How to Build Confidence and Watch Your Cold Calling Success Rate Skyrocket
Cold calling is easy. It’s the stuff leading up to it that’s tough.
In 2018, a California-based sales training company released the results of a study that reported 53% of sales professionals (that’s more than half!) give up too easily when cold calling. Another 48% of sales professionals admitted they are afraid to pick up the phone and make cold calls.
Weldon Wong, writing for the Harvard Business Review, explains that one source of a cold caller’s fear is the fear of failure. The fear is attributed to “a limiting belief that we simply won’t be successful at it, which creates anxiety and leads to a destructive self-fulfilling prophecy.” Essentially, the trepidation about making cold calls sets into motion a biological reaction that produces a feedback loop. The loop virtually guarantees that a person who is afraid to fail will, in fact, fail.
To stop the feedback loop, you first have to stop the fear of failing—you must build up your confidence.
Strategies for building your confidence
During this week’s Silver Dollar episode, Luke mentions that sales professionals with drive tend to be more successful. But why?
According to Chris Croner, Ph.D., it’s because many sales professionals with drive have “the Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism required for long-term success.” In particular, Croner says, Optimism is critical because (as you know) when you’re in sales you must be able to endure a lot of rejection. And while you can teach someone winning cold call strategies and how to handle and respond to rejection, you can’t teach people drive or have them practice optimism.
This is all wonderful news for the sales professional with drive, but what about the rest of us?
Following are some tips from Luke and Josh, plus a few more suggested by research, about how to build your confidence and become a cold-calling machine.
*** WARNING ***
There is no short-cut to confidence . . . you MUST do the work.
Review past success and visualize future success
Take some time to reflect on those calls you’ve made when you did succeed. Recall everything you can about those interactions. Remember how you were feeling; think about the authority you projected in your voice; relive the conversation with the prospect; and dwell on the fact that you closed the deal!
These instances are proof positive that you can be a successful cold caller because you ARE a successful cold caller.
What if you’re facing your first call? What if you’re new to sales?
First, remember that every successful sales professional was, at one time, new to sales and had yet to make their first call.
Instead of reflecting on past calls, reflect on other successes you’ve had. It doesn’t matter how small you might think they are or in what area of your life they occurred. Remember them with the detail discussed above. The point is to remind yourself that you have succeeded in the past, that you’ve overcome obstacles and fears before, and that you managed to come out the other side a winner.
There is no reason why you won’t succeed at cold calling.
Know your stuff
Marc and Angel Chernoff are bestselling authors and professional coaches. They’ve been recognized by Forbes as having “one of the most popular personal development blogs.”
What Marc writes in one blog is worth quoting at length:
“When combined, both knowledge and confidence directly fuel the promise of their counterpart, creating an unstoppable force of human potential.” (emphasis added)
A little further on he writes:
- Knowledge without Confidence – Confidence is the vehicle for practical application. Without it[,] most knowledge will remain at rest, never seeing the full potential of real-world value. Knowledge without confidence is like a healthy set of lungs without air.
- Confidence without Knowledge – Knowledge is the product of reason. How can someone possibly be confident in something they don’t understand? The answer is that confidence can also be driven by ignorance, although in this form it will eventually lead to failure. Without the backend support of knowledge, confidence is nothing more than misguided verve. Confidence without knowledge is like a sports car with a lawnmower engine.
Knowledge will build your self-esteem. For the cold caller to build confidence, you need to know all you can about the product/service you represent, the company or person you are calling, who the decision-maker is, and how to contact them. Consider all the possible objections and have a plan.
Practice, practice, practice (and then practice some more)
If you’ve been in sales any length of time, and surely if you’ve been tasked with placing cold calls, then you’ve encountered a script. And you’ve likely been told to memorize and use it.
Knowledge of what to say during a cold call can inspire confidence. But for someone who excels at writing sales scripts for real estate agents, even Kevin Ward will be the first to tell you that the best script is still only a tool.
In episode 195, Ward discusses how he encourages the agents he coaches to develop a mindset where they accept that training and practicing is the real work—if they want to learn how to be successful in real estate (or any other sales profession for that matter), they need to stop thinking that practice is an optional activity.
“Pros,” he says, “train based on their commitment to becoming the best. Amateurs train when they feel like it.”
Their training isn’t about memorizing or mimicking; it’s about engaging in role-play, using the script over and over again, until it becomes a part of them, and they no longer have to think about it.
Practice cold calling with other sales professionals. Practice with family, friends, and colleagues. Listen and watch other successful cold callers and learn from them.
Believe in the value of your product or service
Luke insists that when you truly believe in the value of what you are selling, and that it will help a prospect achieve a desire or put an end to a problem, you will no longer worry about “bothering” or “interrupting” people. Your voice will exude authority and enthusiasm, and confidence will not be an issue. But you’ve got to believe.
When you believe to this degree and your prospect is still resisting, it’s because they haven’t seen the value in what you are offering. From Luke’s perspective, when a prospect says no, they are saying no to your particular product or service and not to the value it represents. You simply need to be able to explain its value—which should lead you back to your script and your knowledge.
Listen to this week’s episode because Luke and Josh offer additional tips for cold calling to help ensure the rubber hits the road—tips like calling from a local number (area code local three-digit central office or exchange code), double dialing, and pairing cold calling with marketing on social media.
But it all starts with having confidence in yourself, your skills as a professional, and your product/service.
And when you hear no (because you will), remember N-O stands for Next Opportunity.
- The level of confidence you portray to a prospect will make or break your success as a cold caller.
- The real objection in any sales situation is that the prospect doesn’t see the value in what you are offering.
- Those who combine cold calling with their social media marketing outperform those who don’t by 78%.
Take the advice offered here and start cold calling your prospects today.
Connect | Resources
Visit www.remindermedia.com/coldcall to get FREE videos, ebooks, scripts, and additional podcasts to help build your cold calling skills.