Years ago, I spent a few months studying and researching with a top inside sales manager. He had extraordinary results, strong camaraderie among the sales team, and really fun competitions to keep everyone engaged and energized. He talked over and over about how activity and effort drive results.
Activity x Effort = Results
No matter if you are in inside sales, outside sales, or a different role altogether, quality activity and qualify effort can and do lead to phenomenal results. And believe it or not, this holds true for overcoming call reluctance too!
Maybe, after reading Part One and Part Two of this four-part series, you aren't so worried specifically about call reluctance for your own professional development. Maybe you've been thinking about how to up your game with your prospecting efforts. Either way, infusing your days and weeks with some calm confidence and lots of practice and repetition will do wonders.
Ideas for Improving Your Prospecting Calling Efforts
role play with someone you trust
schedule short blocks of time to make outbound phone calls - short bursts seem to be more rewarding and easier to stick to habitually than big blocks of time once a week
make sure you have the quietest setting possible
don't forget about your cell signal strength if you aren't using a landline or VOIP
practice leaving voicemail messages if you leave messages
research each person you are attempting to reach - no need to call cold if you have mutual connections in common - this is hands-down one of my most favorite topics (Your Trusted Network)
research what good looks like in your industry and within your own company's sales force (and research what great looks like!)
dig into the data - know how you stack up
This last point is really important. Are you making two times more calls than others on your team, or only half as many? What's the benchmark? Has your manager or leadership team clearly communicated what's expected? What's you conversion rate to book first appointments?
Do not make assumptions here.
There is a huge difference between needing to make 10 calls a day or 100 calls a day to meet your personal and business growth goals. And, once you actually know how many calls you need to make, you can focus on how many of those are truly cold, and how many you can be warming up through other efforts, like networking events, conferences, mutual LinkedIn connections, and current client referrals.
Call reluctance seems to span all ages, geographies, and industries.
This week's homework.
Think of someone you know personally who is fearless and confident when making outbound calls. Call them up (why not practice!), ask if they have a few minutes to chat, compliment them on what you admire, and ask how they became so good at this part of the prospecting journey. Ask if they have any advice to share. You have nothing to lose.