Nine Ways to End Cold Call Sales Reluctance

by on February 2, 2010 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Selling Essentials Info Center

Break down the roadblock to your success with cold calling sales

Too many salespeople allow irrational fears to stand in the way of their goals – and pay an enormous emotional and financial cost.
Reluctance with cold call sales is at the top of the list. I’ve seen sales reps so busy preparing to make calls, or preparing to prepare, that the act of prospecting turns into procrastination. It’s such a powerful internal roadblock that it can even extend to avoiding in-person meetings with prospects or customers. I know reps who actually prefer to leave voice mail messages or use e-mail as an “out.”

Of course this eats away at the cold call sales process, because if you aren’t making calls, getting appointments and seeing people, you are missing a lot of sales opportunities – and leaving a wide open door for the competition.

Three big reasons for cold call sales reluctance
Although there are many reasons for cold call reluctance, they can be described in three major categories:

  • The fraud factor
  • This stems from a lack of belief in your ability to deliver great service. Successful selling is a two-part process: Selling yourself and then selling your customer. You will tend to avoid selling situations if you are not 100% sold on the quality of your product or service.
    Repeated Failure. This occurs when you continually get the door slammed in your face. Each “no” makes it tougher to pick up the phone and begins a downward spiral.

  • Fear of Rejection.
  • This holds you back from selling with confidence. When you go through your sales questions, you’ll often meet some level of resistance on the other end of the line. When you take this rejection personally, it can lead to call reluctance.

  • Breaking through: Achieving success in cold call sales
  • Call reluctance has a high cost. Something like 75% of new sales reps fail in the first year because of it. But even experienced reps suffer. Research shows that seasoned pros reluctant to call on up-market prospects end up 33% below quota.

The good news: There are nine specific strategies you can use to break through this internal mental roadblock towards cold call sales.

  1. Relax, you are not weird.
  2. Even top sales pros experience some level of call reluctance with cold call sales; it fluctuates the same way self-confidence does. Making sales calls forces everyone out of their comfort zone to some extent. Start by committing to improve.

  3. Redefine success with your cold call sales.
  4. If you expect a new appointment with every call, you will experience a lot more “failure.” Instead, set your objective to discover whether or not your product or service meets their need. Then, a successful call is one in which you learn that.

  5. Set activity goals with small rewards.
  6. Since the first call is the hardest, reward yourself with morning coffee after you’ve made five of them. Or, make five calls immediately after getting an appointment, while you are “on a roll” emotionally. Success breeds confidence.

  7. Feel good about what you are selling.
  8. Prospects can immediately sense your level of confidence in yourself and your product or service. Trust is extremely essential, and prospects won’t trust you unless you feel trustworthy yourself. Another way to build confidence is to work hard at becoming an expert in the industries you are selling to. That will speak volumes on your behalf, just in your manner and tone of voice.

  9. Choose prospects or companies that you feel good about calling.
  10. To break the ice, “cherry-pick” the most likely prospects on your cold call sales list and call them first. Learn something about them before calling, and use this knowledge in your call. Work in specialties that you feel passionate about so you are excited about speaking to your prospects.

  11. Expect rejection.
  12. That way, you won’t be shocked and deflated when it occurs. A certain amount of rejection comes with the territory. Learn to accept it and don’t let it throw you.

  13. Prospect in a way that meshes with your personality and values.
  14. Scripts are important, but not if they make you feel like a used car salesman. Let your own personality shine through. Don’t be a robot.

  15. Have a partner or coach.
  16. Team up with a co-worker or friend who will hold you accountable for your cold call sales. Check in with this partner regularly to report what went well or didn’t pan out. A more experienced associate may also be willing to mentor you or to coach you on technique.

  17. Review your goals daily.
  18. And don’t set them too low. When you have a big reason “why” you are doing anything, then the “how” becomes much easier. Take a moment each day to feel the positive feelings of these goals coming to fruition.

Based on material from Gary Stauble at

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