Friday, December 17, 2010

The Major Cause of Call Reluctance By Gail Goodman

In the financial services profession, it seems everyone agrees that there is such a thing as "call reluctance." Managers and trainers use this phrase when referring to specific behavior - i.e. someone not willing to get on the phone and schedule their appointments. When I ask managers and trainers "Why do you think your agents are avoiding the phone?" Nine times out of ten their answer will be "fear of rejection." If I ask a class of producers, I get the same answer. 
I disagree. Follow my line of thought: 

First, how can someone in sales be afraid of rejection? No one sells everybody they see, but yet, the morning after we don't make a sale, we wake up and go after the next sale. If we were truly afraid of rejections, then we wouldn't be in a sales career. Sales people have what I call a "rubber personality." Like a rubber ball, if you push us down, we bounce back up.

Second, and more importantly, I have seen many "call reluctant" people get on the phone after admitting in class that they were suffering from this malady. What happened? Usually, their rapid change in behavior and attitude came from being given a script that sounds more genuine to them. If you offer an advisor better words to get their message across - lo and behold - they get on the phone. It seems that being "call reluctant" is an easily changed behavior.

I think something else is going on. Let's talk about your average advisor. You probably have many advisors like this.

They're probably a pretty smart person. This industry requires a certain amount of "smarts" for initial admission.

They probably possess an out-going, people oriented personality - and genuinely like most people.

They most likely have strong verbal skills. Most sales people do. Advisors are great talkers and can engage all types of people in conversation.

We'll assume that they have faith in their ability to make their own success. People in a commission- only position have to possess this personality trait.
If you take an out-going, verbally adept, self-reliant person and put them in front of a phone and they think they will sound like blubbering idiot, they won't pick up the phone.

The answer to the problem is simple: Train people to do something before you ask them to do it.Too often there is an assumption of skill when we recruit smart, out-going, talkative people. Phoning requires good talkers. But that does not necessarily mean that our advisors know how to set an appointment.
It behooves every management team to provide a systematic, easy-to-understand way of training new recruits on the phone. Let me emphatically say that "Watch me" isn't a training methodology. Imagine my ski instructor doing the same thing. He takes me to the top of a big slope, I'm terrified, and all he does at my lesson is say "Watch me." And off he goes. Do you think I feel like I can ski? No, and neither do your new recruits. The ability to talk and be outgoing does not immediately translate into appointment setting phone skills.
"Call reluctance" is a product of insufficient training and supervision of this critical career breaking skill. As a manager, you are responsible to provide reasonable training to your new advisors, and as a new advisor, you must seek out on-going education to keep up with the changes that are required on the phone.
Thank you, Gail! Good insight. To me, this is all about confidence. In fact, all success in our life boils down to confidence. Generating referrals isn't rocket science - it's just a matter of confidence. Having the right words, the right process, and lots of practice builds confidence. And, of course, a little early success never hurts.
The same is true for calling prospects to set appointments. Providing the right training produces confidence in your advisors.






Web Traffic Generation Tips Copyright © 2009 Not Magazine 4 Column is Designed by Ipietoon Sponsored by Dezigntuts