Everyone knows cold calling is not easy. Calling a total stranger out of the blue and pitching to them is challenging work. It requires you to put yourself in an uncomfortable position. You are vulnerable to negative responses or worse — frustrated or angry respondents.
The exciting side of cold calling is that every once in a while, you will make a sale. If you never pitched to those strangers, you would not be earning your living. Cold calling works and has been a standard in sales and other fields for decades.
Top sales people have figured out how to make those cold calls and convert them into sales. The top earners even make it look easy. They look like they are enjoying their calls and even seem to celebrate rejection rather than letting it get them down. Cold calling like a pro could increase your income and improve your mood, and who wouldn’t like to be happier at work?
Cold Calling Tips to Minimize Stress
Sometimes, when you know you have to make those calls, you are so nervous you cannot concentrate. Some people perform well under such pressure, but most of us choke, but stressing over cold calling is a waste of time. It can cause you to procrastinate and put off making your calls. After a tough call, many people may take a long break before making the next one, and the stress of anxiety can hurt your performance on the next call.
The key is to successful cold calling is to reduce stress so you can get the job done.
Here are some cold calling tips and tricks to minimize your stress:
Adjust your perspective
The stress you experience when you start to make cold calls is usually a fear of rejection. No one likes being told no or listening to the hostile attitude some people take with sales calls. As you anticipate your calls going wrong and becoming a bit of a battle, your stress level rises. The more you worry about a negative outcome the more stressed and defensive you become.
Approaching a cold call with a defensive attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you are looking for a fight, that’s exactly what you will find. Instead, adjust your attitude to one of giving. Instead of thinking you are trying to get something from the person on the other end of the phone, a sale, think about how you are trying to give them something.
As you present your offer from a mindset of giving, your stress will diminish. You are just trying to help, but if the person on the other end of the phone does not choose to take advantage of your offer, it is okay.
Go through the call mentally
For some, cold calling stress builds just before they pick up the phone. It is the anticipation of feeling like you are on the spot. Your breath feels restricted and your mouth goes dry. What if you cannot speak when someone answers the phone? Before you pick up the phone, do a visualization exercise to reduce that stress so you can make your calls confidently.
Picture yourself making the call. Imagine you look and sound confident on the phone. Envision yourself talking smoothly through your script and stopping to answer questions when appropriate without fear of losing the attention of the person on the other end. Visualize a successful call to reduce your stress, and then begin making your cold calls.
Prepare for a substantive discussion
Preparation is an important tool in sales of any kind. Some people think that because they do their work over the phone, preparation isn’t important. Actually, it may be more important to prepare for a cold call than an in-person meeting.
You should not only know your script and understand your pitch, but you should know the product or service you are selling very well. Engagement is a sign of interest and could lead to success. If the person on the other end of the phone asks you questions and you do not answer confidently, you could lose that potential sale.
Study your materials before picking up the phone. Anticipate potential questions and prepare answers to those. You want to invite engagement, and that will go better if you are confident in your knowledge and able to answer any questions that come up.
Follow the route to Carnegie Hall
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice! Feeling nervous about cold calling has to do with being self-conscious and insecure. You feel like you are acting instead of being yourself, and you’re not sure you can maintain the act long enough to get through the call. The key to perfecting your act is to practice until it feels natural.
Start with a mirror. Read your script in front of a mirror and see if you look confident. At first, you will probably look as nervous as you feel. Most people are not used to seeing themselves as they go about daily activities. Keep practicing in front of that mirror until you look and sound comfortable. Try using a recorder or a video to capture your performance, and then play it back for yourself and critique.
In your practice sessions, try different poses and alternative timing. What happens if you pause after the third sentence — does that feel more natural? Try it and see. Switch up your examples or your references until you find ones that sound the most natural. If there are certain words you struggle to pronounce, try to rework your script with alternatives.
Use positive body language
It may seem unnecessary since the person on the other end of the phone cannot see you, but body language is important in cold calling. People can hear stress in your voice, and it undermines your confidence and credibility. A smile will help you feel and sound more relaxed. Smiling reduces stress, even if you have to force the smile onto your face