Eliminate the Fear of Cold Calling and Rejection

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2002

I've never met a salesperson who did not experience a fear of cold calling at one time or another.  Almost all of them have their reasons for being reluctant to make cold calls, and most of them have no idea what really causes it.  There are two basic reasons for the fear of cold calling.  Both are easy to cure if you know how.

1.  The Experience of Repeated Failure

Most salespeople set out to contact a large number of people who have an apparent need for their products and service.  Their objective is to convince every one of them to grant them an appointment.

Let's assume that you contact 50 people a day and average 2 appointments.  In your business, that may be a very good result.  Nevertheless, you have the experience of repeated failure because you tried to convince all of them and you failed to meet your objective of 48 out of 50 calls.

The Cure - Change Your Objective.  Your new objective is to make appointments only with High Probability Prospects - and to disqualify everyone else.  Make fifty calls and be clear that you'll only make an appointment if the prospect wants what you're selling.  If the prospect doesn't want what you're selling, terminate the call quickly and courteously.  You now have the experience of succeeding in your objective 50 times out of 50 calls.

2.  Fear of Rejection

Most salespeople have a prospecting “pitch” which is designed to interest, entice, excite, convince and persuade people to give them appointments.  They have a string of questions to get the prospect involved and interested in meeting them.  Every question that they ask increases the prospect's sales resistance.  Thus, negative reactions to their methods grow very quickly.

Most prospects react to any prospecting pitch defensively.  Their sales resistance is aroused as soon as they hear your warm greeting and your friendly, enthusiastic, professional pitch.  The more skillful you are in keeping them talking and listening, the more they become wary and annoyed.  Eventually, many of them become non-communicative, or too busy to talk, or abrupt, or sarcastic, or otherwise negative.  All of these reactions cause most salespeople to feel rejected.

Almost all sales managers and trainers tell you that you're not being rejected, that the prospects are merely declining the offer of your products or services.  Why then do almost all salespeople feel rejected?  Are you too sensitive, too thin-skinned?

Think about it.  Who do you trust?  Is it the sales manager who wants you to keep on going until you become insensitive to the rejection?  Or do you trust your own perceptions, your feelings of rejection?  Are all other salespeople who feel the rejection also wrong?  No, you feel rejected, personally rejected, because you are being rejected.  That rejection is caused by the normal defensive reactions that everyone has against being persuaded to do something they don't already want to do.  If you want to eliminate rejection you must change the way you prospect.

THE CURE - See above.

THE RESULTS - No more fear of cold calling and no more wasted time with low probability prospects.