As a sales representative, how can I conquer cold calling anxiety?
I have experience in cold calling and door to door sales. For that reason, I can feel your anxiety. Well, that’s obvious too. As a sales rep, to justify your job, you need good sales figures on your side. But in reality, you know that it’s not as easy as the team leader thinks. Don’t worry! I am here to help you with that.
First, to lighten things up a little, have you considered imagining the customer doing something funny? I’ve done this before and it’s worked surprisingly well, taking my mind off the endless speculation that I am bothering someone, or the person will get angry and tell me off, etc. For instance, I once heard several dogs barking in the background of an angry customer’s phone, and imagined the man dressed up in a dog costume, mad that I had interrupted his dog costume time. I actually made that sale, by the way, because I didn’t crack or bend to his tone.
But let’s move into something a little more solid.
Whether you take it positively or negatively, the key element with cold calling is you do not have prior contact with the customer. I take that positively as in such a situation, you can experiment more.
No previous contact with the customer is more challenging, for sure. You have to inform the customer about the product, convince him to purchase, and finally sell the product and handle any logistics. But you know it’s rarely that simple. The reality behind all those steps is the rude behavior of customers, frequent ‘no’s to everything you propose, and a general lack of interest, to list a few here.
Most companies allocate a target to the sales reps who do cold calling. That’s probably your case too. A sales representative has just two options, either meet that target, be it daily, weekly, or monthly, or say goodbye. The saddest thing in the sales profession is frequent goodbyes or regular reminders that you aren’t making enough sales.
If you have anxiety regarding cold calling, I have some suggestions to conquer that problem. To be clear, it’s not an instant fix. This is a personal matter, so it will take your time and dedication, nothing crazy, but still it’s going to require active involvement. Stick with it and you will start seeing a positive change, which will get you over the hump and involve you more in the techniques I describe, and finally, you would be the conqueror of sales.
I’ve helped salespeople in multiple mediums and niches before. I will not take credit for them succeeding, since all I really did was ask them questions and discuss their answers, and the rest they did for themselves afterward. I have covered one of the big things I’ve taught salespeople in a post: 5 Deep-Seated Customer Doubts That Kill Your Sales (And How to Erase Them).
In that post, I have discussed the five most common universal objections that customers have when you call them for making sales. If any sales rep knows the objections well in advance, then he won’t feel anxiety when a customer uses them. It’s the combination, knowing the objections and having a game plan for responding to them on the fly, that best helps a sales rep develop confidence over the phone. It’s a fact, if you have self-confidence in dealing with a problem that is obvious to arise, you would be worried less as you are already aware of that. Over time, if you are always facing the same small number of roadblocks every time, you would develop a better way of handling them, and soon your anxiety will be mostly or entirely gone.
In the end, I would just like to say that there is always a relaxing point after anxiety, provided you pass the anxious moments with hope and let yourself grow familiar with your biggest challenges and fears.
Please feel free to reply to me in case you need more information on any of the points, either in this answer or from that post.