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Posted: August 18, 2011

I hate cold calling!

Thanks to lessons from Mom and Dad....

Gary Harvey

Don't talk to strangers!
Don't rock the boat!
Don't ask so many questions!
Don't speak unless spoken to!

What do these statements have to do with sales and cold calling? Ever pick up the phone to make a cold call, and you freeze? The phone just became a 500-lb. object. Or call a referral and you don't know what to say? Believe it or not some of the problems you may have might be as a result of the above statements.

The various "don't " statements you've read are what psychologists call tapes or scripts. Others may refer to it as you records or programs. We all have pre-recorded tapes or scripts that were recorded generally from birth to age six. Some are what I call "our self-limiting beliefs/head trash. These tapes can never be erased. They're with us forever.

We can, however, learn to recognize they exist, how to deal with them and then learn how to program new tapes. The above statements are tapes that often subconsciously prevent us from doing the tasks we need to do in order to perform successfully in sales.

Think about it for a minute. Mom and Dad most likely told us at least one if not all of thse: "Don't talk to strangers, don't rock the boat, don't ask so many questions, etc." Then one day we leave Mom and Dad and go out into the world of business and secure a job, maybe in sales.

Sounds great? Why some of the highest paid professionals are salespeople. You say to yourself, " I'm a nice person, people like me. I bet anyone would buy from me. I'm honest". Then reality sets in. In order to be successful I have to do what?

Talk to strangers!
Ask lots of questions!
Maybe rock the boat!

Sounds like this goes against what? Our tapes. Our scripts, So every time we cold call and have to pick up the phone we hear who talking to us? Mom and Dad! Now this is not intended to be a rap on Mom and Dad. Don't forget, Mom and Dad in all likelihood grew up with the same tapes. They don't know any different. They think they were protecting you and they most likely were. However this tape can hold us back in sales depending on how strong the tape has been recorded.

Let me give you an example. I have a friend name Lynn. Lynn started a new business. Of course she was very excited, as she should be, and called home to tell her Mom. "Mom, guess what, I've started a business!"
"Great," Mom said, "how will you get your new clients honey?"
"By cold calling," Lynn said. In which mom replied,
"Oh you're going to be one of them!" her mother replied.
Guess who Lynn "really" heard at the other end of the phone every time she picked it up to cold call? That's right, "judgmental" Mom! Oh, you're going to be one of them! Her pre-recorded tapes kicked in. It created paralysis. "Don't talk to strangers," "don't rock the boat," "don't ask so many questions."

Lynn was now in a subconscious battle with her tapes. What occurs in all people is what is referred to as "self-talk." All of us have self-talk occurring throughout the day. Some is positive, some is negative. Studies have shown that most self-talk is subconscious and 78% of all self-talk is negative.

Part of my sales training involves coaching and when I coach my clients I sometimes hear the word "can't." I "can't" do this or I "can't" do that. I in return reply, I know you "can" is it that you "won't?" The "won't" is often the subconscious psychological barrier (tape) that most of us aren't even aware of. We usually blame ourselves.
"I'm no good!"
"I'm useless!"
"I'm a wimp!"
Which by the way is more negative self-talk (tapes) being reinforced.

Next time you pick up the phone to make those cold calls remember, Mom and Dad loved you, but the prospect is not your Mom and Dad. You "don't" have to turn on the tapes if you consciously are aware they exist. Consciously be aware negative tapes do exist, however you have the choice to listen or not. It's often not a "can't" but "won't" issue. You won't do some of the things necessary to succeed for reasons you're often not at first aware of. Our belief in our sales training is "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it!" Choose to listen to what tapes help, turn off those that don't.

Easier said then done, right? Sure, but if we first don't recognize what holds us back in sales, how can we begin to be successful? Listen to your self-talk and determine is it positive or negative.
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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 was recently awarded the David H. Sandler Award by Sandler Training, the highest award by Sandler Training given to the top Sandler trainer worldwide. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary@achievemoresales.com .

 

 

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

Gary, excellent article, you should have been a psychologist! Everything you said is correct in the world of psychology and I'd like to add a piece of good news. What you refer to as tapes, scrips and subconscious beliefs, I'll refer to as subconscious beliefs. To your points, these subconscious beliefs what really drive our thoughts and actions. Our subconscious mind processes information at a rate 500 times that of the conscious mind. Here is the added good news. There are techniques that have been developed in psychology that can quickly identify limiting subconscious beliefs and rapidly reprogram them. Techniques like affirmations, visualizations help, but are very very slow in creating a permanent belief system reprogramming. If someone wants to permanently and rapidly change a subconscious or even conscious limiting belief, work with someone who specializes in this work. Thanks for bringing the concept of subconscious limiting beliefs to the awareness of sales people, limiting beliefs create heavy phones and glass walls ... By TC North on 2011 08 31
Brilliant stuff. Read another recent article on ColoradoBiz with the same sentiments that received a few protesting comments. Glad to read your very perceptive insights examining people's difficulties with cold calling. By Stephen Koenigsberg on 2011 08 18

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