How to Stop Your Cold Calls From Losing Steam
The old cold calling approach doesn’t distinguish between “genuine concerns” about what you’re selling, versus “resistance” to how you’re selling it. Resistance is almost always a negative response to perceived sales pressure.
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In this old traditional cold calling mindset, we keep pushing. We try to present more information until we “close” the sale. We try to bypass people’s objections and concerns because we’ve already decided for them that they should buy what we have to offer.
However, in the new cold calling mindset, we know that sales pressure is always a recipe for disaster. Instead, we respond to objections by first trying to understand whether they’re genuine concerns or resistance to sales pressure. Until we do this, we have no way of responding appropriately to someone’s objections. We especially have no way of tackling the underlying cause of resistance, which is a reaction to sales pressure.
Genuine concern is about the product or service. Resistance is about a person’s mindset.
The old cold calling approach doesn’t distinguish between “genuine concerns” about what you’re selling, versus “resistance” to how you’re selling it. Nevertheless, this is crucial. If a potential client is genuinely concerned with something about your product or service, then you address it thoughtfully and directly.
However, if they’re resisting the process itself, then they’ve felt sales pressure in some way. Resistance is almost always a negative response to perceived sales pressure.
We therefore need to consider how we’ve introduced that pressure, or how we can reassure them we’re only focused on helping them solve their problems.
When potential clients raise objections about what you’re selling (pricing, delivery, quality, etc.), these are genuine concerns. They’re rooted in the client’s world. Therefore, you must take them seriously rather than overriding or ignoring them.
When someone is resistant to the conversation itself, then you’re dealing with a reaction to sales pressure. This needs addressing, but in a different way. This is what I would call real “resistance,” because clients are resisting the whole cold calling process.
They think that you’re trying to ‘sell’ them.
A tricky distinction
What gets tricky is when people raise objections that sound like genuine concerns. But what they’re actually doing is resisting perceived sales pressure.
On the surface, comments like these sound as if they’re about your product or service,
• Send me more information.
• Sounds good. Let me think about it.
• Your price is too high.
• Great. Let me talk it over with my co-workers.
They may actually be code words for “I’m feeling pressured by how you’re selling.”
Your potential client probably isn’t going to tell you the truth. After all, when was the last time someone said, “You know, I feel as if you’re really focused on getting the sale here and that’s making me feel pressured. It’s creating a slight tension in my stomach.
Therefore, at this point, I don’t trust you.”
Fortunately, you can figure out whether potential clients are raising genuine concerns or covering up their discomfort. Just do these two simple things:
1. Assume pressure is always present, even when you’re doing everything you can to create a pressure-free environment. People expect sales pressure, and we can’t always immediately diffuse that expectation 100%.
2. Trust your intuition and instincts. Over time, you’ll learn to be able to tell whether potential clients are telling you the truth. You’ll start picking up signals that they’re feeling pressured, such as giving you short answers.
As you learn to distinguish between genuine concerns and resistance, you’re likely to hear fewer and fewer “objections.” You’ll stop triggering evasive responses or false concerns when you stay focused on what’s actually being communicated. You will also get far better reactions to your cold calling efforts.