How to Cold Call Without the Stress

Every sales person who has ever used cold calling as a tactic knows how nerve-wracking the whole process can be. If you’re not sweating before you even pick up the phone, you will be by the time you’re talking to your intended customer – that’s if you’re not hung up on before you even get your name out. It never gets better either. No matter how long you’ve been selling for, you’ll always dread picking up that phone and dialing in a number of someone you know will likely be unwelcoming.

There are some tricks to making it easier though – the first of these is to not think of them as ‘cold calls’, but instead, think of them as though you were calling a friend to tell them about a great deal you’ve just heard about. Thinking like this will help get you into a better state of mind that will help you feel more relaxed and sound more honest. Here are a few more strategies to help you cold call without the stress:

Speak Using Shorter Sentences
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a cold caller who starts off with an eight-minute long spiel about their product, company and why they are calling, you’ll know how off-putting that can be. Research has shown that people can only retain approximately 20 to 30 seconds on new information at a time, which means that during a long spiel, most of what you say is lost to memory.

Because of this, it’s best to keep your information short and sweet. Write out a new spiel that incorporates only the most important facts and explains who you are in a concise, easy to understand manner, leaving out industry jargon and buzz words. If your potential customer starts asking questions (which is great because it indicates they are interested), be sure to answer in a clear, honest manner. If you don’t know the answer to something they ask, tell them you don’t know, and perhaps consult a colleague or superior to find out.

Smile!
This may sound silly, but if you smile while you speak, there are a number of benefits in doing so. First, smiling changes the tone of our voice, making it perceptible to the person listening that we are smiling. Amazing, right? Not only can the listener hear that we are smiling though – studies have shown they can actually tell whether the smile is genuine or not! Of course, we all know smiling is contagious, and the same applies to an ‘audible’ smile. If you can get your potential customer to start smiling too, they will also relax and produce some of those wonderful feel-good chemicals in their brain, which will make them much more receptive to whatever you’re trying to sell.

Second, smiling has also been shown to reduce stress and lower heart rate. The bonus in this one is that it doesn’t even matter if it’s a real smile or not – the effect occurs anyway. So, smile and you’ll feel better, while making your potential customers feel better too :-)

Stretch it out and stand tall
Similar to the above tip, your body language is also perceptible through the phone line. Standing or sitting up tall and straight increases your lung capacity and the tone of your voice. Standing in a power position for at least two minutes has also been shown to increase testosterone and decrease cortisone, which translates to increased confidence and decreased stress. Similarly, stretching every ten to 15 minutes will also decrease cortisone levels and improve blood flow, which means less stress, a clearer head and more energy.

Learn to accept a no, then embrace it
If you find it difficult to accept rejection, sales might be the wrong field for you because you’re going to experience rejection a lot. There is a difference between accepting rejection and embracing it though. To accept rejection, you just don’t let it bother you – you let it roll off your back like water off a duck. To embrace rejection on the other hand, is to learn from it. For example, if you are experiencing a high number of rejections, can you change your approach to improve your sales results? Could you call at a different time? It’s also not a bad idea to ask your rejecters why they have decided to say no to your proposition.

Another idea is to use any rejections as a motivator. Instead of looking at them as a negative, try to tally them up at the end of each day (rather than tallying up just the successful sales). By doing so, you’ll feel more motivated when you start to see the number of unsuccessful sales dropping, after implementing new tactics.

Finally, you could also make it fun by setting a ‘rejection goal’ for each day. Challenge yourself to reach a certain number of rejections each day – say 20 per day, decreasing as time goes on – then instead of punishing yourself when you reach this goal, reward yourself! It sounds crazy, but you’ll likely surprise yourself and will actually have trouble reaching your ‘rejection goal’ for each day, but putting a positive spin on something that’s traditionally viewed as a negative will improve your overall mood, reduce stress and make work more fun, which in turn will improve your sales abilities.

The CFS Team
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