Does anyone really like making sales calls? Well, yes, actually. Some people do. But many don't.
I fall into the latter category, although I have learned to leverage my discomfort into success. And, as they say, if I can do it, so can you.
You face two choices when it comes to making sales calls. The first is to give yourself a pep talk, a la Stuart Smalley: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me when I call them on the phone.” Good luck with that.
The other option is to break the task down into manageable and easily won mini-challenges. Here’s how:
Prepping for phone calls:
1. Embrace your discomfort. Don’t deny the discomfort you feel. Instead, fully embrace it!
The sense of victory in overcoming your discomfort lies not in trying to pretend it’s not there. The power lies in taking action despite of, and even because of, your discomfort.
So, the very presence of discomfort can terrify us into inaction (time to check Facebook!) or propel us to new levels of performance. Discomfort it always an opportunity for growth.
Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. There is no growth without discomfort.
2. Choose your attitude. You choose your own attitude -- always. To quote psychologist Victor Frankl from his monumental book, Man’s Search for Meaning, “Everything can be taken from a man except for the last of the human freedoms -- the ability to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
You can choose an attitude of triumph before you begin making calls. Give the bad attitude of discomfort a face -- and then hit that face with a brick!
During phone calls:
1. Set mini-goals by grouping calls. Break up the calls you need to make into groups and give yourself small rewards for each group of calls you complete.
After 10 dials or three conversations (whichever comes first), do something such as buy a cup of coffee, or handle a pleasant task. Creating mini goals provides more than incentives -- they provide milestones for tracking and measuring progress.
2. Make several consecutive calls within each group. When you identify a group of calls to make, determine in advance to power through a block of them back to back before taking that well-deserved coffee break.
This enables you to build momentum. When you finish call number one, you must immediately begin dialing call number two. The prep time that many people take between calls kills momentum.
Prep for all of your calls before you begin, then put your head down and power through. You’ll amaze yourself how quickly you get through all the calls if you just don’t stop.
After phone calls:
1. Take a victory lap. Before you go on to the next task at hand, take a moment to revel in your victory. Feel it, and feel it strongly.
Enjoy the fact that you completed a dreaded task and embrace the feeling of accomplishment. Too often we don’t stop to smell the roses of our small successes. Take the time to recognize all progress. Soak it in, my friend -- you earned it!
2. Prepare for your next group of phone calls. With one group of calls completed, you will feel confident. You know you can do this, because you just did.
Now, positively and intentionally decide to make that next round of calls, either later in the day or some time in the coming week. Make the mental decision to embrace the discomfort before it comes back around. This is “playing from strength” and it will change your world.
Who knows, maybe if you embrace discomfort and play from strength long enough, you will join the ranks of those who actually enjoy making sales calls. It could happen.
Related: 8 Tips for a Successful Sales Call