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Sales call reluctance can be a death nail for any business no matter the state of the economy. However, during turbulent economic times, sales call reluctance is the worst dilemma for any growing business.

If the sales professional your organization hired is the one with sales call reluctance, you may consider the words of Donald Trump – “you’re fired” – as a solution.  However, when you (the business owner) are plagued by sales call reluctance, consider these solutions to overcoming  phone aversion.

1. Do your research.  With social media, it’s easier than ever to prepare for a sales call.  Armed with key information about your prospect, you’ll speak intelligently about your prospects needs.  And, you’ll look like a rock star for having done your homework!

2. Write out your script. Of course, we don’t recommend reading it in a monotone, dowdy, poorly-rehearsed manner but writing your script before dialing your prospect keeps you poised and prepared.

3. Visualize your performance. Although its tempting to rush into every sales call, take a few minutes to rehearse the conversation improves the likelihood of the sales call going the way you want.

4. Shift from sales professional to service provider/problem solver.  Prospects want to buy but they don’t want to be sold.  Unearth their problem, show them how to solve it, and the sale is yours.

5. Focus on your strengths. Studies show you get more satisfaction when you use your strengths as much as possible.  Your knowledge and confidence will come through with each sales call.  (Unsure of your signature strengths? Take the Values in Action Signature Strength test.)

These are just a few of the ways in which we overcome our sales call reluctance.  What techniques have you found most helpful?

Prior to the economy tanking in the fall of 2008, business came relatively easy to most.  Regardless of the sales competency level, there seemed to be enough business to go around.  Even those highly skilled in building trust, uncovering needs, and providing a solution, admit their sales skills had gone ‘soft’ during the good times.  Needless to say, smart business owners are sharpening their sales skills once again.

There are, however, those daring few who have yet to master the 21st century sales skills needed to make the sale.  Here are a few one-liners we’ve experienced firsthand the past week that put a nail in the sales coffin. (Pardon our sarcasm.)

  1. “I don’t know what you do”.  (From a cold call made to our office offering a product/service.)  Really?  Didn’t you do your homework on our company before you made this call?
  2. “I’m new at this”.  (From a cold call made to our office offering a product/service.)  Seriously?  Why would we want to do business with you?
  3. “Call our office on Monday.”  (From an email received from a potential vendor that we could refer.)  What?  Your company doesn’t offer customer service?
  4. “Can you call to remind me?” (From a call made to a potential vendor that could be referred.)   Honestly?  Do I look like your administrative assistant?
  5. “I’ll get that right out to you”.  (From a vendor from whom we were ready to purchase.)  Excuse me.  Can you clarify what “right now” means?  We’ve been waiting, with credit card in hand, for 10 days now.

This is honestly what goes through our mind – and the minds of your potential buyers – when such deadly one-liners are heard or read.  Undoubtedly you’ve heard some good one-liners yourself…..hopefully not from us!

Strategic Coaching Takeaway: Avoiding killing the sale by arming yourself with research on your potential client and some well-thought out, well-rehearsed scripts that demonstrate you’re here to help.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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