Do you suffer from phone-a-phobia?

Fear of the phone is costing you

Every day, professionals tell me how much they hate the phone. They would rather spend time tapping out an email than pick up the phone and get an immediate answer. They say that phone calls eat away at their time and interrupt their workflow.

I believe it is an excuse ― an excuse used to avoid the dreaded human-to-human communication. This behavior is costly and holding people back from success.

Professionals of all ages tell me they have an aversion to the phone. Just hearing the phone ring causes a mini panic attack. Punching in a number on their phone gives them heart palpitations. Some pray for voice mail and then have to psych themselves up to return a call.

Now people play on the phone, navigate with their phone, text on the phone, send photos on the phone, order food on the phone. They use the phone for everything other than what it was originally designed for—talking.

 What’s behind this? It could be fear of not knowing what to say to sound credible or fear of babbling and saying something foolish. Self-doubt is running the show. It’s not the phone they fear ― it’s their ability to sound professional and effectively communicate.

Professionals say that emailing and texting is easier. Messaging through social media is faster. These activities actually slow down the sales process, creating noise instead of opportunities. Emailing and texting are fantastic for a lot of things, but building trust is not one of them.

All new business opportunities will involve a phone call. In a perfect world, your phone would ring off the hook with new clients who want to buy what you sell. The reality is that if you want to increase business, you need to go after the business. Picking up the phone is an effective approach.

Done correctly, picking up the darn phone and taking to another human is very effective. Done ineffectively with the wrong approach, will be a waste of time, money and energy.

An effective call is about having an initial conversation to see if there is a fit. It’s not about pushing your products or your company. Starting any call talking about yourself, your products or how you can help will never capture someone’s attention nor advance the conversation.

When professionals finally muster up the courage to pick up the phone, they start their calls with “My name is….I’m with…. we specialize in and we can help you with…”!

With so much to accomplish in so little time, the first words out of your mouth are critical. You only have a few seconds to grab a person’s attention and make an impression. Why waste time with a lame opening about you and your company? Borrr-ing! Typical and expected! The call is over before it even starts. No wonder you hate the phone.

Want to significantly increase your success when picking up the phone? Stop using the same, old, tired, weak and overused opening statements. This approach instantly sends a signal to the caller that you haven’t revamped your approach in a few decades.

Avoid openings such as: "Could I have a few minutes of your time? "Is this a good time to talk? "How are you doing today?" "Can I speak to the person in charge of…?” or "I was wondering if you would be interested in …?” That approach forces the person you’re calling to pull the trigger on one of their standard responses, “Thanks but no thanks, we’re happy with who we’re using or we’re not interested.”

In case you have not noticed by your results, using that approach no longer works!

Avoid picking up the phone and launching into an immediate sales pitch. Don’t give a commercial about your company or start talking about all the great benefits your company offers. Your prospects are craving genuine communication. A fresh approach is a call that is different from everyone else’s!

Phone-a-phobia is dangerous! It not only affects your ability to develop new opportunities, it also adversely influences how you interact with current prospects. If you want to close more sales in your business, you need to step away from technology, roll up your sleeves, and get back to what really works: talking to people on the phone and saying something relevant and interesting! People and relationships close sales.

Categories: Sales & Marketing, Web Exclusives