If you Google the term ‘cold call’, most of what you’ll see is a negative or distasteful account of the telephone being used for unsolicited selling. No surprise then that it’s not seen as something ‘nice’ people do for a living. If on the other hand, you get a business call from a bank manager at your local branch, about a new account, you’re probably not going to think of that as a cold call. What’s the difference? Well largely, it’s the perception of those two activities that’s different. In fact there are more similarities than differences. You didn’t ask for the call, you don’t know the caller, and you don’t ‘want’ a new account, it’s the job of the caller to stimulate your interest.
At Blue Donkey, we think a cold call is only one that leaves you feeling cold, so we do our best to make nice, warm, snuggly calls instead! Whether you’re a first timer, or a seasoned cold calling aficionado we have a few suggestions to help you shake off the shivers.
Fear is not always bad
Fear is an emotion or sensation we get when we are worried that something bad will happen. In cold calling terms that amounts to being hung up on, humiliated, or undermined in some way. We describe that fear as irrational because logically, it’s not likely to happen.
At Blue Donkey, we’re dialling calls all day every day, and it’s pretty rare that anyone gets hung up on. And if someone does get a bad reaction to their call, they’ll usually ask for a manager to listen to the call to establish if they did something wrong, so they can reduce the chances of it happening in the future. By looking at the factors that cause you fear, you can arm yourself with the knowledge and ability to counter them, so you can make cold calls that are informative and well received. Like anything, the better you get, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.
Fear of cold calling can be reduced by knowing your product well, and being very clear about what you have that’s special, and how you can provide something to improve the lives, or at least the business life, of the people you’re calling. When you think about it, if something great happens, you are compelled to tell people. When you’re genuinely excited about your product or service, the feeling of wanting to shout about it is the same.
Have some clear graphics or diagrams to hand that help remind you what you’ve got to offer that’s special. Use stats, case studies, or client experiences, and data to add proof points to your messaging, and remember to ask open questions. Being curious about your business and its successes, as well as having curiosity and interest in the people you’re speaking with will help place your cold calls on a much stronger foundation. As your results improve, so will your attitude to cold calling.
Most people have a fear of cold calling and usually it’s an irrational one. Yet we can all cite at least one or two of our best business relationships that originated with a thoughtful call placed out of the blue. More than ever, companies are choosing to outsource their cold calling to professionals like Blue Donkey. Whilst that’s a great idea, and we’re always delighted to hear from new clients, as purse strings inevitably get tighter, now might be a good time to dust down your headset and start honing the skills for yourself.
Visualising is one way to help reduce the fear of cold calling. Seeing a person in your mind and speaking with them, rather than a stranger will help put you on a better footing. Visualising success is also important for helping us break unhelpful cycles of negative belief, where you think you can’t do something, so you underperform. According to meditation and wellbeing experts Insights Timer, we need to have more self-belief. They say many people follow negative thought patterns which become an accepted part of their life, preventing them from achieving their true potential. Have a listen to their guided meditation here.
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