64% of sales professionals are scared of picking up the phone and calling prospects cold. And if you’re like so many other reps out there, you’re not a fan of cold calling either.
But in today’s video, we’re looking at why cold calling has reps shaking in their boots. And most importantly, how you can kick that fear right where the sun don’t shine.
Now, like I said, nearly 2 out of 3 reps hate cold calling—64% in fact according to our SalesCode Assessment. But what’s really going on here? Why is this simple practice so damn scary?
Well, it all boils down to biology. As social animals, we’re built to crave the approval of our peers. And if we don’t get that approval and are rejected, it’s painful. No really, we feel rejection in the same exact spot of the brain that process physical pain.
And as anyone who’s cold called knows, rejection happens quite a bit. So it makes sense we’d be anxious about it.
Now, the trick is finding ways to overcome that biological fear of rejection. Ways of rewiring the brain to make cold calling less scary. And that’s exactly what we’re talking about today.
With these four techniques, you can say so long to cold calling fears. And start finding more buyers so you can close more deals. It’s as simple as that.
1) Make Fear Your Friend
We all get nervous sometimes. Whether we’re jumping out of a plane or just trying a new restaurant, a little bit of anxiety is natural when facing the unknown. It’s what you do with that fear that makes a difference.
One thing I’ve found incredibly helpful for overcoming fear is immerse myself in it. You know, really feel the sensations it causes. The racing heart, the sweaty palms.
Once that’s done, it’s time for a bit of mental gymnastics. Instead of thinking of these sensations as fear, I relabel them as excitement.
See, biologically, fear and excitement are incredibly similar. They both are meant to prepare your body and mind for action. And the symptoms—rush of adrenaline, increased heart rate—are the same.
So instead of seeing this as fear, flip it. Think of it as excitement. And then use that reframing to help you act. This will let you stay consistent with your cold calling. And who knows, you may even start looking forward to it!
2) Rethink Your Coping Behaviors
Now, this one comes directly from our Social Anxiety Framework from the Selling Made Simple Academy. So if you want an even deeper dive, be sure to head to Salesman.org and get signed up.
But just as a brief overview, if you want to eliminate cold calling anxiety, you need to start with your coping behaviors.
To explain, anxiety is caused by getting caught in a cycle, a loop. First, there’s an inciting event that triggers your anxiety response. Then you use ineffective coping behaviors to treat that anxiety. Maybe you hide in the bathroom to avoid cold calling. Or you pick up the phone and pretend to dial numbers.
No matter what that coping behavior is, it eventually has consequences. You fall behind on your numbers. Your boss finds out. Whatever. And once that happens, your anxiety sparks up again, restarting the whole cycle over again.
But you can in fact break this cycle. All you have to do is change your coping behaviors. There are two coping behaviors I’ve found are super helpful.
A) Shift Your Attention
Shifting your attention. When you’re anxious, the more focused you are on your inward feelings, the worse things get.
So next time you feel yourself starting to panic, try shifting your focus to something else. Concentrate on your environment around you. What do you see? What do you smell and hear?
Think about the people you’re interacting with. What are they thinking and feeling?
The more you take the spotlight off yourself, the calmer you’ll be.
B) Get Curious
Getting curious. Whenever I feel anxiety starting to creep in, I consciously force myself to get extremely curious.
When you force yourself to be incredibly curious, there is little processing room or overhead left in your brain for it to focus inward on your own anxiety. And so, rather than getting caught up in your own thoughts, you become completely immersed in the person in front of you.
How can you give them value, help them through a situation, or better your relationship? What are the pain points they’re experiencing right now? How would solving them help?
Best of all, getting curious makes you feel better and lets your buyer know you’re focused on them. And typically, they’ll appreciate the attention.
3) The Bodybuilder Mindset
Sales is a numbers game. And getting good at sales is too. The more you commit to doing the hard work, putting in those reps, the easier things will get.
It’ll be tough at first, I know. Just like your first day ever in the gym is going to leave you crushed. But every time after that, you’re going to be stronger than the day before.
So instead of giving up after a bad call, commit to getting the reps done. 40, 70, 100 calls—whatever. Just make sure you do it every day.
You’ll find your groove eventually, I can guarantee it.
And finally, the last fear-busting cold calling technique is…
4) Start Playing Video Games
Start playing video games. No, not real ones. Though if you’re actually able to get your hands on a PS5, send me a message (wink).
No I mean start treating your cold calling like a video game session. Make it your goal to see how far you can get on each call. Try new techniques like adjusting your tone or speed to see how it affects your success rate.
You can even create a call script that takes on-the-fly guesswork out of the equation entirely.
And don’t forget—if you lose the call, you don’t die. You just respawn and get to try again!