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6 No-BS Ways to Overcome Cold Call Anxiety (Part 1)

Maria Sundström
9/15/20 1:12 PM

The leads pipeline looks solid.

The sales script is locked, loaded and ready.

And yet, you get that sinking feeling as you dial the numbers to make the call.

Although you might feel like a total nincompoop at that moment, let us guarantee that you aren’t alone on that boat. A research study found that 50% of sales reps around the world feel anxious about making those cold calls.

The only good thing about it being a common problem is that there are also solid (read: well-tested) solutions on overcoming sales call anxiety.

In this blog post, we bring to you the playbook on how to get over the fear of cold calling. Keep calm and read on.

In this guide:

Part 1:
1. Why you might be feeling anxious about cold calling
2. How to get over your fear of sales calls 
  • Remind yourself that you're a problem-solver
  • Build a deep knowledge on your product/ customer
  • Be flexible in your pitch 
Part 2: 
2. How to get over your fear of sales calls (continued)
  • Speak from curiosity, not from an agenda 
  • Create the right environment for phone call conversations
  • Practice, practice, practice
3. Cold calling: From "survive" to "thrive" mode ✨ 

Without any further delay, let's get started! 

Face your fear: the causes of cold call anxiety

Sweaty palms? A racing heart? If your sales anxiety feels like a “fight-or-flight” situation, there’s a very scientific explanation behind it.

As per experts at the University of Washington, when you’re afraid, the blood in your body flows away from your brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for logical thinking. Therefore, you are NOT able to think on your feet, which in turns limits your ability to respond quickly, which in turn hurts your lead-generating results – all this turns into a vicious negative cycle and you end up concluding, “I hate cold-calling. I’m lousy at it!”

Most experienced sales experts say the most common causes of sales call anxiety are:

  • Fear of sounding like a salesperson;
  • Fear of failure/ rejection; 
  • Not enough knowledge on your product/ customers; 
  • Not enough practice! 

How to tear down these obstacles one by one? Psychologists say, turn cold-calling into a daily routine – just like you have your morning coffee. Here’s how to get started. 

How to get over your fear of sales calls

#1. Remind yourself that you're a problem-solver and a consultant.

A lot of people think of the typical salesperson as the alpha type: aggressive, pushy and...downright salesy (which is sad for our dedicated fellow sales professionals). 

If you're new, and you go in cold calling with the thought that you have to fit into a box of the "typical salesperson", chances are that you'll dread being the exact salesperson you secretly hate. 

But it doesn't have to be that way - and it's up to you to decide what kind of salesperson you want to be. 

Salespeople can - and should - be problem-solvers for their partners and clients. They can act as a trusted advisor, helper, knowledgeable consultant for their prospects, instead of shoving their own agenda down the buyers' throats. It's about win-win, not just closing a sale. 

👉 My tip: Constantly remind yourself that you're here to help your prospects, and it's your job to figure out how. 

#2. Build a deep knowledge on your product/ customer

Continuing on my first point, in order to help your customers or prospects, you need to be the expert about your product/ your market.

And no, it's not just about how many features you've got (no feature dump please 🤦‍♀️!) or how much better customer service compared to the competitors your team offers. 

👉 My tip: Use these questions as pointers in deepening your knowledge about your product and customers. 

  • What problem(s) does your product solve? And why is it worth solving, from the customer's perspective? 
  • Why should prospects listen to you and share with you their pain points?

Or for B2B prospects: 

  • What is the prospect's role in the company?
  • What is he/she measured on ?
  • What does he/she care about?
  • How can you help?
  • What is the alternative solution to solving your customers problem?
  • What might not solving the issue lead to?

#3. Have an outline and be flexible in your pitch

As said above, one of the terrifying things about cold calling is its vicious circle between the butterflies in your stomach and "choking" on the call. 

Some might try to overcompensate by sticking to the script, others by disregarding it completely. The solution, however, lies somewhere in between. 

You need to "feel" what people are saying on the other end of the line and customize your pitch towards their specific pain points, while keeping to your main goals. 

If you have an outline, you'll have the flexibility to modify the conversation as per situation and personalized needs of the individual you are talking to. More human and personalised call = greater chances of conversion.

👉 My tip:  Draft a short outline of your key questions/ main points based on your customer/product understanding: 

  • Pain point 1 = Benefit 1 
  • Pain point 2 = Benefit 2 
  • Objection 1 = Counter-argument 1 
  • Objection 2 = Counter argument 2 
  • And so on! 

By following these steps, you will be able to build a solid foundation to shift your sales mindset and cultivate self-confidence. However, that's on half of the game. You'll need some extra boost as you pick up the phone and dial - which I will cover in the next blog post. 

Subscribe below and I'll shoot you an email update on the newest blog posts. 

Coming up next: 6 No-BS Ways to Overcome Cold Call Anxiety (Part 2)

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