It is the beginning of the new financial year. You are ready and raring to grow your business and take it to the next level this new financial year. You have set some very aggressive sales goals that you are wanting to achieve, and what is getting you even more excited is the fact that you believe you have the perfect solution to be able to hit these targets and fill your sales pipeline: a new Sales Person.

Would it frustrate you more than ever then if you soon realized that the sales person who was going to solve all of your problems, started to create more of them? To notice that they are doing anything and everything to avoid any of the ‘grunt activity’ required? That they are waiting for enquiries to come to them, rather than activity pursuing them?

One mistake many businesses can make when hiring a BDM or sales rep, is that they look for someone to fulfill the WHOLE sales process – everything from the pre-qualification, cold calling, right through to making the sales presentations, writing proposals and converting – without understanding the repercussions that can come from that.

What is the issue with hiring a ‘wholistic’ salesperson you may ask?

It has been proven that sales people who are great in face-to-face selling conditions can have a very different skill set to those who love the ‘grunt work’ and prospecting all day. Most sales reps, in general, hate cold calls because of the high rejection factors and the fact that they only get to see the upside in the later stages of the sales cycle. Seeing the reward in the long term requires a vision that very few of these sales reps have. Prospecting is hard work and some people burn out from the high rejection rate and repetitive nature of the work.

If this is what you’ve started to experience from your new sales rep, not all is lost though. One can coach an excellent face-to-face sales person to be a more effective prospector – it’s about getting rid of their fear of cold calling and to get them into a state of confidence.

There are a number of things that you can do to achieve this:

  1. Have Planned Dialogues: The primary reason that salespeople lack confidence when making cold calls is that they don’t have planned dialogues. It’s difficult to be confident when you don’t know what it is that you are going to say, how you are going to resolve your prospect’s concerns etc. As well as having an opening statement prepared, have a plan for what you’re going to cover. A full script might seem wooden, so you can always try a bullet-point list of key points instead. This enables you to get across the information you need without thinking about it, allowing you to focus on being warm and personable.
  2. A Compelling Message: Another reason salespeople lack confidence is that they don’t have a compelling message. In order to be confident, you have to be able to help your prospective client. You have to have a message that they find compelling. Do your homework. Read the manuals of top products. Learn the specs. Subscribe to relevant industry newsletters. Ask existing customers what they like best. Determine how (and why) they use your products. Get examples. Hear the success stories.
  3. Knowing Your Ultimate Goal/Aim: Most salespeople go into cold calling with a ‘selling mindset’ – thinking they need to close the deal there and then. Train your sales rep to simply have a great conversation, identify their prospect’s needs, and to have the mindset that they are there to help people, not to sell to them!

Effectively teaching sales professionals how to overcome the fear of cold calling and to “seize the phone” doesn’t necessarily require a lengthy process. By following the steps above you could train your sale rep into the successful solution you were looking for, and ultimately you will be able to achieve the business goals you have set for the year.