What are your thoughts on this? I am a firm believer of standing while selling but none of my colleagues are. Thank you for your training on cold calling, I thought it was excellent, however experienced one is with cold calling there is always room for improvement.
Please let me know your thoughts on standing,
MW, No Fear Cold Calling attendee
Is standing up whilst on the phone a good thing? Does it improve sales results? Are you right or are your team right?
What a great question!
Standing up whilst on your phone is one of those perennial sales wisdoms that has been around for years. I remember one of my first sales managers taking away our chairs and not letting us sit down until we had had a “win” on the phone!
This practise is certainly not dead in today’s competitive sales markets either. Some of my clients have "Power Hours" of cold calling during which no-one is allowed to sit down or put the phone down. I was watching a reality programme on TV recently and this is exactly what the sales manager there did too.
But does this tactic work?
The short answer to this question is “Yes, maybe." Standing up when on the phone can be a very powerful technique for many salespeople. Not for the whole cold calling session and not every time or all of the time but it may well be a powerful weapon to add to your sales arsenal. Here’s why:-
1. Standing up whilst on the telephone improves your posture
If you watch many salespeople and business people on the phone they lean forward with their head and their eyes down. They often cradle the phone to their ear either by supporting it between their shoulder and their head or by holding it to their head with their hand. This bent over position hampers their breathing by compressing their lungs and the “closed” aspect of this posture comes over on the phone call.
By standing up we open up the lungs and allow ourselves to breathe more easily and more naturally. Our “confident” rather than “closed” stance comes across in our voice pace, pitch and tone and is subconsciously recognised by our client or prospect.
2. Standing up whilst on the telephone improves how we feel
When we are crunched up and sitting down our breathing is more difficult. This is pronounced under the stress of a cold call and can affect the overall impact of the sales call and therefore the results that you are getting.
By standing up we open up our lungs and allow ourselves to fill our lungs with oxygen. This helps us to feel better, more relaxed and in control. You know that you feel better and more in control when you’re standing up, when your head is up and when you’re breathing naturally.
3. Standing up keeps your eyes and your head up
When you’re sitting down, many salespeople find that their heads go down. Their eyes are pulled down to the paper in front of them. This can make it easier for you to access negative memories and feelings. This is not what you want on a cold call.
Think back to a time when you were talking to someone who was “down”. Think about their posture, think about their breathing, think about what they did with their head and their eyes…
Their head was bowed and their eyes were down, right! Aha! They did not have their head up and they were not standing up with their eyes up front.
Standing up with your head up and your eyes at eye level or above is good for confidence. When your eyes are looking up or forwards it is more difficult to access negative emotions and feelings and this is a good thing when you are on the phone, particularly during a cold calling session!
4. Standing up when you are on the telephone gives you more freedom of movement and expression
Getting your message over on the phone can be hard. Your prospect cannot see you, they have no visual component of your communication to help them. Your communication consists purely of your words and how you say them. When you are sitting down, closed down, leaning forward, it can be very difficult to express yourself easily.
Standing up on the other hand gives you more flexibility. It gives you more control over your voice. It gives you more scope to get your message over.
Why do you think “stand up” comedians “stand up”? Not because you want to watch them walk backwards and forwards! Because it frees their voice and their ability to express themselves.
5. Standing up when on the phone makes it easier for you to visualise that you are in control
When salespeople are sitting down it is easier to access negative thoughts, particularly if your head goes down.
Conversely, standing up makes it easier to imagine that you are fully in control. Many successful cold callers I know visualise themselves standing up and shaking hands with their client confidently and with authority. Many people find this much easier to do when they are standing up.
5. Standing up when on the telephone raises your energy levels
When you are sitting down on the phone it is easy to allow your energy levels and intensity levels to drift. This is not going to get you great cold calling results. Keeping your energy levels up when sitting down can be difficult. You must not let your energy slide and end up going through the motions!
When you stand up your energy levels go up. You already know this. Imagine a time when you were sitting on the sofa at home. Maybe the fire is on and you’ve had a take away meal. You’re beginning to nod off so you decide to go to bed. You get up and take two miserable steps and you’re wide awake! We’ve all done it! Standing up has raised your energy levels and switched your body back on!
If you walked into your office when your team were on the phone having a cold calling session, how long would it take for you to know if they were having a good day?
Seconds right? You’d know instantly from their posture, their facial expressions and their movements.
Physiology is hard wired to the way we feel. Whatever emotion you are experiencing will show in your physiology. You see this in the sales office regularly…
Someone is having a bad day. They are sitting down. They are low energy. Their head is bowed and they are “going through the motions”. They make a sales call but, by a stroke of luck, the prospect is interested. As the prospect voices their interest the salesperson’s head comes up, some energy is injected into their voice and they look up. As the sales call progresses well, the salesperson sits totally up and eventually stands up! Why? Because that’s the physiology that they attach to that emotion and therefore they stand up.
You don’t need to stand up all of the time. You may not need to stand up any of the time. You do need to stand up when it will improve the quality, intensity or energy of your sales calls.
- Standing up is great for starting your cold calling session well and with energy
- Standing up is great for injecting some energy into a flagging cold calling session
- Standing up is great for increasing confidence when cold calling
- Standing up is great for improving communication by being able to express yourself more fluidly
- Standing up is great for creating a buzz in the sales office.
So why don’t people do it?
Salespeople do not stand up because it is outside of their comfort zone. Salespeople do not stand up because they do not want other people to look at them. Salespeople do not stand up because they do not want other people to hear and see their “failures” (For more on sales mindset check out Sales Success audio).
Let’s say that you wanted to start your day with a productive session on the phone. You walk through the door at 8am…
What are your team doing? What is the energy like? I guess that they’re not doing very much and that the energy levels are pretty low! How would you feel about standing up in the middle of the office and starting cold calling with passion, right then and right there?!
Probably not good!
Most of us want to fit in with the surroundings and people that we work with. Problem is, that if we fit in and behave like everyone else, we will no doubt get results like everyone else. But if you want exceptional results than you need to employ exceptional practises. If you want exceptional results then you need to take action. If you want to be exceptional then you need to be prepared to be different and act differently.
So you don’t need to stand up, you don’t have to stand up but you do need to work out when standing up would improve your sales results and JUST DO IT!