We’ve all done it haven’t we? We need to call a prospect to see if they want our services, close a deal, or try to get a meeting to discuss the next steps. With piles of work to do, there is always something more pressing to do than making that call. If only we had confidence on the phone to effortless call up our prospects and know what to say to get the conversation started? In this blog post, Ashley Leeds shares his top tricks to get over the procrastination and move forward and make those calls?
Block out your diary
First off is to have a set time to do this work. Simple, but effective. Set aside a period of time in your diary to make calls. Block out some chunks of time in your diary at the start of the week to make those calls. No ifs, or buts and definitely no interruptions. Block it out. If it helps to give you confidence on the phone, tell someone else in the office to check up on you and make sure nobody interrupts you when you have the sessions. By having the accountability from a colleague you’ll be more motivated to make the calls. Even better, if another colleague is also struggling, block off the same time and add a bit of competition, there’s nothing like achieving a goal if you are competing.
Confidence on the phone: What are you scared of?
I have been working with my daughter recently to help her gain confidence on the phone to make some business calls; it’s all about dispelling the fear of the call. I said to her “What’s the worst thing that can happen when you make the call”? She was worried that the person on the end of the phone would be rude and think that she was stupid. A fair comment to make, but like I said, “are you really going to let someone spoil your day if they think you are stupid?”, not that this is going to happen.
If you think of what is the worst thing that can happen, it is not going to be life-threatening or render your business useless. Plus, as they are at the end of the phone you may not see them anyway, so what does it really matter? Pick up the phone.
Easier said than done?
You need to have the desired outcome in mind when you want to have the confidence on the phone to make a call. For my daughter it was for them to look at her artwork. For you, it could be a meeting to visit a prospect to discuss using your services. You need to know why you are phoning before you pick up the phone and also have an idea of what you are going to say. You may want to work from a script, or even a flowchart initially to help you cover everything that you want to say. If you are going to do this, make rough notes, not word for word scripts, because it will come across that you are reading from a script and sound very wrong!
Practice makes perfect.
Why not dial a colleague or family member to practice your calling techniques? A little role play never hurts and can help you overcome your nerves and get you into the zone. Reverse the call too so that you can be on the receiving end of the call too and see what is happening and get a feeling of being in the position of your prospect.
Research the business that you are phoning.
You also need to know who you are phoning and understand what you can do to help them. Have you researched them? If you are going to be calling say a local restaurant, do you know the restaurant? Who their customers are, what their issues are going to be? With some serious research under your belt, you will know some of the answers and also have a clearer view of why you are phoning and what you’ll be saying.