12 Ways to Get Over the Fear of Cold Calling

Overcome the fear of cold calling with these techniques and tools

10 Min
January 4, 2023

Salespeople are some of the most fearless professionals in the world. However, even the most seasoned salespeople can be intimidated by cold calling. After all, there's the fear of rejection or not delivering the right message in the heat of the moment. How do you get over the fear of cold calling?

There are 12 tried-and-true strategies to get over the fear of cold calling: 

  1. Do your research.
  2. Find the right time to cold call customers.
  3. Practice positive self-talk. 
  4. Use a dialer to help make calls.
  5. Set goals before each call.
  6. Use scripts and cheat sheets.
  7. Create your own pre-call routine.
  8. Focus on your body language.
  9. Review prior calls.
  10. Try positive visualization.
  11. Engage in mock calls with a friend.
  12. Reward yourself for the little wins.

In this article, we'll dive into each of these 12 strategies in more detail. Soon, you'll be an unstoppable force on the phone, and you can start closing deals left and right. Let's get started.

1. Do Your Research

If there's one thing that will make cold calling easier, it's having a strong understanding of what you're selling and who your ideal customer is. When you know your stuff, you'll feel more confident on the phone. 

Here are some things to do before even picking up the phone:

  • Research the company: What are its goals and challenges?
  • Learn about the contact you're calling: What do they need to succeed?
  • Refresh on your product or service: What can you offer them? 
  • Prepare a list of questions: What can you ask to get the conversation moving? 
  • Find a hook: How can you attract their attention? Hint: check their LinkedIn profiles!

Once you've done your research, you'll feel more equipped to handle any call that comes your way. 

Did you know: The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. That's why it pays to do the research! 

2. Find the Right Time to Cold Call Customers

Timing matters when it comes to cold calling! You don't want to call someone during lunch or late in the afternoon when they're about to leave for the day. 

The best time to cold call is Tuesday between 10 am and 2 pm. People are more productive and available during this window of time.

It's also a good idea to plan your calls around holidays and company events. That way, you'll have more success with the people you contact. 

The worst time to cold call?

Friday morning!

Everyone is busy catching up with the weekend and handling their emails. Also, avoid calls before seven in the morning and after six at night. 

Pro tip: The AutoReach Power Dialer has an in-built callback scheduler that helps sales reps to intelligently schedule callback reminders. Even if your caller isn't available in the moment, you can always reach out to them at a more convenient time!

3. Practice Positive Self-Talk

Your brain can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to cold calling. To get over the fear of cold calling, practice positive self-talk throughout the process. 

Before making a call, remind yourself that you have the skills and confidence to close the deal. During a call, practice deep breathing and positive affirmations that will help you stay calm.

Here are some examples of positive self-talk:

  • "I am capable. I can handle any situation thrown my way." 
  • "I am prepared and confident. I will close this deal with ease."
  • "I have the tools to succeed. My product is valuable, and my customer service is stellar." 
  • Lastly, the best of them all - "I can do this!"

Practicing these affirmations in front of a mirror can make a world of difference in the way you tackle cold calls. 

4. Use a Dialer to Help Make Calls

A Dialer is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to conquer the fear of cold calling. It will take all the manual steps of dialing away so you can focus on having real conversations.

The AutoReach Dialer will help you make up to 30% more calls without the manual effort. You can also arm yourself with a script to ensure your call opening is always ready to go. With CRM integrations, cadences, and best time to call reporting, it makes it easy for you to reach more prospects in less time. Plus, our automated dialer eliminates tedious manual work so you can focus on what really matters — building relationships and closing deals. 

Once you get a taste of the AutoReach Power Dialer, you'll understand why it's the industry standard for cold calling. 

5. Set Goals Before Each Call

Before you make a cold call, it's important to set goals. Whether you're aiming for five calls in an hour or one successful sale per day, having something to strive for will give your motivation a boost.

Use the concept of SMART when setting your cold calling goals:

SMART Goals While Cold Calling

By setting goals before you start calling, you'll have a clear idea of what to aim for. Plus, it will help you focus on the task at hand instead of feeling all over the place.

6. Use Scripts and Cheat Sheet

Who says only video games have cheat codes?

When it comes to cold calling, having a script or cheat sheet can be a lifesaver.

Start by writing down the main points you want to cover during your call. Then, come up with open-ended questions that will help you get more information from the caller.

These techniques will help you stay on track and ensure you get all the important details.It is imperative to sound natural, so don't read out from the script as it is! Practice makes perfect.

Know when it's appropriate to put your own personal spin on things. You might even want to include some of the customer's interests and hobbies in your conversation - this will help you build a connection with them (see Tip #1).

Did you know: The AutoReach Power Dialer has a screen pop feature that automatically pulls up relevant info about your caller before connecting with them. No more fumbling for notes while you're on the call! You can easily access and review all your key points right in front of you. Win-win!

7. Create Your Own Pre-Call Routine

Let's delve into a little bit of psychology here.

It's been proven that creating a standard routine before important activities can help reduce stress and anxiety. You might have seen sports personalities and actors engaging in pre-match rituals before a game or performance.

The same applies to cold calling! 

Before making a call, take 5 minutes to center yourself. You can listen to some calming music, meditate with deep breaths, do some stretching exercises, or just sit back with your eyes closed and prepare yourself mentally. You'll feel more grounded, energized, and ready to tackle cold calls like a pro. 

The more you do your routine over a period of time, the more comfortable you'll get with cold calling. So don't be afraid to experiment until you find a routine that works for you. 

8. Focus On Your Body Language

Ever hear the saying "fake it till you make it"?

Use this phrase to your advantage when making cold calls. When it comes to body language, the more confident and open your posture is, the better. 

Try standing up while making a call - it'll give your voice a boost of energy and make you sound more confident. Also, smile when you speak - it's contagious and makes people more engaged during the conversation.

Make sure to pay attention to how you're holding yourself while on a cold call. Keep your hands away from your face, sit/stand up straight, and keep your palms open — this will make you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Our book recommendation: 'The Definitive Book of Body Language' by Barbara Pease. It's an awesome read that'll teach you just about everything you need to know about body language. 

9. Review Prior Calls

Reviewing prior calls is a great way to boost your confidence and up your cold-calling game. Think about which conversations went well, what you did right, and how you could have done things differently. 

This will give you a better understanding of what works and what doesn't. It'll also give you an idea of how to tackle similar situations in the future. 

If you're recording your sales calls, make sure you inform the caller beforehand. Once they give you the go-ahead, record the call and take notes afterward.

10. Try Positive Visualization

Here's a trick that's been passed down through generations — visualizing success.

That's right! Research has found that visualizing the outcome of an event can help increase your chances of achieving it in real life. 

Before making a call, try to visualize yourself having a successful conversation. Picture the caller smiling or engaging in conversation with you. Believe it or not, this can help you remain calm and confident throughout the call. 

Remember what Muhammed Ali said: "If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it!".

For more motivations, check out these 33 Motivational Videos for Your Sales Team.

11. Engage In Mock Calls With A Friend

Doing mock calls with a friend or colleague can help you get over the fear of cold calling. It's like a practice session before your big call, so you feel more prepared and confident. 

It doesn't have to be a long session — just 10-15 minutes will do. Have your friend pretend to be a customer and give you feedback after the call. 

Tip: It helps to have someone who has experience in cold calling. That way, they can give you insight into what works and what doesn't. You can also check out our blog post with tips around how to make great conversation and close the deal.

12. Reward Yourself For The Little Wins

There's a reason why we get excited when we achieve something — because our brain releases dopamine and rewards us for it. So don't forget to reward yourself each time you make a successful call. 

Here are some small rewards you can give yourself to stay motivated: 

  • Treat yourself to your favorite food.
  • Buy yourself something small.
  • Watch an episode of your favorite show.
  • Watch an episode of your favorite show.
  • Have a piece of chocolate.

These rewards will help you keep going and make cold calling a more enjoyable experience. 

So, there you have it — 12 ways to get over the fear of cold calling. With a little bit of practice and dedication, you can become a confident cold caller in no time! Give these tips a try and see what works best for you. Good luck!

Bonus: What Is A Good Way To End A Cold Call?

It is just as important to end a cold call professionally as it is to begin one. After all, you want to ensure the customer remembers your conversation in a positive light. 

A good way to end a cold call is by thanking your prospect for their time, summarizing what you discussed, and asking if there's anything else they need from you.

This closes the call in a respectful manner and leaves them with a positive impression of you. Additionally, you can also offer to send them more information or schedule a follow-up call.

Here's a pretty great script you can use: 

"Thank you so much for your time today. I know it's valuable, and I really appreciate that you gave me a few moments of your day. To summarize, we discussed (briefly mention what you talked about). For more information, don't hesitate to email me, and I can also send you a follow-up call if you'd like. Is there anything else I can help you with today?" 

This way, you show them that you value their time and that you respect their decision. Plus, it gives the customer the opportunity to re-engage in the conversation and start a relationship with you. 

Try out this approach, and you'll be sure to leave a positive impression on your customers.

Final Thoughts

Cold calling is one of the most powerful tools for sales professionals. It can help you build relationships with new prospects, generate leads, and close more deals.

With the right attitude and some practice, you can master the art of cold calling and become a successful salesperson. If you're someone who's afraid of cold calling, these 12 tips will help you get over your fear and start making successful calls. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about getting over the fear of cold calling.

Why do I have a fear of cold calling?

Fear of cold calling is most often the result of anxiety and a lack of confidence. Some people also fear rejection or do not know what to say during the call. In fact, there's even a term for people who get petrified of it - telephonophobia! So, if you're feeling anxious or afraid of cold calling, don't worry — it's completely normal.

How long does it take to get over the fear of cold calling?

On average, it takes about 3-4 weeks to get over the fear of cold calling. However, it may take longer or shorter depending on the severity of your fear and how much practice you put into it. If you're someone who hates cold calling, it's important to make sure you are taking the necessary steps to overcome your fear.

What to do if I get rejected while cold calling?

Don't take it personally or be discouraged if someone rejects your call. This is part of the process, and it happens to everyone. Just remember to stay positive and remind yourself that not everyone will be interested in what you have to say - it's natural. Instead, focus on the little wins and use them as motivation to keep going.

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