While completing my undergraduate degree in the late 1990’s, I took up a door-to-door commission-sales job that was run by my surfer-entrepreneur housemate. His business offered a service to reduce the chance of someone’s car being stolen by etching the registration number on each of the glass window panels of the car. This reduced the car from being stolen because it required the thief to change all the glass panels in the car to reduce the traceability to the original owner. My housemate loved to surf but only wanted to spend a few hours working each day. His relaxed approach to selling door to door allowed him to regularly earn $300 or $400 with apparent ease.

Even though I was very inexperienced in sales, I had managed to achieve some reasonable success after a few weeks. Therefore one Saturday I set an ambitious financial goal that would involve me door-knocking all day.

You have never seen a more enthusiastic person door to door salesperson! I pushed myself with passion at each door in Tarragindi, Queensland. By midday I had made no sales… could it be the audience? By mid afternoon I was getting frustrated. But I was fine because I only needed to strike four sales in order to get my goal. By late afternoon it was getting dark. I had made no sales and was feeling low. At the end of the day I had failed to achieve my goal. In defeat I resigned and went back to my retail job.

In hindsight:

  • In the morning I was overzealous
  • By the early afternoon I feeling frustration
  • In the late afternoon I was feeling desperation. 

Nobody wants to buy from someone with these emotions.

Like most of you I like to buy from someone that’s relaxed and informed. They love their job and are interested in you. 

My surfer-entrepreneur housemate had nailed the perfect approach by using a natural, informed and engaging approach when cold calling.

For the past 15 years in enterprise sales, I’ve realised your emotions can be betray you even over over the phone!

One tactic that I use is smiling on the phone when I’m speaking with clients. I’ve always believed clients can hear the smile and relaxation in your voice.

Recent research has shown that we can hear someone smiling!

There are always going to be times when you are not feeling 100% excited about calling your clients. However you need to find ways to trigger a positive emotional engagement. Once you are talking positively, you receive a positive response, and this in turn makes you feel positive 🙂