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Fear of Cold Calling

Updated: May 5, 2023

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

"Zoubida, we need a hunter." This a request I get a lot from our partners, and usually means they are looking for someone who utilizes cold calling as a sales channel. While cold calling may not be the only sales channel they use, it is still an important one for many of our partners. However, I have spoken to many people who do not enjoy cold calling.

Because of my background in persuasion sciences, I am always interested to learn how people can change their attitudes or behaviors. So I did some research to find out if there are any scientific articles or literature written about cold calling, specifically the attitude towards cold calling. As I researched scientific articles and literature on cold calling, I found that many focused on the topic of cold call anxiety. This topic resonated with me personally, as I recalled my own experiences with anxiety during my first sales job, when I had to make cold calls for the first time

Sales Anxiety

Sales call anxiety, or SCA, is a common experience among salespeople who are tasked with making cold calls. SCA is defined as a fear of being negatively evaluated and rejected by a customer, combined with a reluctance to undertake specific functional actions in selling situations. The root causes of SCA include a fear of rejection, a lack of confidence in one's ability to sell, and negative experiences with cold calling in the past.

Overcome Sales Anxiety

To overcome SCA, salespeople can implement practical solutions like those suggested by Art Sobczak in his book "Smart Calling." One effective solution is to focus on the value that you can bring to the prospect, rather than on yourself. By positioning yourself as someone who can solve the customer's problems or meet their needs, you can build confidence and reduce the fear of rejection. This technique works very well for me, as I am genuinely interested in growing our potential partners. So when I call, I visualize how I can help grow their team and with this image in mind, I start my call with excitement instead of fear.

Another practical solution is to thoroughly prepare for each call by researching the company and the person you will be speaking with, and crafting a personalized message that communicates the value you offer. With practice, salespeople can improve their ability to effectively deliver this message and build confidence over time. Cold calling is a skill that can be refined and improved through practice and feedback from colleagues or mentors, leading to greater comfort and success in the process.

In conclusion, cold calling is an important sales channel for many companies, and our partners, but it can also create anxiety and fear for salespeople. Sales call anxiety, or SCA, is a common experience that can be overcome by focusing on the value you can bring to prospects and preparing thoroughly for each call. While many scientific articles and literature on cold calling focus on the topic of SCA, salespeople can develop their skills and become more comfortable with the process over time. By implementing practical solutions, such as focusing on the value you can provide, salespeople can build confidence and succeed in the important activity of cold calling.

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