3 Ways To Develop Proactive Call Behavior

by Chris Kontes | January 23rd, 2020

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“I’m not a product of my circumstances. I’m a product of my decisions.” - Stephen Covey.

We regularly look into Balto calls to uncover sales behaviors that work best. While examining the data, we discovered that being proactive is highly correlated with wins on sales calls. Specifically, using proactive language on a call increases the chance of a win by 3X.

Our language stems from who we are and how we view this world. Proactive language doesn’t change the circumstance of the calls but it opens a great opportunity to change the outcome. Our mindset and values drive our behaviors. How we express ourselves automatically affects our personal and professional lives. Intentionally putting yourself into a proactive mindset will drive proactive call behavior. 

Let’s look at the 3 ways to develop proactive call behavior

1. Take responsibility for your success on the call

Proactivity starts in our head. It starts with acceptance of a thought that I’m in control of what’s happening on that particular call. There are some things I cannot control but I’ll give my best to impact what I can. It’s easy to hand the responsibility for our lives, happiness, and success to circumstances or other people.  It’s easy to blame bad leads, bad timing, wrong person titles, or the wrong environment. It’s tough to take responsibility (no matter the circumstances) to keep dialing. Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur and motivational speaker, put it perfectly when he said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

The very moment you pick up the phone and dial,  you should think to yourself, “I will do my best to make this a won call. I can impact it, I take charge of the outcome”. You’ll see how things in sales can change in a split moment without extra training efforts. Sales guidance, coaching, and feedback can help a lot when you are willing to take responsibility. 

2. Break the pattern that doesn’t work

Have you ever been in a situation that repeated itself over and over again, and produced the same unwanted result? Now ask yourself, have you ever expected a different positive result out of the same pattern you’ve been stuck in for a long time, in hopes that this time it’ll be different and you’ll get what you want, but still nothing happened? If you answered “yes”, it’s time to use rule #1, take charge, be proactive, and break the existing pattern that already proved itself as unwanted. As Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” The first step is to accept you are stuck in a pattern of behavior.  Then, identify the specific pattern occurring. Lastly, plan and execute the alternative more effective strategy and do things differently. In sales, here are some language pattern-breaking phrases you can use on a sales call:

  • Let me take a step back
  • Let me clarify this for you
  • Could you give me an example, so I can better understand your situation/so I can better help you
  • It seems like you’re a little concerned about this. Could you let me know what I can do for you to make this call worthy of your time/a better experience for you

Pattern interrupting is an effective technique to help you change another person’s state and energy. It can help put you and your prospect on the same page, start over and get a chance to reboot your conversation so you can  take it in the right direction this time. In every conversation, it’s important to make sure you create a comfortable energy and environment for the other person involved, this way you give them a chance to better listen and understand where you’re coming from.

3. Have courage to get out of your comfort zone NOW

Change must be achieved not attempted and it requires courage, courage to leave what’s been so comfortable, and enter the world of proactivity. That’s when the most important decisions happen. Step up into the uncertainty with courage or step back into a certain fear. Go now. As humans, we have a  tendency to procrastinate. “This is the last time, and then I’ll change that behavior”, “I’ll start tomorrow”, “when I’m ready”, “when the time is better”, “when it’s the right moment”, etc. There is no right time, you can never be fully prepared. The key is to do it now. Make it happen. You cannot be cautious about courage, courage involves risk, and tough decisions but it also drives the change and behavior that can take your performance to the next level. There is no way you reach the top from your comfort zone. Proactive behavior predicts great individual and organizational sales success. Proactivity in an organization is reflected in the boldness or cautiousness of the company as a whole.  There are many ways courage can be practiced on a sales phone call, for example being direct with your questions and asking tough questions, the ones that are uncomfortable asking, but also the ones that need to be asked and need to be answered.

The change starts within ourselves and affects everything around

People talk a lot about wanting to impact and touch other people’s lives. This is how impacting starts – it starts with ourselves, our values, how we genuinely treat our jobs and those around us on a daily basis. By changing ourselves, we will more easily be able to  touch others’ lives. It’s not about saying, it’s about doing. It’s not about complaining about circumstances, it’s about taking action necessary to produce the change needed. It lies in your self-efficacy, which is, according to Canadian-American psychologist, Albert Bandura, an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. 

As you are reading through this you might notice these recommendations are totally transferable into every area of your life. That’s the value of sales.  We can take control of our lives whether it’s in sales, at work, or in our personal lives. We own the power to produce change to drive a different desirable outcome. That power is always within each of us, we just need the courage to discover and use it.

Practice Exercise

Pick a random call you made and write down every reactive behavior you notice on that call.  Then tally up all the reactive behaviors. How many do you have?  

Now, think of how many of these same behaviors might occur on your calls per day, per week, per month or even per year? What would happen if you had a power to turn those reactive behaviors into the proactive ones? How would the outcomes of your calls change?

Balto gives you that power. Balto automatically coaches you live on every call and instantly helps you turn every reactive language into proactive. 

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