I was speaking with a young college graduate who moved to Seattle because her husband had landed a career-enhancing teaching position. Brittany was anxious to get a job. When I asked her what she’s learning from the interviewing process, she shared a brilliant question she asks at the end of her interviews: “If there is any reason you believe I am not a good fit for the position, can we talk about it now?”
Guess what? She got answers that have been helpful in her job search. The interviewers were candid in their feedback. Brittany is a social worker. Getting her to agree that she is a salesperson would be a stretch. However, she does understand that during interviews, she is selling herself.
Sales Call Reluctance is the emotional hesitation to prospect and self-promote. A prospect is anyone who can help you get closer to a goal! Could your prospect be your neighbor, the manager of your favorite coffeehouse, the executive director of a trade association or the CEO of a company to which you want to sell accounting software?
During a meeting with a highly credentialed professional woman who happens to be the president of a national organization, I asked if she understood what Sales Call Reluctance was. Her reply surprised me: “Of course! I wrote a book that could help so many people, but I am afraid to promote myself as a speaker.” This accomplished professional suffers from Call Reluctance.
Interesting, isn’t it? The national figure experiences Sales Call Reluctance, but Brittany, the social worker, doesn’t.
What is something you want to achieve that requires the help of others?
Ready to “get your ask in gear”? Follow these steps, and you’ll get much closer to reaching your goals:
- Who do you need to call in order to get what you want? Is it someone in your network who can put in a good word for you? Write their name(s) down.
- Mentally visualize yourself achieving the goal. Athletes do this consistently.
- Are you ready to pick up the phone and ask for what you want? Go ahead – make your call.
- If you reach for the phone and find yourself hesitating, immediately write down the internal dialogue that’s causing you to hesitate. Your freedom from Sales Call Reluctance begins with identifying the thought that is causing you to hesitate. You may be telling yourself something like, “This is stupid. They get calls like this all the time,” “They will say, no,” or “They will tell me they’re not interested.” Yes, be brave and write it down.
- Now that you have captured on paper the internal dialogue that caused you to stop, take a deep breath and put a number (1) next to what you wrote.
- In learning how to challenge your internal dialogue, you must understand that there are four energy blocks that keep people from asking for what they want: (a) limiting beliefs; (b) assumptions; (c) interpretations or perceptions; and (d) your inner critic or inner terrorist.
- What is another perspective you can apply to your negative inner dialogue? Might it be, “What if they say yes?” Add a number (2), and write “What if they say yes?” next to it.
- Add number (3), and write, “I will never know if I don’t ask.”
- Add number (4), and write, “I hate this. I should not have to do this.”
- Add number (5), and write, “I will learn something from making the call.” Feel free to exercise your creativity and write your own statements that help challenge and/or change your perspective.
- Now, look over your list – (1) through (5) – and circle the one that uplifts you the most. Celebrate and say, “I choose that one!”
- Yes, you have a choice in how you approach each phone call. Now, pick up the phone and make your call.
- Hold the goal high – get the feeling of achieving it, take action, and then emotionally detach from the outcome.
By the way, Brittany landed a job with great opportunities for growth. The national figure is still wishing she had the courage to promote herself as a speaker and market her book.
Who would you rather model?