Last month I outlined the 12 types of call reluctance as well as some of the causes and costs associated with this problem. It’s important to remember that call reluctance is an “inner roadblock” so the cure will be different for each person. Here are a few ideas that will help you or your staff to get out of procrastination and into action.
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- Relax, you’re not weird: Almost every successful recruiter experiences some degree of call reluctance, so don’t get down on yourself. Realize that call reluctance is similar to self-confidence in that it fluctuates. No one is self-confident all of the time. Call reluctance may come and go in varying degrees and some of this is normal. Making sales calls takes pro-active effort on your part and forces you out of your comfort zone. Look at your situation objectively, admit where you are and make a commitment to improve.
- Change Your Objective: If your objective on each marketing call is to secure a new search assignment, then you are going to experience a high degree of perceived failure. In reality this rarely happens in one call. However, if your objective is to discover the truth as to whether there is an opportunity to be of service for this client, either now or in the future, then you will associate success to many more calls. So if you discover that the prospect has no need for your service at this time, you can consider this a successful call because you were able to get to the truth. Remember, success breeds confidence.
- Have clear activity objectives with small rewards: The first call is always the hardest so you may want to set up small rewards to get going early. The best time to do marketing calls is first thing in the morning before you get distracted. Small rewards could include, “I get my morning coffee after my first 5 presentations.” I read the paper after 10 connects.” Etc.
- Fully believe in what you are selling: In order to be effective you need to be 110% sold on what you are selling. You need to be very sure of your service’s quality and value before you begin to call your prospects. When you call or call on a prospect, he or she can immediately sense your level of confidence in yourself and your service. Trust is extremely essential in this step. You cannot expect others to trust you if you do not feel trustworthy. If you have a problem with a lack of pride in your service, try and build pride by becoming an industry and business expert. Be able to outline your search process in a set number of steps and articulate it from memory.
- Choose prospects or companies that you feel good about calling: If you are experiencing call reluctance, be sure to follow this step in your attempt to improve your calling behavior. Try to learn a little something about your prospect and his company before calling him, and then mention this knowledge when you make your sales call. Work in specialties that you feel passionate about so that you are excited about speaking to your prospects.
- Expect some rejection: If you expect some rejection, you won’t be shocked and deflated when it occurs. If you are doing your job and making things happen you will experience a certain amount of rejection. So just accept it and don’t let it throw you.
- Prospect in a that is congruent with your values and personality: Don’t use a script that makes you feel like a used car salesman. Allow your quirks and sense of humor to come through. Don’t be a robot.
- Have an “accountability partner” or coach: Work with a co-worker or friend who can be your partner and who you will report your daily activity to. Work with a coach who can help you to create some structure and accountability.
- Review your primary goals daily: If you have a big enough “Why” then the “How” becomes much easier: What are your goals? How will they benefit you? Take a moment each day to feel the positive feelings of these goals coming to fruition.