Back in the 1990's I led a consultancy that comprised a collection of executive search and training executives. Each of these was working to stringent KPI's inclusive of new business development, client retention, quality outputs and business growth.
As you might imagine performance varied from consultant to consultant, however what I found truly intriguing was the fact that the most shy of these executives (in this case one of the training consultants) was consistently the highest biller. Telephone canvassing was a real problem for him however he continuously led the way with the setting of appointments.
My observations revealed something interesting. The hard yards that we all put in such as cold calling, telephone canvassing etc did not come naturally to this fellow. Thinking about the challenges facing him this executive performed a numerical analysis along the following lines.
How many calls must I make to secure an appointment? How many appointments/meetings must I fulfill in order to secure a proposal? How many proposals must I deliver before securing a project? Got it? Do the math and it might get a tad scary.
He did the math and made a conscious decision from that point onward. He chose Friday morning as the time to be set aside for prospecting. He would lock himself away from all office activity and focused on the task ahead. Never a disruption to be had. Over a four hour period he would consistently secure approximately 4-6 appointments for the following week, and repeated this process for several years despite the associated challenges with this activity.
So what can we learn from this executive as he turned a weakness into a strength. Once committed and actioned the activity that was deemed so challenging by most consultants became relatively easy for this executive. He saw the problem from a different perspective and applied a numerical reference point to his solution. Additionally once in the groove of repeated cold calling or telephone prospecting, the confidence level rises significantly. For those disbelievers follow the formulae outlined and you should be pleasantly surprised.
It's all about attitude.