So, while driving into work this morning, I was listening to Mad Dog Sports radio (as I do every morning). Steve Phillips was discussing the Giants/St. Louis game where two Giants defensive players were clearly faking injuries to get a break from the St. Louis attack (USA Today video and article). Steve was going on and on about how the league should change the rules and make injured players sit out 4 downs. The idea being that this would deter other teams from doing the same thing.
I came up with my own idea about how to keep this problem from getting contagious and decided I would call into the number provided on my XM screen. I called the number, thinking of course that no one would pick up and I wouldn’t get to share my thoughts. After all, I never win anything when I call in otherwise. Naturally, the one time I am totally unprepared, they answer! So, what did I do? I hung up like a scared pup. I wasn’t prepared; I didn’t know how I would open. I didn’t know how I would present my case and I definitely didn’t want to go on the air and embarrass myself. Rather than just go on screaming Ba Ba Booey (H. Stern fans will know what this means), I just hung up.
I am sure this has happened to most folks at some point, whether cold calling or dialing just to dial. Then, miraculously, you get someone on the phone and you chicken out. It’s called “Call Reluctance” and it is a sales disease that should be eradicated immediately.
So, I sat there for a couple minutes, listened to the current caller and started mentally walking through my approach. As soon as I could muster enough confidence, I called back. Low and behold, they answered again and I was placed on hold to listen to the current caller and wait for my turn. I then got an opportunity to present my case.
I think I did a good job, but since I wasn’t agreeing with their point, it was dismissed. If you’re curious…my idea was to reward the offense with a down. So if a defense without timeouts has an injury, the other team’s offense gets a down. Steve’s argument was that employers provide sick time for these things. My response was that when an employee runs out of sick time, they have to take a sick day off without pay. They are penalized. A little off-topic here, but wanted to make you aware of the point.
There are a couple lessons learned here to put on your list of sales strategies.
The first, never make a call unless you’re prepared to have a conversation.
Second, if you run into call reluctance, the best way to defeat it is by calling back and facing it head on because it is no friend to sales. It can continue for days if you don’t, while you make all kinds of excuses as to why you’re not ready and keep dragging your feet. I have seen callers infected for weeks because they lost all confidence due to call reluctance. Don’t be that guy.
My final question to you is, “Are you in the game”?