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Business suffering as I'm terrified of 'Selling'(5 Posts)
I recently started my own consultancy business in the private school sector. My success is being stifled because although I think I'm adept at most aspects of running my business - marketing, operation, finance - I'm absolutely terrified by the prospect of picking up the phone and making cold calls or following up on marketing campaigns. Whilst I've picked up small pieces of work via my website, it's no way near enough to sustain a business and I know the sales call is letting me down. I did think about employing someone, say 1 day a week to follow up on any campaigns and be completely focused on appointment setting. I'm interested to know if anyone else has had this problem and how it was overcome. Many thanks.
You just have to grit your teeth and do it. I know it's hard though.
Are you better face-to-face? Have you tried networking events/local chamber of commerce/that sort of thing where it's more about making contact first, before the phone call? What about contacts you already have? Do you ask for recommendations and referrals? Would an email ahead of the call saying 'so and so from school X said you may be interested in my services, I'll call you next week' make it feel easier for you?
Joining in in sympathy too....I don't know if I can give you much solid advice as I HATE HATE HATE it too, but I did come across an article whilst googling which seemed to imply that even professional sales staff hate cold calling!
Tried networking for the first 3 months but in my particular area, none of the people there were in or close to my sector and the events tend to be dominated by web site designers, accountants and those in retail. I might need to take some structured training to help get over my fear.
This is a very normal issue that many people go through. The thing you need to find out is what you are actually scared of. For most people it is the fear of being rejected. But, we have to get over that as we know catagorically that you will be rejected by some. However, they are not personally rejecting you. They don't know you. They are rejecting a concept and many people don't even stop to listen, so it isn't personal.
Logically, you know a lot of people WILL say no and, equally as logically, you know there are people out there looking for people like YOU that will welcome your call.
As an NLP/CBT life change coach, I get people to reframe the thing they are afraid of. So, rather than worrying about you and how you feel, reframe your thoughts and think of the call as something vital that people need and will benefit from. Focus on the fact that you ARE helping people, not asking them to mortgage their homes to use your service ;-) When you do this, you feel surprised when people say no, which is better than feeling dejected ;-)
Write down a structured script, something you can use as a base for calls. If someone says no, then simply say that's fine, would it be ok if I called you in 3 months to see if things might have changed. If they so no, great, move on. If they say yes, great, you now have a warm lead.
Set yourself a target to do, say, half a dozen calls. Don't focus on the outcome, just focus on doing the calls. Even if they lead nowhere, you have overcome the issue, so you know you can do it again, and again, until someone says YES.
When we push through our fears we feel alive. Don't hand it over to someone else. It's your business, so stand up and be proud of it and you.
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