How to Call Prospects Even When You Feel Afraid

Knowing how important a positive attitude is, the typical salesperson thinks positively all the way to work. She affirms that she is excited about all the prospecting calls she is going to make.

Having heard how powerful visualization is, she might even visualize herself making phone call after phone call and experiencing success.

If we were to take a peek at this same salesperson in her office just an hour later, we would hardly believe our eyes.

Instead of calling one prospect after another (as her attitude convinced us she would), we find her taking care of busy work on her desk instead.

If we could see the thoughts going through her head, they would sound similar to the following:

“You can't make that call now.” “You don't feel comfortable.” “Go get a cup of coffee and get ready for the call.” “Look at your desk. How do you expect to generate any more customers with your desk in such disarray? You need to get organized before you go collecting any more customers."

The Invisible But Critical Player in the Sales World

Perhaps you’re familiar with the story, The Third Man, by Graham Greene. To make a long story short, you never actually see the character that plays a very critical role until the very end.

Why do I mention this classic story? It reminds me of the sales process. The character or “third man” that portrays a critical role in the sales process is seldom ever mentioned simply because it too is not visible. However, the effects of this character are blatant and destructive.

So who is “the third man,” this critical player in the sales business? It’s sometimes referred to as an inner critic or an inner committee. In my book, Carpe Phonum… How to Seize the Phone and Call Your Prospects Even When You Lack Courage, I refer to it as the trouble thoughts.

You would be hard pressed to find a salesperson who isn’t familiar with those trouble thoughts that talk her out of making sales calls now and convince her to wait for a better time to call.

The definition of just what is a better time to call varies.

It can be when one won’t bother her prospect, when one won’t interrupt her prospect, when one is better rehearsed or better organized, when one has more courage, when one has more confidence, when it’s not so early, or when it’s not so late.

The Most Frightening Aspect

Perhaps the most frightening aspect in this entire scenario is that most salespeople believe they are all alone. They wouldn’t dare speak about their fear of prospecting because they think they are the only ones struggling with it.

Consequently, they believe there’s some secret they have yet to learn before they can make all those prospecting calls. So they keep waiting to learn the secret that will make all their prospecting fears go away.

Waiting for a better time to call prospects usually results in one of two things — never finding the right time to call, or waiting so long that the prospects end up doing business with someone else and no longer require the suggested product or service.

But overcoming the fear to seize the phone does not require a lengthy process. I compare the process to a baseball player going up to bat, and naturally having the goal to hit the ball, run to each of the bases, and finally cross over the home plate and score.

Hitting a Home Run in Sales

Getting to first base involves coming face to face with that critical player, that voice that talks you out of making all those calls. By recognizing that voice as the liar that it is, you discover you can move on to second base.

Moving to second base requires learning how to detach yourself from the persistent voice that nags and distracts but never points you in the right direction. By effectively dismantling the seeming hold that fear has on you, you easily move on to third base.

Getting your feet firmly planted on third base occurs when you see more to your business than the exchanging of goods and money. By opening your eyes to recognize the potential ongoing value you create and the good that unfolds simply by contacting others on the telephone, you learn the greater aspects and opportunities of your business.

Finally, getting to home plate is only accomplished when you take your foot off of third base. You must come to grips with the fact that the sales process is a continual cycle, that everyday requires you to walk out of the dugout of fear, to pick up a bat of immeasurable value, put yourself in the game and start playing.

Ultimately, by learning how to get that critical player inside your own head out of the way, your potential is truly unlimited.

Click here to  discover how you can seize the phone and call your prospects even when you lack courage!