Confident at Cold Calling? A Reality Check on Postive Thinking

Before you make a cold call, do you "gear up" first? Do you get excited about your product or service, and try to anticipate making the sale?

Well, if you’re following the old traditional cold calling mindset, that’s probably what you’ve been trained to do. But what you don’t know is that enthusiasm and confidence usually backfire on you.

Why? Because you’re talking with someone who doesn’t know you. Think about how you’d feel if someone you don’t know approaches you with a lot of zest and enthusiasm.

You’ll probably take a step back. You’re a little suspicious and somewhat on the defensive in the face of all that enthusiasm.

It’s the same when you make cold calls. People don’t like the feeling of being pressured, and that’s usually what gets triggered when you approach someone with too much confidence. It’s called "positive thinking" in the old sales training strategies, but really, it’s overconfidence.

Here are two things for you to consider the next time you start to dial the phone:

1. Artificial sales enthusiasm is – artificial

When I’m coaching someone, many times I like to ask them to role-play with me. And often, just as soon as they move into their cold call presentation, everything changes.

Their natural voice tone shifts, and they sound like a totally different person from the one who called and talked so naturally with me about their sales issues.

You see, sometimes just the idea of making a cold call causes you to talk more loudly, and with a lot of "forward energy momentum."

But most cold calls break down the moment the other person feels all that enthusiasm.

Why? Because with high enthusiasm, prospects feel sort of boxed in. They feel the pressure of your expectations. They feel pushed by someone they don’t know, and who knows nothing about them.

So it’s much better to talk in a natural, conversational way, just as if you were talking with a friend. When you’re being a relaxed and natural, the difference is amazing.

2. Assumptions feel like presumptions

The old cold calling approach encourages you to be confident that the person you’re calling should seriously consider buying what you have to offer. It’s a taken-for-granted assumption that if they fit your profile, your product or service should be a "fit" for them.

But really, how much sense does it make to have assumptions about someone you've never spoken with, much less had a conversation with? How much can you possibly know about their problems, issues, needs, time frame, budget, decision making process, or other key information?

Can you imagine how it feels to the person on the other end of the phone when you presume to know what’s "best" for them? They don’t know you, and they don’t trust you.

So people naturally move into a defensive place.

So it’s best to move away from making any assumptions when you make your cold calls.

Approach your prospects from a modest, humble position. Avoid coming to the conversation already convinced in your own mind that they should be a fit. This way, you'll eliminate sales pressure, which triggers that defensive reaction.

Completely eliminating assumptions and high enthusiasm in your cold calling will help people relate to you as a real person instead of a negative-type "pushy" salesperson. And you’ll find that they’ll usually respond much more warmly and naturally.