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Overcoming Your Fear of Prospecting - Part One: Stop Making Assumptions

I began this series by talking about the heightened fear that surrounds us today, which is the fear of each other. How did this fear come about exactly?

Just over 40 years ago, everyone would jump to answer their rotary home phone when it rang, but then something started to change. Companies realized they could monetize cold calling, and people began to receive unsolicited calls.

Thankfully in time we developed caller ID, so the annoyance of cold calling was lessened somewhat by having the ability to know who was calling and choice of whether to answer or not. But that still wasn’t good enough, so then the government had to step in and create a national Do Not Call list. Today most people just let a call drop if they’re not in the mood to answer the phone, and those on the calling end often don’t even bother to leave a voicemail.

All of this environmental and situational conditioning has caused people to fear active communication, by maintaining false assumptions and pretenses. “They don’t want to talk to me; they’re too busy; I would be bothering them; they don’t have an interest in my services”...

We convince ourselves of the craziest of assumptions.

We also sometimes go in the opposite direction and put undo pressure on ourselves by thinking, “This is a high value client and I can’t blow the call; or I know this company would be an incredible account to land.” Though it may be true, the mental communication going on inside your head is creating unnecessary fear, anxiety and nervousness.

Here is the reality. You don’t know anything yet; you don’t know what someone is thinking. You don’t always know if someone is actually a high value client or would be a key partner to affiliate with. The truth is you don’t know anything, other than what has been directly communicated to you. One of the biggest mental shifts the best salespeople consistently make is they stop focusing on what they don’t know, and focus on what they DO know. They remove the self-talk of assumption and instead concentrate their efforts on finding the truth.

They approach the sales conversation as a fact finding mission, determining what clients’ needs are and focusing on the relationship first, without expectations. When you enter the conversation with expectations, the end result more often than not becomes a let-down or feeling of failure, because you thought you had control over the outcome of the conversation, but control is actually an illusion. You only have control over your own thoughts and actions.

The next time you begin to prospect call, pay attention to your mental thoughts and catch yourself first so you can stop making assumptions. Assumptions will limit and restrict your frequency of calling and attitude towards more vital communication tools.

Once you stop making assumptions, the next thing to master is not taking the conversation or outcome personally.

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