Your palms are sweaty, there's a lump in your throat, your heart is racing and your head is so light you think you might faint.
Rest assured, it's not the latest strain of a deadly flu virus. Which is a good thing, because I don't have a cure for that—but I do have a cure for what is truly ailing you! What you have is that all powerful, all-too-real phenomenon called "phone fear." And if you don't overcome it quickly, it's certain death to your business.
You know making calls is vital to building relationships and following up with prospects, yet when you try to pick up the phone it seems to weigh 200 pounds. Suddenly the house needs cleaning, the dog needs walking and your sock drawer needs sorting ... anything to distract you from that dreaded phone.
Do you realize just how silly it is to let an inanimate object put you into such a tailspin?
Let me share with you what I've been doing for the past few months that has infused my team with excitement, built phone prospecting confidence and increased production. It's not rocket science and it's not even new, but sometimes we just have to be reminded of what truly works and bring it back into play.
I call it Telephone Tuesday, and here's how it works:
I make myself available to make live calls with my team, all day long, every Tuesday. We dial from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and then again from 2:00 till 7:00 p.m. Pacific time.
Everyone's busy these days, so I find that by choosing one day to focus entirely on prospecting, I can be ten times more productive than by trying to squeeze it in here and there. The rest of the week is spent following up on all the activity generated in those seven hours.
I have set up a GoToWebinar account where we meet online. However, you could also hold your sessions on a free conference line. A webinar is not necessary, but I like it because I can track our call results in an Excel file I can share with the team, as well as type Coaching Notes on a blank Word document to help my team with what to say to a prospect.
When pointing to information on our company web site, demonstrating tools or sharing other online resources, using a tool such as GoToWebinar to direct all attendees to the same place is very helpful. (If you Google "free webinar tools" you will find more similar options.)
My team members drop in and out for as much of the session as they are able to attend. Some participate for one hour, others four hours, some all day. Everyone brings their own leads. It doesn't matter whether they are warm-, cold- or targeted-market leads. Our goal is simply to get dialing and pique interest, then follow up with as many prospects as possible during the seven hours we work together.
We take turns calling and I track the result of each call on a spreadsheet, which helps us see our progress. It's also an easy way to look back the following week and see whom we might want to follow up with.
We have each other at the ready for three-way calls to demonstrate to our prospects that, should they choose to join our team, they won't be left to their own devices. Being available to each other also reassures our newest members, since more experienced reps are there to catch them if they trip.
Our brand new reps start with observing, and once they see how easy it is, they're eager to dive right in and make calls, too. I've seen the fear melt away once a new rep realizes that making calls is actually fun.
Some reps are hesitant and say they'll just keep observing. If this is their second session or beyond, that's a red flag for me that I need to provide some extra coaching. I simply ask if they have a list of prospects to call.
Often they reply with, "Yes ... let me see if I can find it," or, "I'm not sure I have it all together yet." Typically these are stalling techniques, so I ask them to tell me about the prospects they have in mind. Then I simply share the approach I'd take and the words I'd say. I offer to make the call with them, and we hit the phones.
Once we make a call or two, the new person starts to see how fun it is and how kind and receptive most people truly are. Before long we're laughing, whooping it up and they're on a roll. Often that's all it takes! One success breeds another—and the fear has evaporated into fun!
We're creating a wave of activity in that one day that books our distributors solid all week long with presentations and follow-up appointments, and even before the day is over they have many prospects calling them back. New people have a system and a support team, so they jump into activity faster. The team is now sponsoring more people in one week than they used to do in a month or more.
Why not start your own Telephone Tuesday or Dialing-for-Dollars Day? Even if it's just you and your sponsor, or you and the first person you sponsor, it's a fun and effective way to overcome phone fear once and for all.
There are only two things that make us money in network marketing: 1) getting customers, and 2) getting customer-getters (distributors). It's that simple. The best way I know of to get the job done is to grab a good phone script, smile and dial. Sharing the fun with team members will both motivate and educate them. And the best part is, you're actually earning while you're all learning from each other!
TRACY MONTEFORTE is cofounder of
WTPowers.com, an automated prospecting
and support system that has helped thousands
of network marketers around the world build
their businesses faster and easier since 2001.
Tracy is also a Master Results Coach and conducts
Dialing-for-Dollars Webinar Workshops. Her
mission is to teach network marketers how to overcome
their internal obstacles and work 100 percent
from home using the Internet and the telephone.