Don’t Let the Phone Frighten You

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No matter what type direct sales business you’re involved with, a big part of your job is probably using the telephone. Unfortunately, lots of people have a fear of making sales calls. You might find it easy to talk to a customer when they call you. But the mere thought of having to pick up the telephone and call someone to make an appointment or try to sell them something, gets your stomach churning, dries out your mouth and empties your mind of everything you know. Does this sound familiar?

You have two choices. Let your fear of the phone beat you. (Then you might as well quit your job.) OR face your fear, pick up the phone and call someone! Let’s break the fear down into manageable steps and talk about how to banish phone fear from your life forever.

First, look at your work environment. When working in direct sales, you’re the boss. Most direct sales consultants work from home. But you still have to transform your work space into a proper working environment so that it’s more conducive to actual work. Doing so will put you in the right frame of mind to work–mentally. Some direct sales reps put on “business clothes” so they feel more like they’re working, but you don’t have to go that far, unless you want to.

Ideally, a headset with an attached microphone will let you talk with your customers while typing or writing, if you choose. And you won’t get a sore hand from holding the phone for what may be a few hours. But a regular telephone will work, too.

Have pen and paper, product information, objection handling answers, and even sample products within easy reach so you don’t have to go looking for things while you’re on the phone.

Make sure you have a bottle of water to stop your mouth drying out. There’s nothing worse when you’re trying to talk!

And now that your office is set up, there’s no longer an excuse to avoid making those calls.

So, what’s your real fear?

Possibly the fear of rejection? That’s normal because you will get rejected. But that doesn’t matter. Sales is a numbers game. Set yourself up to make a certain number of calls, or to make calls for a specific amount of time. Then don’t stop.

Every rejection makes it more likely that the next call won’t be a rejection. And rejections aren’t personal! You might have called at a bad time. Your customer might already have what you’re selling, or she may simply not be interested. There are a host of reasons for getting a rejection over the phone. None of them should make you more afraid!

don’t be afraid of objections, either. If a customer is asking questions or starting sentences with the word “but,” this is a positive sign that they’re showing interest in what you have to offer.

Explain the benefits of your product. It could make them smarter, stronger, help them cook better meals, smell better, take years off their life, save them money, etc. People want to know if what you’re selling can help make their life easier. The worst that can happen is that they say “no” to you. No big deal. Move on to the next call.

Separating your business psyche from your personal psyche is a skill that’s hard to master, but that can be learned through experience. Before you pick up the phone, determine to have confidence in yourself. You have great products and you’re calling to help your customer. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Be positive, and smile every time you dial. Draw a little smiling face and attach it to, or near, your phone. If you’re smiling, it really does come through in your voice and people will be more likely to want to speak with you.

You can overcome your fear of the telephone. Just never give up. No matter what.


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