There are a lot of sales myths floating around out there that do not serve us, such as only extroverts are good at sales and cold calling is dead. Neither of these are true. So, we periodically run a contest called Myth Buster. We need not spend any additional time busting the myth about cold calling being dead since we spend all day every day busting that myth. Cold calling has changed, but it is alive and well so we can consider that myth busted

Some of the super stars who work here are introverts, so that myth is also busted. Extroverts are definitely not the only people good at sales. Many personality types can be good at sales, just as through the years we have had many different personality types in the job as President of the United States. That’s not a political statement, simply a historical fact. Both of these sales myths, only extroverts are good at sales and cold calling is dead, rank up there with the Zombie Apocalypse as far as validity.

There are some sales myths related specifically to cold calling and appointment setting and that is what our Myth Buster contest is about. These are sales myths such as:

Monday is a bad day to call: A federal holiday is definitely a bad day to call but Monday, in general, is not a bad day to call. People come to work and do business all day on Monday. Maybe it is better to look at Monday in the opposite way of the Monday myth. Since everybody else has a mindset that Monday is a bad day to call, you will be the only one calling and therefore get better results. We bust this Monday myth every week on Monday, unless it really is a holiday. There are only so many business days and business daytime hours. It’s not practical to throw away 20% of the work week based on a myth.

Lunch is a bad time to call:  If everybody took lunch at exactly the same time, for the same duration, lunch might be a bad time to call. But there is a wide time span for taking lunch. I hear people say all the time, sometimes even myself, that they are taking lunch at 3 p.m. For that reason, lunch is not a bad time to call. In fact, it might even be the only time you can reach some people. We call in all different time zones anyway so it is easy enough to switch over to another time zone if you find that productivity is waning. The exception is calling restaurant owners. If you call a restaurant owner in the middle of lunch, their peak busy time, they may swear at you and hang up on you – and who could blame them.

Avoid No Interest leads. Meaning the record has been called before and tagged as the prospect had no interest. Conditions within companies change constantly and decision makers change all the time. The company could have become unhappy with their existing provider. They may have a need they did not have before. Unless you are hammering the same poor person on a frequent basis, no interest records, at some point, should be recycled. After a reasonable waiting period, those records are the same as calling new records.

You can’t get appointments after 4 pm. Some business executives and business managers stay late to get work done. After the receptionist leaves might be the best shot at reaching some decision makers. People who hardly ever pick up the phone may pick it up at off hours because nobody else is there to answer. It is true there is such a thing as a peak calling time, and very late in the day is not the optimal time to call, however, it’s also not a bad time to call. We have proven over and over there really is not such a thing as a bad time to call except for when businesses are closed or the afternoon before businesses are closed for a major holiday.

Prospects don’t return phone calls. There is a myth that leaving messages is a waste of time. Leaving a bad message is a waste of time, however, leaving a carefully crafted, professional voicemail message will result in calls being returned. It is not prudent to leave messages on every call, however, when you have learned that it is unlikely you will ever reach that person in real time, you have already put in the work, you may as well leave a message. Not every prospect will call you back, but you will be leaving appointments on the table by not ever leaving messages. If someone has a need, they are likely to call you back.

We of the human condition tend to place limits on ourselves for all kinds of reasons, sometimes without realizing that we are placing mental barriers on ourselves. It is good to place limits on ourselves that are about setting healthy boundaries, such as limiting your time with distractions, energy vampires or bad habits. The Myth Buster contest is about freeing our minds of self-imposed limitations because of some sales myths. Our Myth Buster crews have a fun time busting myths and unplugging from herd mentality.

The last time we ran Myth Buster, we read a great book together by John Maxwell, How Successful People Think, subtitled Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. It’s a pretty short read so we read the entire book. I don’t believe anyone could read that book without becoming a better thinker. As Dr. Maxwell stated, good thinkers are always in demand. Good thinkers solve problems, they never lack ideas that can build an organization, and they always have hope for a better future. The book made us think. The contest made us think. He didn’t say it in the book, but I’m pretty sure he ain’t afraid of no myth!

Tracie Chancellor
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