Tag Archive for 'New York Enterprise Report'

Don’t give in to call reluctance

So, you’re sitting outside of a prospect’s office in your car (or staring at the phone number), knowing you need to make a sale. What’s holding you back?

Well, there are lots of excuses – here are four likely ones:

1. “The economy is bad - everybody knows that.”
2. “Everyone’s holding on to their cash; they’re not going to buy anything from me.”
3. “I heard they just laid off some people. They’re probably just holding on.”
4. “The last prospect didn’t buy anything, why would this one be any different?”

Actually, these aren’t excuses or reasons, they’re lies you tell yourself. Even though the information may be correct, what’s that got to do with the prospect you’re looking at through your windshield?

Why do we tell ourselves these lies and, worse, believe them enough that we fail to make the call? The answer is Call Reluctance.

Call reluctance is a destructive state of mind virtually every salesperson gets into from time to time. The simplest explanation for the call reluctance emotion is that you presume too much. For example:

You presume that you will be rejected.
Actually, the prospect might reject your offer, but not you. Since everyone knows an offer doesn’t have feelings, separate yourself from your offer, and at least go make a new friend.

You presume that they will kick you out of the office.
In truth, they might tell you they don’t have time to talk, so the worst that could happen is you find yourself outside of their office. Since that’s exactly where you are right now, you will be no worse off. What part of “I can’t lose” is difficult?

You presume that they don’t need what you sell.
Here’s a flash: That decision is above your pay-grade. Who do you think you are, answering for them? Get over yourself and allow prospects to decide for themselves. You might be right, but until you know for sure, you’re just betting against yourself, which doesn’t sound like a very intelligent career strategy, does it?

The slayer of sales is not a recession. The killer of commissions is not budget cuts. The most potent prospecting poison is not 9% unemployment. The greatest impediment to sales success is found in the wisdom of that great philosopher, Pogo the Possum, who so famously said, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.”

You can prove Pogo wrong by overcoming call reluctance. Somebody is buying something you sell right now! It might as well be you.

I’ve talked with Robert Levin, publisher and editor-in-chief of The New York Enterprise Report, about  how selling is different in the 21st century. Take a few minutes to listen to our conversations and leave your thoughts on what you’re finding in the “new normal” that is different than in the past.

Is selling different in the 21st century?

The 21st century sales process is different

When small business dreams come true

Over the past dozen years, one of the cool things I have been able to do in my work is meet many smart people who were working on entrepreneurial ideas for a new business, a book, a service or other venture. Many times they have told me about their dream when it was literally just in their heads. I was able to watch and encourage them as they did the research, took the baby steps that preceded the launch, executed the plan, and ultimately grew the project into a success.

One of these stories involves my friend, Robert Levin. Rob wanted to produce a regional print publication dedicated to small businesses in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In the face of a lot of competition and against all of the odds of starting any new venture from scratch, he did it.

Since 2005, I’ve interviewed Rob on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, to talk about his journey and the work he is doing on behalf of small business. This week, while attending the fourth annual New York Enterprise Report Small Business Gala in New York City, I got to see that Rob has not only created a successful publishing venture, but also a vibrant community of followers. There were over 400 excited gala attendees who were there to network and recognize a number of tri-state small businesses for their marketplace excellence. Goodonya, Rob. I’m proud of you.

As a side note, yours truly received one of the “Advocate” awards, along with Brain Trust member, Karen Kerrigan, President of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, and one of my heroes.

Only in a free-market economy can someone first imagine and then build a business venture from scratch without having to ask permission. Only liberty provides the ability to take risks and then succeed or fail in business on your own. Only unfettered access to ownership and the possibility of financial success produces this kind of work and commitment.

In my work, I get to see this kind of behavior all the time. I love my job.

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