Jim&Shirley (edited February 03, 2001).]


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I found this post in the PWN library, and thought it might be of interest to many of our members.

(See top post by Dan Flynn dated February 2001)


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