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At first the discouragement gets to you and it slows down your production rate. You go on the Internet, check your e mail, go down the hall to the coffee urn-- whatever your favorite time wasters are, anything to get away. Then you start to panic because you aren't making your numbers and you begin to suspect the awful truth-- the prospects have come up with a way to permanently screen your calls so that they never have to pick up! This causes you to speed up in hopes of reaching your average before the day is done, but that doesn't seem to help either
Here are seven practical things you can do to cope with this when it happens to you:
1. Take a break. Leave town if you can. Go off to the mountains, the shore or a movie matinee. In short, stop the activity itself. If you are feeling depressed, stop calling. If you don't, it will come across in your voice and will reduce your effectiveness.
2. Realize you have to crunch the numbers. If you are keeping records, you know what your contact rate is for your particular audience and proposition. There will be lulls, but they always correct themselves. The law of averages all work for you, eventually!
3. Figure out the dollar value of every time you pick up the phone. (Divide your yearly income by the number of total number of calls you make in a year.)
4. Vary your activity. If you need to spend time researching names, putting your telemarketing lead records in order for reporting purposes, importing new cold call leads from trade shows or conferences, preparing new scripts....mix these activities in to your calling routine to provide more variety to your day.
5. Keep a careful record of your "wins" -- a framed list of all your successful calls that ended in sales with the dollar amount attached as well.
6. Remind yourself daily what your fundamental driver is in your work. Is it money, the chance to overcome obstacles, the opportunity to create something original, or to make a difference in the lives of others? Whatever your main motivator, you need to stay aware of it on a daily basis.
7. Avoid blaming yourself for failure. Watch out for explanations that focus on yourself, rather than the availability of decision-maker, time of day, or season of the year. If you think there is something you are doing wrong, then it's harder to persist. It's easier if you explain your poor outcomes as a result of factors outside of yourself that you can't control!
(c) 1999 Sanford Associates
Mark Sanford, of Sanford Associates, is a business development coach and trainer with 30+ years of business experience. More free articles and training materials on cold calling. Mark can be reached at 925.253.0646.
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