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How to Cure Call Reluctance

New to Selling by Phone? Here’s how to overcome call reluctance.

“I’m new to inside sales, and I am having a serious case of call reluctance. How do I fight against this?”

To overcome call reluctance as a new sales rep, you have to be OK with failing and making mistakes initially. There is no other way. Your sales managers know this. And if you’re concerned about having your new co-workers “laugh” at you, your value of what others think needs an adjustment. Let them laugh. Follow the advice below, and you will soon be outselling them by a country mile. Here’s how.

#1) Role-play. The only thing salespeople hate more than cold calling is role-playing in front of their peers. However, role-playing is the fastest way to get better. It would be best if you were role-playing 10 to 20 minutes per day every day in the morning before hitting the phones.

Here’s a simple structure to follow:

Monday: Openers (what you say after “Hello, my name is”

Tuesday: Gatekeepers & Voicemail

Wednesday: Engagement Questions (the first three questions after the “opener”)

Thursday: Presentation

Friday: Objection Handling

This should be mandatory for the first 90-days of on-boarding AND for any sales rep who is not meeting expectations.

Role-playing Levels

When you role-play, there should be different “levels.

  • Level One Role-Play focuses on “tone” and sounding “confident.”
  • Level Two Role-Play has some pushback from your counter-partner.
  • Level Three Role-Play has tough resistance.

IMPORTANT: When you are the PROSPECT in a role-playing situation, and you will give an objection, you have to write your objection down. It does no good to role-play and have a partner who changes their spots during the session.

DOUBLY IMPORTANT: Role-playing bad sales techniques will hurt revenue. If your confidence is low regarding the phone techniques you are using, this may help.

#2) Record Your Sales Calls

Role-playing is one thing. Live calls is another. You want to record your sales calls for two reasons:

  • Fix what’s broken
  • Catch yourself doing something right.

Listening to your sales calls with your manager or another top sales colleague is critical to getting better. When you do this regularly, you sharpen your sales skills and identify skill gaps that need to be fixed.

And when you do make that perfect sales call, having it recorded so you can refer back to it and help others is amazingly helpful. One thing you can be sure of is that if you are in the sales game long enough, no matter how good you are, there will be a time that you will start to forget to use little techniques that make a big difference.

Having a recording of you making a perfect sales call that you can refer back to will help turn the lightbulb back on and get you ready to succeed moving forward.

#3) Output. It would be best to make 60-dials a day and or three (3) hours of talk time. If you are not producing at this level now, your sales time management skills need improvement.

You have to remember that skill + output = results.

The most success I ever had selling by phone came after I learned to make 40-dials before noon and 20-dials from 1 PM till 5 PM.

You will have days where you have the Midas-touch, and every call turns into a sales conversation, and getting to 60-dials for the day will be impossible. That’s OK. That’s where the “talk-time” factor comes in. There will be other days where you can’t get anyone on the phones, but it will not be for lack of trying. That’s where the 60-dials come in.

Average sales reps make 20 to 25 calls a day and barely have 60-minutes of talk time. I’m not sure what they are doing with the other 7-hours of the day, but if you follow the plan above, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, and call reluctance will be a distant memory.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company offering on-demand sales training and consulting.