I came across an article in Fast Company magazine from January 2005 in the "Corporate Shrink" column. A reader asked Dr. Kerry J. Sulkowicz:
Having built many successful business relationships with customers, I suddenly find myself experiencing call reluctance. I've lost all confidence in my ability to create the win-win scenario. How can I get my confidence back?
Does that sound familiar? Do you ever find yourself dreading answering the phone, because you just "know" there's going to be a price shopper on the other end? Or worse, it will be a good prospect, but you won't be able to "close" the sale?
Dr. Sulkowicz offers some excellent advice:
First of all, realize that everyone "is prone to slumps." He says that "sometimes you have to understand why you've lost something before you can get it back." Was it a particular client that shook your confidence? Was it a series of calls that just didn't seem to go your way? Or is something going on in your personal life that is affecting your business?
Just thinking about these issues might be enough to get you back on track. Maybe you'd benefit from writing out a call script to help guide the conversation. Or maybe you need "a mentor whose confidence is contagious," as Dr. Sulkowicz put sit.