New reps come in with one of two mindsets. Either “let’s do this, I’m ready to dial and smile,” or “what if they hang up on me or even worse, say no?” The potential of rejection for novice sales representatives can be debilitating. It’s management’s job to help new hires tackle their cold calling fears.
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What Fuels Cold Calling Fears
Let’s examine what drives cold calling anxieties so we can put them into perspective. First of all, fear is an emotion. It’s what puts people in a state of “fight or flight.” Humans experience fear when they lack control, are facing uncertainty, or are confronted with other dangers.
What stirs up this negative emotion about cold calling? The lack of control and uncertainty of whether the conversation will go as the caller would like it to. The prospect may not be interested in purchasing your product or service, a possibility your sales team needs to come to terms with. Below I’m listing eight ways to support your team in overcoming their cold calling fears.
1. Have a Positive Mindset
Rejection is inevitable, and it happens to us all. Those who succeed do not dwell on their rejections. No, they revel in their successes. Highlighting your teams’ wins and achievements will inspire your new reps to excel in their career as a sales professional. Concentrating on the impact of the product they sell allows salespeople to get excited about the value that they’re offering.
2. How Many Calls, Not How Many Sales
Another factor reminder for your sales team is that it takes an average of eight attempts to reach a prospect. Having this statistic in the back of their mind may help them to steer away from discouragement. It lets them know they’re not the only one dealing with the challenge of getting through to people.
Shifting the focus to an activity that your rep can control, as opposed to one that they can’t, alleviates some of the pressure. Consider pinning goals to total call attempts instead of the number of deals closed.
3. Focus on the Fit
Rather than obsessing over making the sale, encourage your reps to confirm product fit. Is the product or service the right fit for this prospect? Having a “does it fit” mentality puts sales professionals in a better mental state.
When focusing on the product’s or service’s usefulness for a specific contact, a salesperson may not feel as desperate to make the sale. His or her mind is focused on helping versus selling. People want to know that they’re making the right decision when purchasing products and services.
Your sales reps can help potential customers evaluate the product by asking the right questions and explaining the value. Provide employees with case studies to help them better understand the value offered.
4. Review Calls and Provide Advice
By taking the time to listen to previous calls and providing new reps with feedback, management can gauge training needs. Call recording and review also provides an excellent opportunity for giving advice to team members on how they can improve. Most new reps will welcome insights from a more experienced colleague, be it management or even a peer who has been on the job longer.
Another way to help new sales reps overcome their fears is to shadow their calls. VanillaSoft offers a feature that allows you to listen in on a conversation. There’s even the option to whisper and talk to your sales rep directly while they’re on the call. Though this could be intimidating to a new sales professional, let them know that you’re doing it to assist them and provide any guidance they may need, not to criticize them.
5. Maintain a Regular Training Schedule
A sense of preparedness brings self-confidence to any task. Provide your new reps with a regular training program during their first few months on the job. You can offer training on topics like how to explain product value to prospects, the science of proper follow-up, and how to handle objections. Incorporating sales call role-playing into their training will be beneficial too.
6. Use Incentives as Motivators
Another way to overcome fear is to tackle it head on. The livelihood of call center sales representatives is often tied to meeting sales quotas. Incentives and bonuses can encourage them to make more calls. More calls lead to more chances of making a sale, it also means the rep will likely begin to overcome their cold calling fears.
7. Start with the Easy Leads
Don’t give your best leads to new hires. Save those for more experienced callers. Give your new reps leads that will not cause devastation if they mess them up. If there’s a buyer profile that is likely to close, give your newbies a few of those leads. A few easy wins will boost their confidence and get them ready to engage with bigger prospects.
8. Invest in Technology
There are several tools available to help build up the confidence of new reps. Here are some additional solutions that can give your salespeople more support and confidence with every call:
- Logical branch scripting to guide the agent through the conversation based on responses from the prospect.
- Queue-based lead routing coupled with auto dialing to ensure the more complex leads route to the experienced representatives.
- Templates to help eliminate the stress and time of writing up emails or text messages for follow-ups.
These valuable features can simplify the work of both experienced and new sales reps.
Helping your new team members to overcome their fear of rejection and boosting their self-confidence will have lasting effects. The rep and your company will see greater successes and growth. How do you help your team get over their cold calling fears?