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Cold Call Anxiety – Here’s How to Overcome It!

I get very nervous when I have to make cold calls – any tips on how to overcome my anxiety and fear of cold calling?

I know that feeling. I know it like an old friend (or arch enemy). It used to be so bad for me that I would get nauseas on the way to work in the morning. My stress level would be at an all time high, just knowing I was going to have to pick up the phone only to be turned away by gatekeepers or (rudely) shunned by decision makers. It’s an unpleasant feeling to say the least.
But here’s what I know…
God didn’t lead you to this job so you could be a failure. HE didn’t bring you to a place that would make you physically sick and emotionally ill.
You are more than equipped to be highly successful in this business and to overcome your challenges.
Understanding and believing that is your first step to being free of your cold call anxiety.

How Failure Helps Us Succeed

Knowing we have the capacity to overcome our challenges is the first step. Recognizing the need to change is our second.
You can’t keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. If gatekeepers aren’t putting your calls through, decision makers aren’t returning your voicemails, if deals are not closing, all those things that make selling by phone stressful, those are big bright blinking signs that you need to update your game plan. Your sales strategy is in need of some fine-tuning.
Here’s where I would start…

The Right Sales Attitude: Helping Others

Every time you are about to pick up the phone, have the mind-set and attitude that you are calling with the intent of helping them. That’s a completely different attitude than calling to see if you can “make a sale” or “hit your quota”.
When you are calling with the attitude of seeing if you can be of some help to someone, should they reject your help, it’s easier to move on to the next prospect.
When you’re calling for the purpose to “make a sale” and it doesn’t happen, the pressure builds up, tension comes through to the next prospect over the phone, more rejection happens and it’s a never-ending downward spiral.
Having an attitude of wanting to help prospects will allow you to fend off negative feelings of rejection while helping you be in the right frame of mind when you find a prospect that wants and needs your help.

Fix What’s Broken

For every sales situation, there’s a game plan. If your current playbook isn’t working, get a new one. Find people that have a proven successful track record and can PIN POINT exact plays that need to be run in specific situations. Some top sales reps have intuition. They instinctively know what to do in certain sales situations but couldn’t tell you how or why they did what they did to make it work.
It’s hard to get help from someone if they can’t show you the how or the why – they just know. If you’re not one of those “intuitive” top sales reps, that’s OK.
Make a list of where your sales call goes off the tracks. Is it right up front when you call and get the gatekeeper? Is it after your intro to the decision maker and they say “No thanks”? Is it when you find out you’re not speaking to the decision maker and you try to get an introduction but the prospect says “no”? These are just some of the common sales situations that happen every day.
By making a list and seeking out those areas that keep you from moving the sale forward and bringing them to your sales manager for help / advice will help you overcome your challenges. And once you are prepared for the sales call from A to Z before even picking up the phone, all of that anxiety you had will become a distant memory.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


Register Now for Our Next 8-Week Phone Skills Improvement Program!

  • Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills

Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone