“Change your thoughts, change your world” was introduced to us by Norman Vincent Peale , a minister and author who, in 1952, published The Power of Positive Thinking, a book that garnered him a lot of criticism and created quite a bit of controversy. Today is has been translated into 17 languages and sold over 7 million copies. Why? Because it’s true – revising how we think about something can result in monumental change.
So if you are hesitating to call that prospect you believe is your ideal client, or that customer you haven’t heard from in awhile, or that employer you’d love to work for – stop thinking about the call in terms of “sales” and think about it as the last step in your research process. Here’s what I mean:
1) People mention a certain company to me frequently saying things like “They could really use your services” or “You should give them a call”. I delve into their website, read press releases, annual reports and other bits of information that all indicate effective phone communication is key to their success. But until I speak to someone and present what I do, the fact that we can work together is only an idea. In order for me to truly know if they are a prospective customer, I have to complete my research by talking to them. They could say “No thanks, we do all our training in-house” or “We just spent a lot of money on training but call us back in 2016” or “Yes, we’d like to know more about The Phone Lady”. In order to find out, I’ve got to pick up the phone and complete my research.
2) I have a customer that’s worked with me regularly for several years. I suddenly realize I haven’t heard from them in quite awhile. Certainly I could send a quick email to let them know I’ve been thinking about them and find out if they have future training dates in mind. But they could respond with “Nice to hear from you. We have no training needs at this time.” While that’s valid information, it doesn’t allow me to strengthen my relationship with them or know how to serve them going forward. A phone conversation allows me to do some research. Perhaps the company is under new management, or they’ve changed their sale strategy, or they’ve been so busy they’ve forgotten to call me. I won’t know until we have a conversation.
3) There’s a company you really admire and you think it’s an ideal place for you to work. You check their website and other job sites regularly, but there’s no indication the company is looking to hire. You can accept that as fact or you can pick up the phone and find out. When you introduce yourself and say “I’ve admired your company for years and have experience in such-and-such which I believe is a good fit for your engineering department. I’m wondering, how can I organize an interview?”, you are completing the last step of your research process. You’ll find out if they are hiring, when they are planning to hire and how you can be considered. Any or all of that information is what good research is all about.
For the all the talented people I’ve met over the years that avoid the phone because they think “But I don’t want to sell”, I encourage you to listen to Norman Vincent Peale and change your thoughts. Become a diligent researcher and you’ll “change your world”.
Happy dialing everyone!