Nicolas Caron

Published : 19 March 2018
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I had the idea for this topic while running a seminar on telephone prospecting.

During this type of seminar, the aim is as much to teach methods as it is to make real appointments. Obviously, at the start, the atmosphere isn’t always as relaxed as it may be at a seminar on personal growth…

The most common negative beliefs

Telephone prospecting is a difficult exercise. Nobody can deny it. But why add further difficulty by programming yourself negatively? We have a hard time imagining high-level athletes who would tackle a competition by visualizing all the reasons they might fail and blaming their sport as being too hard.

However, self-limiting beliefs are rife when it comes to telephone prospecting. A few examples:

  • Clients are too busy anyway
  • Monday is a bad day (the same could be said of any other day)
  • I shouldn’t be the one to do this
  • My offer is not so unique as to warrant an appointment
  • I lose all countenance when I’m being listened to, I would do better at home
  • I’m bad on the phone, but much better in face-to-face meetings
  • People hate to be disturbed
  • Prospecting is undignified
  • Prospecting is tedious work
  • Cold-calling does not work
  • Judging by the results, it’s really a waste of time
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink
  • Etc.

Insofar as you are influenced by your beliefs, they might as well be positive

No high-level champion ever reached success without a solidly anchored set of beliefs. Beliefs are here to guide your behaviors, choices and goals.

Salespeople therefore have two possibilities:

  • Either to give in and subscribe to their self-limiting beliefs
  • Or to “choose” those beliefs that will boost their confidence and effectiveness

As you will have understood, advancing your salespeople’s telephone prospecting skills does not only require training them in the use of techniques, methods and routines. All those things are very important, but not enough. The talent of managers and trainers also lies in their ability to get salespeople to view this aspect of their job under a different light.


Ways to reshape your or your salespeople’s personal beliefs

Doing the math

The turnover trickling at the end of the sales funnel comes as the result of a long process and is ultimately the product of all the calls made during the canvassing stage.

Imagine an average turnover of USD 200,000 generated from five USD 40,000 proposals signed with new customers. Now consider that these proposals came through after making 12 appointments, themselves secured on the back of 50 prospecting calls.

Translating these steps into numbers, you can calculate the value of each phone call to be USD 4,000. I have often observed that once salespeople are aware of the average USD value of each call, they approach telephone prospecting with renewed enthusiasm.

The power of choice

Many complain about customers being increasingly demanding. This is all the more reason for you to choose who you want to work with. Pleasure in prospecting also comes from us initiating the relationship and not being subjected to it. If prospects are disagreeable and send you packing, you’ll be glad to leave them to the competition!

The stuff of heroes

What nobler thing is there for salespeople than conquering new markets? Leading market research efforts through telephone prospecting is no doubt difficult, but then again so rewarding. The most common mistake to avoid at all costs is to put this task in the hands of a neophyte. In fact, the reason why you are going to succeed in this mission is precisely because you are excellent. Don’t forget it.

The importance of contrast

It is true that many clients are fed up with prospecting calls. But what is more annoying to them? That we take the time to call and run an attractive proposal by them, or to hear an ill-prepared salesperson spouting hackneyed, flavorless and mechanical arguments? This exercise is also an extraordinary way to stand out from the competition right from the start. You just need to determine where to set the bar…

In conclusion, I will leave you to enjoy the following story:

As a young mouse arrives at a lab, she is immediately ushered in by a senior mouse. “It’s really simple,” says the more experienced mouse, “I know the place inside out; you’ll get the hang of it. Take the first turn to the right; follow the fence through to the treadmill, then to your left into the other cage. Once you get to the edge, press the big red button… See the guy over there in a yellow blouse? He’s going to bring you a piece of cheese. I’m the one who trained him.”

However, if you don’t believe in the impact of positive beliefs, you may as well fall back on the good old technique of making clients say “yes” several times in a row..


Have a good sales day!

Nicolas CARON

© Halifax Consulting


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