March 31, 2017 | Dave Johnson
You are in the prospecting business!
Growing a business entails consistently sharing Nikken with other people. You have started a business where it all starts and ends with your ability to put people on a list, call them, and get them to meet with you.
Do you want to get even better at calling people?
Can you become less fearful in approaching people? Imagine even looking forward to sharing Nikken with new people! Now, imagine the results! Part of the beauty of being in business for yourself is in shaping the experience to something you can enjoy – and with the way Nikken technologies enhances lives, what’s not to enjoy?
I highly recommend you copy the following practical insights from Wendy Weiss into a Word document. Print and save them!
· Few things are more terrifying than the unknown. The fear you create for yourself is far worse than the reality of cold calling. Once you start making telephone calls and continue making telephone calls, it gets easier.
· You overcome fear by doing. No one will ever say yes if they do not know of your existence.
· If you have only one prospect to pursue, that prospect becomes overwhelmingly important. If you have hundreds of leads, no one prospect can make or break you. The more calls you make, the more success you will have.
· Prepare to make calls the way you would for any major presentation. Know what you want to say, how you want to say it and how you want to represent yourself, your company, your product or service. And know the goal of your telephone call.
· If you are new or uncomfortable with making telephone calls, practice your scripts out loud. Role-play with friends or colleagues. Practice various sales scenarios. This way, you will not have to worry about what you are going to say. You will be prepared, and you can focus in on your prospect.
· Start with less important leads. It will be good practice and less stressful. Once you feel more comfortable, start working on the more important leads.
· Stay calm. You will, for the most part, be talking to people who will appreciate your call. If a prospect is rude, remember: This is not personal. They may just be having a bad day. Move on.
· Your priorities and your prospect’s priorities are different. You want an immediate “yes”; your prospect may want to finish watching a TV program, finish a conversation, and start their vacation… Be very careful not to read negative or extra meaning into early conversations with your prospect. If, for example, your prospect is “on the phone,” “not in” or “not available,” that does not translate to: “My prospect knows that I am calling and is avoiding me.”
· Some things are out of your control. If a prospect does say “no,” ultimately, that is out of your control—but what is within your control is continuing to prospect and continuing to make calls. It is also within your control to improve your communication skills, take seminars, read books, work with your experienced upline, fewer prospects will say “no.”
· Arlene’s Game. The object of Arlene’s game is to focus on rejection. The goal is to reach 100 points. You get 1 point for every rejection. Give yourself 1 point for every “no” answer. If your prospect says “yes,” that’s a bonus! Focus on acquiring points. The more calls you make, the more points you acquire. When you reach 100—You Win! Give yourself a prize!
· Have fun. This is not life or death—it’s only a telephone call. The fate of the world does not rest on you and your telephone. You will not destroy your company or ruin your life if a prospect says “no.” Loosen up, be creative, have some fun!
· Sell something in which you believe – something that offers a value and benefit.
· Stop making cold calls. Instead, think of this process as making introductory calls. You are calling to introduce yourself, your company, your product or your service.
· Think of your call as the beginning of a sales relationship.
· Constantly reality checks your negative thoughts and feelings. If you feel that “my prospect is avoiding me”, ask yourself, “Why?” Why would a stranger – someone who doesn’t even know you – be avoiding you?
· You can choose your beliefs. You can choose to believe that your prospect is not interested in speaking with you, or you can choose to believe that your prospect will want to speak with you. The first belief is self-limiting; the second supports your efforts.
· Make cold calling into a game, and reward yourself when you succeed. For example, for every “yes” put a dollar (or $2 or $3 – it’s your game) into an envelope. At the end of the week, take the money and treat yourself – even if it’s only an ice cream cone!
· Eliminate “negative noise” in your head. When you find yourself thinking negatively – stop. Replace those thoughts with positive ones.
· Think of your prospect as someone you know, someone who is open and interested. Visualize a customer that you have, someone with whom you have a good relationship and someone who is open and receptive to you. When you make calls, pretend that you are speaking with that customer and not a stranger.
· Make your telephone calls with the expectation that your prospect will take your call. Make your own self-fulfilling prophecies.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine. She is a former, extremely successful model who is now building a highly successful network marketing business. As we are both entrepreneurs, we talk a lot about our businesses; we egg each other on, give each other advice, and commiserate.
My friend was feeling frustrated. “Amateurs,” she said. “I’m tired of dealing with amateurs.”
I knew what she meant. A professional is someone who shows up, no matter what. A professional is someone who gets the job done, no matter what. A professional is someone who does what she needs to do, when she needs to do it, no matter what. An amateur is someone who lets circumstances, other people and emotions get in the way. As my friend put it, “When you’re a model, if you have a saggy butt, they tell you that you have a saggy butt. Then they tell you to go away. If you want it enough, you fix your saggy butt and go back.”
I grew up in the ballet world. It’s very much the same. You take class everyday with a teacher whose job it is to criticize you. The criticism is to help you improve, but sometimes it just feels like criticism. You dance in front of a big mirror. This is so that you can criticize yourself.
As an adolescent and even a young professional, I’ve been called “a cow” because of a few extra pounds. I’ve had teachers hit an errant arm or leg with a stick because that arm or leg was in the wrong position. (No, they weren’t singling me out, they hit everyone.) I’ve lost dance jobs because I was too tall, too short, or had the wrong color hair. Those of you who read my book, Cold Calling for Women, know that as a teenager I was not accepted into the renowned Harkness Ballet School because my back was too long. (They told my dad I was a very good dancer, but…) When I cut my hair short (it used to be down to my waist so that I could put it up in a classical ballet bun) I never again, got another job as a ballet dancer. And by the way, when you go to a dance audition they don’t let you dance. They simply line you up and look at you and then start eliminating dancers. Once they’re done eliminating, the dancers that are left get to actually dance.
When I first started doing sales training and clients would talk to me about rejection and fear of rejection I had no idea what they were talking about. As the years have gone by and I’ve worked with more and more clients I do understand that those feelings are real.
Sales can be a tough world.
Everyone will not love you or your product or service.
Everyone will not say “yes.”
Sometimes in sales training brochures or on our web sites we get carried away and write:
“Overcome every objection!”
“Turn every ‘no’ into ‘yes!’”
The stark reality is that will not happen every time. Some prospects will say “no.”
A career in sales is not for the weak. The key to success is what you do with that “no.” You can allow it to stop you, or you can put it aside and continue on. The power is entirely yours. If there are people in the world having success doing exactly what you want to be doing, there is no reason that you cannot do it too.
Being a professional starts with your mind set, that you believe in what you are selling and that you do not give other people, circumstances or even your own thoughts and emotions the power to stop you. Or as my friend put it, “If you want it enough, you fix your saggy butt and go back.”
Perception becomes your Reality.
I was never supposed to be a speaker, author and sales trainer. I was supposed to be a ballerina. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. My mother has told me that when I was a small child I would constantly turn on the radio and dance. She said I had no sense of rhythm and so she enrolled me in ballet class. That was the beginning of a first career and a great passion.
As a child I danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, always one of the child guests in Act I of Nutcracker. As I grew older, it was the corps de ballet, Snowflake and Waltz of the Flowers. I was even the Sugar Plum Fairy a few times!
At 17, I moved to New York City to dance and like every artist in the City needed a day job. At first I waited on tables. Then I found something more lucrative and more fun—telemarketing!
An ad in “Backstage,” the trade publication we would read to look for auditions, caught my attention. It was an ad for a telemarketing company. They would hire actors because actors can read scripts. (Hiring tip: If you are looking for a part time telemarketer—hire an actor.) The job was calling high-level executives and setting new business appointments. I got the job and was really good at it.
Who knew? Ballet dancers don’t even talk.
Eventually the telemarketing company started to give me all the “hard leads,” the Presidents, the CEO’s, the people who “didn’t take cold calls.” I’d call them up, get them on the line, have a great conversation and set up the meeting. It was fun and it was easy.
Years later when I started my training and coaching business I thought that all that was necessary would be to show clients a system and help them write a good script and we would be done. Imagine my surprise upon discovering all of the human and psychological barriers people face when prospecting by telephone.
That sent me back to the basics to think about not only the system and scripts but also the thought process and mind set as well. I realized something fascinating. At the time of that initial telemarketing job, I was 19, rather naive and inexperienced in the ways of the world. I lived in a small apartment with four other dancers. I made very little money. Yet, when I would pick up the telephone to call that CEO or President, believe it or not, I felt that I was superior. I may have been calling someone who made 100 times more money, someone who lived in a wonderful house or apartment, someone whom everyone would consider to be the epitome of success, yet I felt superior because I was an artist. My belief system at the time was simply that artists are superior in every respect. It never occurred to me that prospects would be anything but delighted to speak with me. Ah, the hubris of youth.
While my mind set and beliefs about the business and corporate world, my place in it and my “superiority” have changed drastically over the years that belief system was what enabled me to successfully pick up the telephone and speak easily with high-level executives. Perception is reality. Although my life circumstances at the time were far from ideal I didn’t view it that way.
The thoughts and beliefs that you have about yourself directly impact your ability to perform and be successful. While it is not necessary to believe yourself to be superior, as once upon a time I did, it is imperative that you see yourself and your prospects as peers and equals. If you do not, it is time to change your thought patterns. Instead of thinking about how important your prospect is, think about all of the ways that your prospects and customers need you. Think about how you help. Think about the benefits that you bring. Start to see yourself as an equal with something of value to offer. Determine that your prospects will be happy to speak and work with you. Perception becomes reality.
I close with my all time favorite quote by Henry Ford who said:
“Either you think you can or you think you can’t and either way you’re right.”
And a little extra from M.J. Durkin on rewriting your personal belief system:
BELIEF: I’m not good on the phone. I get nervous and i don’t know what to say.
REWRITE: I love the phone! I’m awesome on the phone. I never get nervous, and I always know what to say!
BELIEF: It’s rude to call people at home and interrupt their relaxation time.
REWRITE: People do business at night on the phone ALL the time. I do it and I’m used to it. Everyone understands that some business needs to get done by phone at home. I like calling people at home and introducing them to something that can change their life!