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Posted: January 12, 2012

Conquering cold-call reluctance

Just follow the Harvey rule

Gary Harvey

In today's world of cold-calling regulations, there are ways to make your cold calls non-traditional and thus more successful. In my sales training classes, we use "Pattern Interrupt," meaning we interrupt the pattern the prospect is accustom to.

First, however, it makes sense to deal with what I call "Cold Call Reluctance," an emotional state in which your enthusiasm for what you're doing is very low -  maybe even so low that you will not make any cold calls.

The Harvey rule: You don't have to like cold calls; you only have to make them.

Here are some common excuses for not making cold calls:

 I'm afraid they'll hang up on me.
 I'm afraid they'll be rude to me.
 I don't feel good.
 I'm tired,
 I'm not sure I'll be able to get my words out.
 I'm tired of talking to strangers.
 I just need more time to get this figured out.
 I'll do it tomorrow.
 I'm so sick of getting doors slammed in my face.
 I'll get put on hold and be left there to rot.
 I hate dealing with secretaries.
 They all hate me.
 They think I have nothing to offer.
 I am busy pursuing business.
 I am too busy selling.
 I don't have a good list.
 The company should give me leads.
 This is a bad time of year.
 Now the new one-regulations don't allow me to make the call!!!!

Now, some do's and don't's:

DO: Start the call in a way that the prospect doesn't expect

 Ask, I'm not sure you and I need to be speaking today. Would it be okay if take 30 seconds and tell you why I called and then let you decide if we should continue?

DON'T: Start the call with gratuitous or insincere questions or remarks they hear all the time

 How are you today?
 It's a pleasure to talk to you.
 It's certainly a privilege and honor to talk to you.

DO: Ask questions and welcome the prospect's questions and comments

 Is that a challenge your company faces?
 Is that something you'd like to know more about?

DON'T: Monopolize the conversation

 I'd like to tell you about...
 ...and something else I'm sure you'd be interested in is.....

DO: Measure the prospect's interest and needs

 Would it make sense for us to find out if there is a fit?
 Would there be any value in determining...?

DON'T: Attempt to sell

 This special opportunity is only available until...
 You don't want to miss a chance to...

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Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary@achievemoresales.com.

 

 

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Readers Respond

Right on, Gary. Usually when an article on cold calling is written many of the comments that follow express resistance, even from successful business folks. As a PR professional I speak to people almost everyday for the first time. It's actually fun and people appreciate when you have something for them that makes their job or life easier. It's been said before but bears repeating: "There are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet." By Stephen Koenigsberg on 2012 01 12

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