There is a serious problem plaguing sales teams across the world...
It's like a dangerous and contagious sales virus infecting salespeople old and young...
Left unchecked it could destroy any chances of success...
What is this problem you ask?
The FEAR of the phone!
I saw this problem first hand recently at one of my training sessions.
Now those of you who will look at my profile will see that I'm a Social Selling/LinkedIn Sales trainer, so my focus is ironically around utilising social media to sell. HOWEVER, even I know that the phone is a very powerful sales tool, I'm not one of those social selling trainers trying to discourage people from using the phone, personally I encourage it.
Anyway, during this training session I had mentioned seeing someone 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 reccomend 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 one week 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....."
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?
I go 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.
And that is the sad truth of sales in 2019...
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 deadSocial Selling is not deadEmail is not deadSending letters is not deadNetworking 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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About the author:
Daniel Disney is one of the world's leading Sales, Social Selling and LinkedIn experts. With over 15 years sales experience, Daniel has mastered how to use social media to generate exceptional results, both in social engagement and in revenue generated. His brand new Online Social Selling Masterclass Course is helping salespeople all over the world generate MORE sales with LinkedIn and Social Selling.
Daniel is also a highly in-demand international keynote sales speaker, is the UK's leading sales blogger and is also the Founder and Owner of LinkedIn's most popular sales publication, The Daily Sales. With an audience of over 450,000+ followers and growing by thousands each week, his content reaches millions of salespeople far and wide.
To inquire about Daniel keynoting or speaking at your company or event, or to find out more about his 1-day and online LinkedIn/Social Selling Masterclass please email email@example.com.