I don’t know if I’m belaboring the subject of making calls, but when it comes to our own challenges in overcoming call reluctance, part of me feels like it just cannot get too much attention.
There is a saying (and I don’t know if it is very common) that goes, “If you don’t make the call, someone else will.” I don’t think that’s always the case, nor is it the worst thing that could happen. The worse thing that could happen is that NO ONE will make the call, and your prospect’s needs, which are often very important, will go unfulfilled.
Of course, this is approaching it not from your perspective, but that of your prospect’s.
Nevertheless, some of the most seasoned sales professionals will admit that they have occasionally suffered from call reluctance–a basic hesitation to pick up the phone and dial prospects. It leads to opportunity leads going cold, time and resources wasted on pre-approach letters that we send out but never followed up, and ultimately, lost sales.
More importantly, however, is how it leads to people whose lives are never positively impacted by what we could have done for them.
Case in point: When I was an insurance advisor with Principal Financial Group, I was sitting across the kitchen table of two new clients, Mike and Sarah. Mike is a working professional and Sarah stays home with their three children. We had just completed a review of their risk management, and taken their applications for some additional life insurance. It had been a concern for Sarah for some time–given that there was not enough protection from Mike’s work insurance should something happen to him.
When Sarah acknowledged that she felt much better that this problem was being addressed, I saw that as an opportunity to seek a referral. I asked her to consider who else she knows who might benefit from having a conversation with me. She had indicated one friend who had inquired about our previous meeting…but at the same time, did not believe in “giving out people’s names and numbers.”
Indeed, I agree. I didn’t want anyone’s name….I was seeking an introduction. If I place a call to someone, I want them to be anticipating it. That warms the recipient. Yet still, there was some hesitation. “She’ll call you,” Sarah replied.
Of course she will. “Sarah,” I gently added, “you just shared with me how you feel better about the steps we just took today. Did I understand you correctly?”
“Yes, you did,” Sarah answered.
“Good. You feel better and your family is protected. But…it’s not because Mike picked up the phone and called me for an appointment. You are in a better place now because I called him.”
Remember, the prospect will not call you, even when they want to. It is always your responsibility to call them. And when you are in the business of providing services that are of profound importance to the lives of your prospects and those whom they love, this is a big deal. The ball is forever in your court. Don’t drop it.