This article is written by world-leading LinkedIn & Social Selling trainer (and Founder of The Daily Sales) Daniel Disney on why MORE salespeople need to start picking up their phone and calling prospects in 2022:
Here we go…
I was delivering some corporate LinkedIn training to a company when one of the sales reps said the one thing ALL sales managers hate to hear…
As a former sales leader myself it sent shivers up my spine
I’ll tell you what they said in a minute…
And the worst part is that it represents a HUGE problem in sales right now
What is this problem you ask?
The FEAR of the phone!
I’m going to share the story in this article AND share my top tips for you and your sales teams to overcome any fear of making calls, which I know is a little ironic as I am a LinkedIn & Social Selling trainer myself
HOWEVER, as someone who has personally worked in sales ALL of my working life. As someone who has made tens of thousands of cold calls, as someone who has led cold calling teams of over 300+, I fully understand the power of the phone for sales teams
Which is why I have, and always will, encourage salespeople and sales teams to use the phone and LinkedIn TOGETHER.
Anyway, during this training session I had mentioned seeing someone in my network post on LinkedIn just one week ago that they were actually in the market for the product that this particular company actually sold!
One of those “Can anyone in my network recommend a provider of X or Y please” posts that you see…
Now because I had seen this post, I tagged in one of the directors from this company and suggested they reach out as I knew they were great at what they did. Unfortunately the director wasn’t active on LinkedIn, so they didn’t action this genuinely hot lead opportunity.
Luckily one of the sales team were way ahead and had seen that the director was tagged and so acted on this amazing opportunity!
They had written a comment, sent a connection request and after the connection was accepted, sent a nice little message saying that they would love to discuss their requirement in more detail.
Now in the world of Social Selling, this is an amazing start!!
There will be loads of sales reps who wouldn’t have seen this post in the first place or thought to proactively act on it like they had done.
It had been just over 7 days from them seeing, connecting and messaging this prospect, so I asked the sales rep (the whole team was now listening at this point) “What happened next then…..” expecting to hear they had booked or even sat a meeting with them
This was their reply
They turned to me and very proudly said…
“I’m just waiting for them to reply”
Cue my genuine reaction:
I’m sorry, what??!
You are waiting for them to reply? It’s been over a week and you’re still waiting for THEM to reply?
(This could have been avoided if it was recorded and tracked in Pipedrive CRM, which has been built to work around sales pipelines and opportunity management. You can try it for free for 30-days here)
I went onto explain that the person who wrote on LinkedIn that they needed something probably had over 100+ salespeople comment on the post, 100+ new connections, 100+ messages into their inbox etc. It is hugely overwhelming and very difficult to reply to every single person.
The reality, unfortunately, is that most of those sales reps who comment, connect and message will also be sat there WAITING for a reply.
A reply that for most of them (if not all of them) will never come.
My advice to this particular sales rep….
JUST PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM!
I can GUARANTEE you very few salespeople that jump onto these LinkedIn posts will pick up the phone and give the prospect a call.
There are too many salespeople, both old and young, that are scared to pick up the phone.
I mean look, you know it must be bad if a Social Selling trainer is complaining about people not using the phone right??!!!!
Forget debates about cold calling VS social selling
Forget debates about millennials being scared of the phone
Here is the simple truth…
PEOPLE ARE STILL ANSWERING CALLS
As long as people are using the phone, it will remain a powerful sales tool.
Why are people scared of the phone though?
This fear comes from a few areas.
The first is fear of REJECTION. When you send an email, you’re hidden behind your computer. When you comment on a LinkedIn post, if they just don’t reply that rejection isn’t as personal. However when you’re on the phone to someone, that rejection can be harsh and uncomfortable.
Well guess what, often a lot of what we want in life is on the other side of uncomfortable.
Look at the situation above…
If you let fear of the phone control you, chances are you’ll miss that sale. If you keep looking to send and email, send a text, send a LinkedIn message as a way of avoiding the phone, you’ll miss opportunities.
It’s not to say that email, text, social etc aren’t good methods, they 100% are.
It’s when you use them to cover up fear of picking up the phone OR you wait too long for replies that will never come that it becomes a problem.
This is where the other reasons people are scared…
They fear what they don’t know. They fear having to learn something new.
A lot of salespeople don’t know how to use the phone successfully, and it’s scary having to learn something new.
Trust me there are equally as many salespeople who are scared to use social media. They’ll hide behind making constant calls to people who will never answer or return them to avoid learning how to use LinkedIn.
Fear is crippling salespeople and sales teams but it can be overcome. This problem can be CURED! You need to understand one thing first…
Working in sales ISN’T easy
The whole reason that salespeople get paid a commission for what they do is because they have to work hard and overcome challenges to win each sale. You don’t get paid for making calls. You don’t get paid for commenting on someones LinkedIn post. You get paid for WINNING and closing sales. Everything else is part of the process to winning those sales.
The ONE question you need to ask yourself…
HOW bad do YOU want the sale?
The salespeople out there that want the sale MORE are the ones who don’t let fear hold them back. They will pick up the phone if they need to, they’ll jump on LinkedIn, they’ll get in their car and drive there if the need to!
- The phone is not dead
- Social Selling is not dead
- Email is not dead
- Sending letters is not dead
- Networking is not dead
If you’re working in sales right now you have the single BEST opportunity that ANY salesperson has ever had. There have never EVER been more opportunities to reach prospects and customers than there are right now.
Salespeople have the opportunity to leverage SO MANY tools which gives you the opportunity to reach more people.
Don’t let fear of rejection hold you back
Don’t let fear of what you don’t know hold you back
If you REALLY want the sale, you’ll let nothing stand in your way!
So go out there today, look at your opportunities and look at all the amazing tools at your disposal. Be creative, be persistent, be passionate and try harder than you’ve ever tried to go out there and help people solve more problems with your product.
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