Do you break out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of cold calling

You're not alone. 

Cold-calling anxiety is a common and crippling barrier to sales success for many people. 

But what if I told you that the best way to overcome your aversion to cold calling isn't simply to cope with it or ignore it but to change your perspective completely? 

You can overcome your fear and start building those vital connections with potential clients by altering how you think about cold calling and framing it as an opportunity rather than a source of anxiety. 

This post will examine the mental adjustment you must make to overcome your fear of cold calling permanently.

Read on to learn more.

Why Are SDRs Scared to Cold Call?

Research by ValueSelling Associates and Selling Power shows that 48% of SDRs in B2B businesses fear making cold calls. 

But what causes this fear?

It's no secret that salespeople are scared to start a cold call because they fear engaging in a conversation or experiencing failure.

In the first scenario, it is scary to speak with a stranger.

Your mind might make you believe you must sound flawless to the stranger. Here, there is little distinction between cold calling and public speaking.

That is why you experience fear while behind the phone.

The second scenario is the mindset of rejection. Napoleon Hill once said, “Fear is nothing but the state of mind.”

Napoleon Hill's quote on fear

The mindset of rejection makes the salesperson experience difficulties in follow-ups.

Follow-ups require a lot of cold calling.

Let's look at some statistics about SDRs who quit following up after facing rejection. 

  • 44% of salespeople quit after the first rejection, and 22% do not follow up after two rejections.
  • After three rejections, 14% of salespeople drop out.
  • After the fourth rejection, 12% of salespeople quit following up.
Percentage of salespersons that quit after rejection

However, 8 percent of reps get 80 percent of all sales from their follow-up consistency.

Types of Cold Call Reluctance

Ultimately, SDRs that overcome the rejection mindset enjoy some benefits and reap the rewards of courage. However, some call reluctance types that can sabotage your cold-calling efforts.

Let's learn about them.

1. Over-preparation

Over-preparation is characterized by salespeople spending too much time planning their lines of dialogue and delivery and too little time looking for suitable leads.

As they have no one to present to, salespeople become walking encyclopedias of technical knowledge.

2. Yielding

This is characterized by a lack of assertiveness on the part of salespeople, especially while conducting cold calls.

They are hesitant to start a fight out of concern for public opinion. Yielders become overly polite out of fear of coming off as pushy or invasive.

3. Doomsaying

Percentage of the quota of sales that doomsayers achieve

This is characterized by a shift in focus away from interactions with potential customers.

They frequently consider the worst-case scenario. Therefore, they only close approximately 43% of their sales quota.

4. Telephobia


This is characterized by the fear of prospecting using a phone. With this fear, prepare to lose $6336.33 in sales commission. 

5. Stage Fright

It is characterized by salespeople giving up or ignoring opportunities to prospect because they feel it is beneath them.

Sadly, the salesperson who experiences stage fright risks losing $6843.24 in sales per year.

Stage flight

Are there ways to overcome the fear of cold calling? 

Tips To Get Over The Fear of Cold Calling

There are ways to help you overcome your cold-calling fears and quickly achieve your sales quota.

Here they are:

1. Use a Cold Calling Script 

The best cold-calling scripts are sought after by salespeople to engage the prospect and ultimately close the sale.

However, your ability to use your script effectively will influence how well your cold-calling campaign goes.

These scripts can help you navigate conversations, but if you don't use them properly, you risk becoming overly dependent on them or sounding robotic.

A cold call script is a roadmap to help you stay on course while speaking with a potential customer.

It is a checklist.

It also reminds you to cover all the required topics and helps you stay on track.

These are the five elements of a good cold call script.

  • 1. Introduction and rapport building: Explain briefly who you are, then focus on your prospect's critical areas.
  • 2. Key message: Tell the prospect why you're calling: I am calling you today because…
  • 3. Pre-qualifying questions: Ask four to ten more questions to ensure you speak with the correct person who fits your ICP.
  • 4. Appeal to the prospect's values: Make an offer that adds value to the prospect's life and broadens their horizons based on the responses to your pre-qualifying inquiries.
  • 5. Conclude with a last call-to-action, such as making an appointment or arranging a follow-up session.

2. Learn From Others

There will be colleagues on your sales team who are more experienced than you. This can make you feel frightened, exacerbating your dread of cold calls. 

You'll wonder: What if I'll never be on their level?

But it's a fantastic learning opportunity. Keep an eye on your colleagues and take notes.

3.Prepare For the Calls

Preparation is the cornerstone of each successful cold call. The first step in overcoming the anxiety of cold calling is to prepare for any scenario and conversational outcome.

Researching your prospects is also crucial.

Create your consumer persona and ideal customer profile (ICP), identify the challenges they frequently encounter, and determine how you can directly assist them in resolving these problems.

Likewise, be mentally ready to respond appropriately if you receive an abrupt no thanks. Also, be prepared to respond to rebukes or unpleasant comments.

Prospects are humans, too, who are doing their best, as we all do, to manage the ongoing demands of work and other problems in life.

Therefore, just be mindful not to take their responses personally or let them affect your cold-calling morale.

4. Create a Dialogue

Cold calling should never be a one-person show but rather a discussion.

It is easier to have a discussion and overcome your anxiety about cold calling if your prospect shows indicators of interest during the call.

The following are the three strategies for starting a conversation with your prospect:

  • Continue with more relevant questions.

For example, asking a prospect about their pain points increases the likelihood of setting up a meeting.

  • Make use of personalization.

Before the call, research your prospects to learn more about their personal and professional lives.

For instance, complimenting your potential client on their most recent post or their recent job advancement

  • Avoid awkward silence.

Remember that the prospect needs to hear your voice during the conversation.

That is why you cannot remain silent for too long.

When your prospect finishes speaking, restate, paraphrase, summarize, and repeat the essential elements to demonstrate that you received everything correctly.

Also, comments like Aha, I see, sure thing, I agree, and so on convey that you are an empathic listener who cares about what the prospect is saying.

5. Have a Plan

Sales representatives regularly find themselves stunned or unable to continue talking during cold calls. These extended pauses and off-topic chats are pointless and, more often than not, result in the loss of an excellent chance. 

However, representatives should prepare in advance to reduce stress and worry about taking charge of the meeting. After researching the prospect, prepare what you'll say during the cold call.

For instance:

  • What inquiries will you make?
  • What message are you sending?
  • How will you start things off?

If you have a plan, you'll know what to say next to keep the prospects interested and on the line for longer.

6. Ask Relevant Questions

Focus on developing a relationship with your client rather than racing through a cold call and attempting to sell immediately (which hardly ever happens). Get as much data as possible for future encounters by asking crucial questions.

Also, tell them that you want to be of service to them. Your top priority should be the prospect's problems, and you should schedule the first meeting to showcase your product.

When you first speak with the potential client, try asking the following questions:

  • I notice A, B, and C occurring in your field. Are you affected in any way?
  • Some of our clients are having issues because of X and Y. What approaches do you have for handling such matters?
  • Could you please tell me the current state of your business?
  • Is there anything you'd like to improve about your company?
  • Do you currently have a solution in place?
  • Your annual report outlines your top four priorities. Does it present any challenges for you?

Ask thought-provoking questions and pay close attention to the answers you receive. They contain a wealth of helpful information to help you close a deal.

7. Use Methods That Work For You

Even if you're still unclear about overcoming your fear of cold calling, a simple trick is always practical: make the conversation amusing. Find out which non-traditional strategies work for you to achieve the best sales results by being creative:

Some of the strategies could include the following:

  • To enhance the quality of your voice, do vocal exercises before making calls.
  • Play your favorite music to motivate yourself.
  • Consult a coworker regarding the script.
  • Listen to the greatest orators in history talk.
  • Practice in front of a mirror to hone your pitch.
  • Use several tactics to raise your speaking proficiency.
  • Congratulate yourself each time you close a deal.

Most importantly, remember that success will come if you appreciate your actions. 

Even if you occasionally experience tiny setbacks to your self-confidence, be proud of your successes and keep an optimistic outlook.

8. Avoid Distractions During Cold Calls

Keep all other distractions to a minimum when cold calling requires full attention. Inattentiveness can cause you to speak erratically or lose your train of thought.

Furthermore, interruptions in conversation cut off your access to potential customers. Another factor is that no prospect wants the same questions repeated.

Use these precautions to block out background noise when making cold calls:

  • Stay away from television.
  • Mute your phone and put it away.
  • Use time wisely by dividing it.
  • Stay away from social networking sites.
  • Use a headset to achieve 50% effectiveness on the phone
Effectiveness of a headset in sales

9. Take Pauses and Breathe

Here is an interesting fact: Healthy adults take 17,280-28,800 breaths on average per day. This figure might be substantially smaller for SDRs on the phone with significant prospects.

Sometimes, people forget to breathe as they talk to prospects because they fear cold calling. Unconsciously, they begin to sound robotic as they hastily recite the scripted lines to get the prospect to hang up.

Unfortunately, hastily going through your cold call prospect list won't lead to a higher sales conversion rate.

Instead, take a breath and discover how easily you can better understand your prospects' pain points. Additionally, pausing helps you sound more confident and turns your sales presentation monologue into a two-person dialogue.

10. Prepare for Objections

No matter how detailed a presentation is during a cold call, the prospect almost always has unresolved questions or problems that the salesperson must address before proceeding to the next stage.

Some of these questions may pop up as objections. Be prepared to handle such situations with courage.

11. Use Concise Language

Try to be as straightforward as you can. The prospect may become confused by jargon and technical words.

So that potential customers can picture themselves using your product or service, use language that includes them.

12. Put Some Creativity in The Process

Make the sales process a fun activity for you and your prospects. You can achieve this by relaxing before going on the call and making the script parts easy for everyone to understand.

Eventually, this will ease you while on calls, and prospects will easily resonate with you.

13. Accept that Failure Isn't a Bad Thing 

Failure is an inevitable part of life.

With this mindset, every SDR will overcome their anxiety about cold calling. It is wise to accept it if, for example, you anticipate that seven out of ten prospects will decline your offer. This is a projected failure.

The conclusion is that if things don't go your way, that's okay. Accept it, and use it to advance your knowledge.

14. See Your Calls as Learning Opportunities 

It's a positive attitude for every SDR to know that every cold call allows you to learn and grow.

Cold calls are a game of numbers, and it's great to embrace the fact that even if you are not winning leads, you are learning something new. For instance, this could be a mirror of your business prospecting strategy.

Is it working or not?

A learning mindset will help you overcome your cold-calling fear and keep winning your sales journey.

15. Understand Two-way Convos and Practice 

A quick question?

Have you figured out how to start a conversation with a stranger, e.g., at your train station? How would you do that and keep the conversation going?

Now, let's go back to you as a sales representative.

Did you know that the more you converse with strangers outside of an SDR or business setting, the less anxious you'll feel while cold calling? 

Additionally, practicing or role-playing with colleagues is helpful. You can hold regular practice sessions for cold calling. As you practice, your brain will get more and more conditioned to believe there is nothing to fear. 

That's just one of the many strategies you can employ to overcome your phobia of cold calling. 

16. Research Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Another way to overcome your cold-calling phobia is to know who you are talking to. 

When you make a cold call and don't know who your customer is, you'll notice that you start to feel nervous. 

Conduct the following research to identify your prospect.

  • Their industry 
  • Their company's or business's size 
  • Their official title 
  • Their pain points 

When you have access to this knowledge, prospecting becomes less stressful.

Wrapping Up

We presented the best cold-calling tactics to help you gain confidence and overcome your fear of cold-calling.

A mindset shift for overcoming cold-calling phobia can benefit your company, and so can we.

AI bees applies AI-powered solutions for our B2B clients that help them with their sales and marketing needs.

Cold calling is one of our key areas, and we are here to help you hit your business goals.

Book a demo today to learn more.