I remember how hard it was to make those initial calls early in my career. I used to sit there staring at the phone. I’d pick it up and think, ‘No way, I can’t call. He won’t want to speak to me. I’ll feel an idiot.’ So I’d put the phone down again.

Most salespeople have been in that position. The solution is to think about the value you offer the customer. Once you realise that the customer gets the most benefit from the transaction, you get enthused and your reluctance to call disappears. Imagine that your customer desperately needs your product or service. He is hoping that you’ll call, even if he seems reluctant at first. Your mindset needs to be that you’ve got good news.

Here’s how to do it

The most successful financial services salesperson of all time was Ben Feldman. At his peak Ben personally outsold 1,500 of the industry’s top 1,800 companies each year. When prospecting for business, he knew the importance of a positive mindset. Before a call he told himself, This client is desperately underinsured. Thank goodness I’ve called.’

Follow Ben’s advice. Before you pick up the phone, visualise the customer eagerly awaiting your call. After you introduce yourself, picture the customer responding, ‘Where have you been? I need to talk to you.’

And remember, the most efficient use of phone calling time is to follow up prospective customers you have already contacted.

Recall past success

On sales training courses we often ask participants – if a new salesperson came up to you and asked when the very best time is to make a sale, how would you reply?

The answer, of course, is just after you’ve made one. After a sale we’re on a high, we’re on a roll, we’re in a selling mode. We can’t wait to get out there and do it again. We are energised because of our achievement. So before any sales call, pause and think of the last time you sold well. Think of a prospecting activity that went well. Replay it in your mind’s eye.

Whatever we think about grows stronger. Salespeople who before a call remember a previous time when it didn’t go well are setting themselves up for more of the same.

Recalling past success is an excellent way of enhancing your self-confidence and beating the fear of rejection.

LDL leadership and sales training includes both skill and will methodologies.

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