Stop Shoulding Yourself

At the beginning of the pandemic and in an effort to keep our team close while we were working remotely, we offered virtual events called GKB After Dark. These events ranged from concerts to book clubs, to guest speakers to team discussions, and more. A few weeks ago, our GKB After Dark event celebrated Women’s History Month. We had a team discussion followed by an awesome Q & A with Kate Markgraf. Kate played on the 1999 Women’s World Cup team and is currently the General Manager of the US Women’s National Team.

During this Q & A Kate referenced the phrase, “stop shoulding yourself”. The term was coined by Psychologist Clayton Barbeau, and it means putting pressure on yourself to do or be something based on what you think you’re supposed to do.

Although Kate was not talking about sales, this message can translate to all types of work. What does this mean in sales?  When Marketing Consultants (or salespeople) are “shoulding” themselves, they are saying they should have more new and bigger customers.

How do we go from should have more to actually having more customers?

One way to increase your chances of making it a reality is more cold calling!

Why am I still so confident in cold calling? The numbers don’t lie. Every year, Tim Colligan and our finance team analyzes the initial outreach method how we first secured a meeting with our new advertising partners for that year. The categories include cold call, referral, inbound and advertising agency referral. Historically, the most and biggest new advertising partners come from cold-calling.

In Jeff Schmidt’s RAB tip this week, he explains the value of using your phone. He says, “Use all the tools available to you – yes, even the “old school” stuff like handwritten letters and the phone. People are never without their phone these days. What a great way to (stealing from an old AT&T commercial) reach out and touch someone.”

It is very easy for a salesperson to send a cold email or LinkedIn outreach. I get probably 80-100 per week. Any guesses of how many cold calls I get on my phone? Maybe one cold call on my phone per month and if I’m not in a meeting, I generally answer my phone.

Instead of shoulding yourself, pick up the phone and be proactive.