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How To Get Over The Fear of Cold Calling?

Are you afraid of making cold calls? Does even the idea of making a cold call cause your heart rate to rise? Do you need tried and trusted tips to get over cold calling anxiety? Thankfully, you can overcome all of these fears and turn objections into opportunities.

What Is Fear of Cold Calling?

The fear of cold calling, in a nutshell, is a fear that many salespeople have of contacting via phone people with whom haven’t previously interacted. In fact, 63% of sales representatives call cold calling the worst part of their job. 

Cold calling is all about taking a chance and reaching out to people who may or may not be interested in what you’re selling. It’s one of the oldest sales techniques in the book, and some people might feel that if they’re afraid of making cold calls, it’s impossible for them to be a good salesperson. 

This isn’t the case. However, getting better at cold calls can improve your performance, boost your confidence, and help you get better at other sales techniques.

Why Are You Afraid of Cold Calling?

There are lots of reasons why salespeople might experience fear of cold calling. The following are some of the most commonly cited ones that might apply to you:

Reason 1: You Don’t Know What to Say

You might be afraid of cold calling because you worry that you’ll say the wrong thing when talking to a potential customer or client. 

A lot of people struggle with cold calls because they freeze up when the person they’re calling picks up the phone. Their mind goes blank and they struggle to come up with a convincing pitch before the other person hangs up on them.

Reason 2: You Don’t Know Who You’re Contacting

Perhaps you don’t know what to say when you make a cold call because you don’t know who it is you’re calling. 

Do you know how to pronounce their name? Do you know why they might be interested in the product or service you’re selling? 

A lack of research often affects people’s confidence and makes it hard for them to be convincing with their sales pitches. 

Reason 3: You Don’t Have a Lot of Practice

When you’re brand new to something and haven’t had a lot of opportunities to practice, it’s normal to feel scared about doing it. Cold calling is foreign to a lot of people, especially in this day and age when people are more hesitant than ever about picking up the phone if they don’t know who’s on the other end.

Reason 4: You’re Afraid of Rejection

Nobody likes to be told “no.” Furthermore, people generally aren’t very kind to or understanding of those who are making cold calls. 

Understandably, you might experience fear of cold calling because you don’t want to be cussed out or rejected for simply trying to do your job. 

Reason 5: You’re Afraid of Making Phone Calls, Period

Maybe it’s not cold calling, specifically, that you’re afraid of, but the idea of making a phone call, period. Phone call anxiety is a real thing, and a lot of people struggle with it, including 61% of millennials and 42$ of baby boomers who report avoiding phone calls altogether.

How to Get Over the Fear of Cold Calling?

Do any of these reasons for experiencing cold calling anxiety resonate with you? The good news is that, once you know why you’re afraid of something, you can start working to conquer that fear.

Here are some specific tips to help you figure out how to overcome the fear of cold calling:

1. Prepare for Objections

One of the first steps to overcoming the fear of cold calling is accepting that you’ll hear the word “no” a lot.

Initially, objections and rejections can be hard to handle. If you know that there’s a good chance you’ll hear them, though, you’ll be less likely to be caught off guard.

2. Create Cold Calling Scripts

A good cold calling script (or a series of scripts) can help you to feel more confident and overcome the worry of not knowing what to say. Here’s a basic breakdown of what your script should include: 

  • Brief introduction and rapport-building question(s)
  • A key message that tells the prospect the intention of your call
  • Pre-qualifying questions (5-10) that ensure you’re talking to someone who fits your ideal customer profile (or ICP)
  • An appeal to the prospect’s values and an explanation of how your product/service benefits them
  • Conclusion and final call-to-action (setting an appointment, scheduling a consultation, etc.)

3. Practice with Mock Calls

You don’t have to go in the cold (no pun intended) to the calling process if that feels too intimidating. Ask one of your colleagues if they’d be willing to do some mock cold calls with you before you start reaching out to potential customers. 

This gives you a chance to run through and refine your script. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask your questions to someone more experienced, which can help you to feel more confident and ready to tackle the task at hand.

4. Get to Know the People You’re Calling

Do a little research before you make a cold call. This is important to get over cold calling anxiety because even a couple of minutes of digging can lead to cold calling success

Figuring out how to pronounce the potential customer’s name, for example, can make them much more amenable to hearing what you have to say.

5. Take a Deep Breath (or Two)

It’s okay to pause and take a deep breath or two before you pick up the phone and make a cold call. Deep breathing with a long exhale helps to slow down your heart rate and helps you to feel calmer when you’re carrying out any type of task, including making phone calls to strangers. 

woman talking on headphones and working on a laptop

6. Establish a Pre-Calling Routine

Another tip to help overcome the fear of cold calling is to consider constructing a slightly more robust pre-calling routine. Perhaps you need to listen to some pump-up music, do vocal exercises so you sound more confident and professional, or do a few stretches to relax your muscles. 

Do some experimenting to find a pre-calling routine that works for you and puts you in the zone.

7. Engage in Dialogue

Focus on building a dialogue with the person on the other end of the line. 

This can help you to feel more relaxed and less nervous since you’re getting to know the prospective client on a more personal level. It also humanizes you in the eyes (or ears) of the potential client and can make them more interested in buying what you’re selling.

8. Assess Your Performance and Set Goals

Another tactic to get over cold calling anxiety is to review your past cold calls and identify things you did well, as well as areas in which you can improve. After assessing some previous calls, set goals to help you stay motivated and continue making improvements. 

Make sure your goals are specific, attainable, and have a set deadline. Share them with a colleague or supervisor, too, so you have someone holding you accountable.

9. Don’t Give Up

One of the best ways to get over the fear of cold calling is to make lots of cold calls. 

The more practice you get, the easier and less nerve-wracking cold calling will feel. Just like any other skill, if you want to get better, you need to put in some reps and keep rehearsing. 

How to Make Cold Calling Fun?

Want to go a step beyond making cold calls “not scary”? What if you could make them fun, too? These tips can help you make cold calls more enjoyable:

Upgrade Your Desk

From a new headset to a more comfortable desk chair, there are lots of ways you can upgrade your desk set up to make it a better, more enjoyable place for cold calling. As much as you’re able, try to enhance your space so you feel more motivated to sit there and make calls.

Consider Some Friendly Competition

If your employer doesn’t have any kind of competition set up for the sales team, talk to them about starting one. This can be a good way to stay motivated and make sure you’re putting in the practice to get better at cold calling. 

Celebrate Your Wins

Another step towards overcoming the fear of cold calling: when you have a successful cold call, celebrate it.

Even if the person on the other end doesn’t follow through with your call to action, you can still celebrate the things you did well. Perhaps you stayed calm in the face of their objections or did a good job building rapport at the beginning. 

Those things matter, and you can build off of them in the future. 

Overcome the Fear of Cold Calling Today

Don’t let your fear of cold calling hold you back from becoming a great salesperson. Keep these cold calling tips for success in mind and you’ll start feeling confident with cold calls before you know it. 

If you need more help, we’re here for you at Leads at Scale. We’re a B2B Lead Generation Agency dedicated to helping you grow your business. Contact us today to learn more about our cold calling services or to get an estimate.

John Dubay

John Dubay is the Managing Partner at Leads at Scale, an outsourced sales support company that helps B2B companies generate well-qualified leads at scale, ready to be closed.

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