By Alan Graner
The following is from Successful Cold Call Selling by Lee Boyan (1983).
Does the thought of picking up a telephone and cold calling a prospect make your eyes twitch, your stomach rumble and your armpits turn into faucets?
Are you afraid of being rejected? Mocked? Yelled at? Ignored? Are you afraid of failure?
It’s OK. Admitting fear is nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s denying your fear that causes all sorts of immobilizing defense mechanisms.
The secret to successfully controlling your fear is your mind. Or, more specifically, your mind set.
The power to overcome fear
People who habitually choose negative statements in their inner dialog and in their communication with others seldom realize the damaging power negative choices have on their lives.
For example, you make excuses why you shouldn’t make the call. (It’s too late in the day. Monday’s aren’t good. They’re probably too busy to talk anyway.)
Such excuses may seem perfectly logical. Unfortunately, excuses never solve problems.
Psychologist Albert Ellis observed that “One has enormous control over one’s emotions if one chooses to work at controlling them and to practice saying the right kind of sentences to oneself.”
To solve a problem you must begin with constructive words in your mind and on your lips.
You have the power to replace faulty ideas and wrong assumptions (fear of rejection, fear of failure) with more constructive ideas (people like me, I will succeed).
You reinforce this power by constantly repeating positive statements such as “I am good at what I do. I will get the appointment. I’m selling a product/service they need.”
Instead of expecting a negative response, expect a positive one. Or at least a neutral one.
Remember: your brain can only maintain one idea at a time, so make sure that one idea is a positive one.
Finally, consider this: resistance is the reason sales professionals exist. It’s the reason you get paid. The more skillful you are dealing with resistance, the more you’ll get paid.
What techniques do you use to overcome the fear of cold calling?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA based marketing communications firm. To discover how PR can effectively help warm up cold calls, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.