I don’t need to give you a list of reasons why so many salespeople detest cold calling. You’ve already heard them. Suffice it to say that some are reality-based — cold calling IS a drain on time, no doubt about it — and some are more in reps’ heads — they don’t like hearing “No” over and over again.
Because the fear and loathing of cold calling springs from so many factors, there’s no single panacea you can offer reps who are cold-call intolerant.
But there are a number of small things reps can do to make cold calling less of a headache, and today I’m going to talk about one of these: Suggest that they not do it sitting down. Instead, have them find some place where they can walk around while making their calls.
It can be almost anywhere: a large conference room that’s not scheduled for use for an hour or two, or a longish hallway, or, if the weather is nice, the grounds outside.
There’s solid psychology behind walking while talking.
For one thing, people sometimes feel mentally “stuck” when they’re physically immobilized. Just getting up from the desk can have a liberating effect.
For another, physical activity — even if it’s only moderate walking — fosters creativity in a very real way, as shown by this study from Stanford University. And if there’s ever a moment when a rep needs to be creative, it’s when confronting an impatient contact on the other end of the call who feels he or she REALLY doesn’t have time for this.
Obviously, there are some logistical challenges to this method. For one thing, if you have a large group of people all making cold calls at once, you might not be able to tie up every single large open space in and around the office to let them walk in. In fact, that might be a little weird, sending your entire sales force out to pace around. Kind of a sales zombie vibe!
For another, depending on your situation, you may have your people making their cold calls on land lines rather than cell phones, possibly because you record all sales calls for training and monitoring purposes.
And there is the issue of lists and leads. If reps have these on paper, it can be a little complicated for them to carry them around.
But if you’re dealing with a limited number of reps who can use cell phones for their cold calls, and if they can work from lists accessible via smart devices, cold calling by walking around might just be an idea whose time has come for you and your sales team!
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