I get a lot of sales people asking me, “What stops me from making cold calls?” Well, there are three things that stop us from being confident, fearless callers. Number one is: fear comes up and it can be debilitating. It makes us nervous and anxious, and when we get on the phone, people at the other end of the phone can sense the anxiety and they, of course, don’t want to do business with us. With that anxiety and nervousness comes the first rejection, we just want to put down the phone and walk away from it.

The second important area is the process. Many salespeople don’t really have a process. They find some numbers and they try making calls to them. There is actually no science, no planning behind it. What we need to do is to have a structure on how to make these calls. We need to bring in some neuroscience so we can be more effective at communicating. That added structure increases our success rate and it also removes the fear since we would not blindly be doing something. There would be a process that we’d be following. Also, when we have a process, we can always figure out where the breaking down is and we can actually fix the portions of the process that need fixing so your results keep getting better every step of the way.

The third area is that we must know the three important parts of the human brain and the way they function: the reptile brain which is the ancient part of the brain. This part of the brain decides whether it is safe to do something or not and it makes decisions very quickly. The second part is the limbic brain, that’s where our emotions are and the third part, which is also the largest part is the neo-cortex where we analyze things: the high level thinking.

As salespeople what we do is we try and engage that neo-cortex part of the brain as “I’m going to convince that part of the brain to take action.” But that’s the exact wrong place to do it! The part that really makes the decisions is the reptile brain, and when we propose something in the right way, we talk to the reptile brain and it immediately makes a go or a no-go. And whenever it makes a decision, the neo-cortex rationalizes that decision, whether I’m going do it or not.

So stop wasting your time talking to the neo-cortex, you need to talk to the reptile brain. Whatever decision the reptile brain makes the neo-cortex will support it, reinforce it and strengthen it. So the three main reasons the salespeople aren’t effective at calling is a) fear, they need to learn techniques to remove the fear, b) they need a solid process so that they can follow that and c) they need to talk to the client’s reptile brain.

About the author 

Umar Hameed


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