READ TIME – 5 MINUTES
It’s real and it sucks.
In fact, 76% of millennials say they have anxious thoughts when their phone rings.
So if you can relate to this, you’re not alone.
But if there’s anything we’ve learnt as a Sales Recruitment Specialist, it’s the importance of being able to make powerful sales calls.
And despite LinkedIn and other message based platforms increasing in popularity, we at AvA-V will always pick up the phone when building meaningful and successful client relationships…
…and suggest you do so too!
We completely understand the convenience of direct messages and emails, and when the time is right, we take advantage of them too.
But they’re killing the personal interactions and relationship building potential that can be developed in sales.
And if anything, these platforms are actually making our Telephobia worse, as salespeople get a little too comfortable using their keyboard rather than their voice.
Now we’re not saying that you should be disregarding any method of communication.
It’s more that picking up the phone in sales should be at the forefront of your mind and not an after thought.
But why opt for the phone?
Phone calls have the potential to open up doors to a whole range of opportunities that would unlikely occur, or at least take a lot longer, if you were to rely on back and fourth messaging.
At AvA-V, we stand by the motto: Always call first, call again and then keep calling.
The phone creates an immediate connection, it differentiates yourself, it makes it more likely to reach the decision maker, it allows you to ask more questions… and gather more answers.
Just to name a few.
Make sure you’re not a part of this stat.
It’s time to pick up the phone.
Firstly, do your homework
If you’re going into a phone call blind with no preparation, you’re bound to have some form of telephone anxiety.
So it’s essential that you do your homework, bring value to the conversation and essentially contribute something different.
These business people are busy and you’ll only stop them if you give them a reason to do so.
Our AvA-V advice: Talk about what you currently know about the client, their business and their website.
Demonstrate your genuine interest with their company and once rapport is built, you can then go onto discussing how your offering can fit into and excel their organisation.
Find a routine that works
Hold yourself accountable by setting a side a specific time to prospect, whether that’s daily or weekly.
Calling clients will therefore become a part of your work routine, and trust us, eventually it will be a task that you look forward to.
Our AvA-V advice: Pick up the phone at a time that suits decision makers.
This tends to be between 7:30 and 9am and 4:30 to 6pm, when they’re starting or finishing work.
LinkedIn shouldn’t be the cake, it should be the cherry on top of the cake.
It’s an extremely powerful platform that can help you find business professionals, their background and what they’ve been up to.
Aka… great conversation starters.
When you connect with someone new, instead of messaging them, call them and refer to your new relationship.
Use their profile as a topic of conversation. Did you study the same degree? Elaborate on the article they just shared, explain how you’re interested in their career history.
Or even better, after they’ve just posted – pick up the phone.
Tell them how their post intrigued you and prompted you to reach out.
Starting the phone call by discussing something you already know they have an interest in will help you stand out; rather than going straight into the call like a sales pitch.
Trust us, they’ll be impressed.
Practice makes perfect
If you want to be good at anything in life; practice makes perfect.
The more you’re picking up the phone in sales, the more you will discover what works well and what maybe doesn’t.
It’s completely understandable if you face Telephobia throughout your sales career but with practice it will become second nature to you.
Our AvA-V Advice: Mock cold calls with your colleagues.
Learn collaboratively and have other members of your sales team pretend to be a prospect.
Make a note of what went well and what you could work on and then take this with you when you go to do the real thing.
Bookworms, check these out...
Knowledge is power… so let’s keep reading!
These books offer a wide range of advice on how to conquer call reluctance and will get you picking up the phone in sales.
How I Conquered Call Reluctance, Fear of Self-Promotion, & Increased My Prospecting! by Sidney C. Walker
From Hello To Yes In 3 Minutes Or Less: How to Overcome Call Reluctance, Know Exactly What to Say, and Avoid Rejection When Using the Telephone as a Network Marketing Professional by Paul G Walmsley
Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling by Art Sobczak
Cold calling is far from dead, as some people may believe it to be.
Picking up the phone in sales will always be a powerful method to build instant and valuable relationships.
So whilst other salespeople are getting lost in LinkedIn DM’s, make your approach stand out and go reach them decision makers…