Do You Suffer from Phone Phobia?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

12 August, 2011

Cartoon businessman making mistakeSetting appointments and closing sales over the telephone is not easy as numerous obstacles stand in the path of success: elusive decision makers, gatekeeper screens, fierce competition, privacy concerns, cold calling laws, and the lack of control you have over the telephone.

However, the most deadly obstacle to achieving success on the telephone is the underlying fear of using the telephone that causes sales people a host of problems.  You may not feel that you suffer from the fear of using the telephone.  Still read the following, as the information will surprise you.

What Is Phone Phobia?
Most believe that the term has to do only with being afraid to pick up the telephone and make calls, particularly cold calls.  However, according to telephone sales guru, John Landrine of the U.S., whom many credit with originating the term in 1990, Phone Phobia relates to much more.  Phone Phobia relates to a mentality sales people often develop that leads to the result of being afraid to pick up the telephone along with a host other problems.

The Mental Process
The problem is that most sales people inadvertently and unconsciously place too much value and significance on the outcome of a telephone call.  This creates the underlying mental process that ultimately causes the fear.  It looks like this:

  • Sales person knows that to be successful and have a great life, you must continuously close sales.
  • To close many sales, you have to close one at a time.
  • In order to close the sale, you must ask for the order.
  • Before you can ask for the order, you have to have an effective sales interaction.
  • Before you can have the sales interaction, you have to have an appointment.
  • To get the appointment, you must pick up the telephone, reach the prospect and get him or her to agree to meet with you.
  • Therefore, everything: a successful career, a great life, a nice home, and car—everything relies on the success on this next cold call.

Harmful Effects
The above thought process, while essentially correct, causes many negative outcomes, only one of which is the fear of picking up the telephone.  For instance, when making calls, this often-subconscious fear elevates your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.  This changes the relaxed state and tone of your natural speaking voice, which in turn makes you sound rehearsed, phony and even suspicious to the prospect.  Your unatural sounding voice acts like a warning beacon to the person on the other end of the telephone, screaming, “Telemarketer!  Sales person, beware!”

You must eliminate phone phobia.

Coming Monday, August 15, 2011 – How to Eliminate Phone Phobia.

Happy Selling!

Sean
Sean McPheat

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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