How to Keep Calm and Pick Up the Phone

Even if you’ve been in sales for years, it’s likely you still feel a little anxious before picking up the phone to call a prospect. It doesn’t help that thanks to technology, personal contact can easily be done with an email or LinkedIn message, neither of which require a live conversation. But, being able to sell over the phone is a skill that reps still need to hone, no matter how much business is conducted via a screen. Jeff Hoffman recently shared advice for reps that will help keep call anxiety at bay:

Set a goal to hear "no”

This doesn’t make sense, right? Actually, Hoffman makes a great point about why reps should strive for a “no” quota. It keeps you picking up the phone, which, in turn, will inevitably lead to hearing a “yes.”  You’ll find that it’s actually easier to make another call, you’re spending more time on the phone, and you’re experiencing less anxiety. Plus, you’re boosting the chances of getting a prospect onboard for the next meeting.

Focus on activity rather than outcome

Usually, reps plan to schedule a specific number of calls to make and meetings to book. But what happens when each person just happens to be busy, on vacation or unable to take the call? You likely won’t feel very confident and willing to pick up the phone again. Instead, Hoffman suggests a different tactic. “Reframe your thinking by measuring success by activity, not outcome,” he writes. “In this way, you control whether or not you meet your goal. Instead of attempting to book three meetings, commit to asking 20 prospects for a meeting.”

These are only two of the four suggestions Hoffman believes will alleviate the typical pre-call jitters. All of his tips are easy to implement and perfect for both new reps and industry pros.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.