When you’re not a natural ‘salesperson’, talking to a prospective client can be nerve-racking. This can lead to developing some bad habits that not only underline your confidence but may also cost you the sale.
This could include:
#1. Prepare properly beforehand
Even the most experienced salespeople would be foolish to dive into a call unprepared. Always, always, always make sure you know who you’re trying to get hold of, what position they hold and what their company does. Prepare an opening statement giving your name and how your service benefits the prospect. Also, you should think through any objections they might have and how you can handle those. This will prevent you getting caught unawares and having to improvise or forget what you needed to say.
#2. Take some deep breaths
A simple exercise to keep you grounded and stop the nerves or panic from overwhelming you. Taking some nice deep breaths before you pick up the phone and in any breaks in conversation will keep you calm and stop you falling into the trap of speaking very fast or in a higher than usual pitch. Both these things can make you sound scared and will undermine the prospects confidence in what you are saying.
#3. Walk and Talk
Walking meetings make a lot of sense! When we’re physically moving, our brains are getting lots of lovely oxygen, our posture is better, giving us a sense of power and authority, and it’s easier to be active and engaged with the conversation. Even better than pacing your living room or office, find a quiet spot outside and make your calls from there. The fresh air will give you a boost and help you to focus and prioritise information. Don’t forget to take your notes with you though, and have some way to record names, email addresses or other key information if offered!
#4. Smile before you dial
My motto for anyone making sales calls. It may feel a bit funny, but the person receiving your call will be able to sense the optimism that’s brimming out from your smile and it will give you a air of friendliness, approachability and authority - all key ingredients in a successful fact-finding or sales call!
#5. Write out reminders to display
If you find yourself coming up against the same objections or blockages, try writing yourself reminders or phrases you can use and pin them up where you can see them. These will help you to navigate tricky interactions when you’re nervous. It might feel a bit odd and robotic to begin with but the more you successfully overcome obstacles, the more confident you’ll feel and the easier you’ll find it to overcome them naturally in the future. I often advice clients to map out a conversation in flow chart form (including in which situations you should walk away!) and follow it through each time you make a call.
So, I hope that’s helped you to see some of the ways you can work to overcome your nerves and say goodbye to those bad habits for good!
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed at the thought of selling, get in touch.
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