Many of the creative entrepreneurs that I consult with have trouble making calls to customers, galleries and agents. They fear rejection and being told “no” so much so, that they avoid the process of getting new business altogether.
I’m going to share a very effective “selling” technique that I learned a few years ago, when I produced a TV Show called THE PAINT SHOP WITH DREW BROPHY.
One 28 minute episode of a TV show costs quite a bit to make; ours was on a shoe-string and it still cost over $20,000 an episode. We needed sponsors to help pay for it.
To get sponsor dollars, someone had to make those dreaded cold-calls; and that someone was me!
The thought of calling people and asking for money made my stomach turn. I didn’t want to be hung up on, or rejected, or worse, have to explain to someone why they should give us money!
The first few calls didn’t go well. I rarely got the right person on the phone, and when I did, I fell flat in my communication skills.
But, I was forced to figure it out – otherwise the TV show would have to be cancelled. And we were already in production!
By a stroke of luck or divine intervention, one day it hit me; I was going about it all wrong. I was making the phone calls about ME and about what “I” needed.
I should have been making the calls about “THEM” and what they need.
That tiny little mind shift made a huge, positive difference, as a well as a few other mental changes that I made.
TIP LIST FOR MAKING “SALES” CALLS:
BEFORE THE CALL – CHANGE YOUR MINDSET!
- Set an Intention to Provide Value: Get yourself in the mindset that you want to provide value, and that you don’t want to sell to them if it’s not a fit.
- Set an Intention to Seek Information first: Your first objective should be to find out if they need/want what you have. (You don’t want to sell them what they don’t need, right?)
- Release attachment to the outcome: When we have an expectation, when we really, really, really want something, we are too attached to it. This comes through in our vibrations when we are talking to someone, even if it’s on the phone.
Let go of the need to have them say yes. You will be more relaxed when you make that call. When you are relaxed, it goes well.
When I was calling sponsors for our TV show, I stressed over the outcome, until I figured this out: If they say no, it’s because it’s not right for them. And I don’t want to take their money if it’s not a fit.
Making that one little mind shift helped me to become unattached to the outcome, the NEED to have them say “yes.” Instead, I focused on finding out what it is that they NEED, then seeing if I can give it to them.
DURING THE CALL:
- Get to the Point: People are busy. Have a pre-planned statement, in one to two sentences, the purpose of your call. Make it about them, not you. (Never say “I really need you to…)
- Be prepared: Have a list of questions to ask. And then ask them.
- Have a conversation: The best calls are when it’s a give and take conversation.
- Speak from the Heart: If you genuinely have it in your heart to enjoy this person on the other end of the phone, and to want to learn about them, and their likes and dislikes, you will connect with them on a personal level. And boom! You’ve now got them where you can then talk about who you are and what you have to offer.
- Find out what they need: You have no idea what they want or need or have tried in the past. You might think you do, but usually you’re wrong! There’s only one way to find out for sure what they need; and that is to have a conversation where you ask questions and genuinely want to help.
Forget about you – it’s all about them: Most nervousness surrounding social conversation has to do with thinking about yourself. Turn that around to think only of the other person, and what THEY need, and your nervousness will go away.
- End the conversation with a call to action: Ask if you can email info, or follow up later, or if they want more details.
- Feel good about the outcome: Even if they aren’t interested, thank them for their time and say “if anything changes, let me know.” Always leave the door open for later. No doesn’t always mean no, it just means “no for now.”
RECAP: The key to getting over being nervous is to FOCUS on THEM and what they need. Forget about yourself. Genuinely be interested in that person, their company, and what’s important to them.
When you show that kind of interest, the person will talk more. They will feel your warmth over the phone. They will begin to trust you, once they realize that their needs are important to you.
Then they will tell you things that will help you find a way to give them what they need. You will connect on a deeper level.
Once you’ve connected, they will be open to hearing about your offering and considering what you have to sell them!
Please, share in the comments, any suggestions you have to add to this.