How to Get Over Your Fear of the Phone: 4 Common Stressors + Tips to Overcome Them
Picking up the phone has fallen out of favour with the masses. We live in a world where most people below the age of 30 cringe with disgust when they see their phone ring. Why on Earth would someone not just text?!
Well, while in your personal life, it may be easy to avoid phone conversations, the same is far from true in your professional life. Especially if your profession is sales.
Those of us in sales-related roles pick up the phone over and over again, day in, day out. We are generally a confident bunch, we are sociable, and we love the thrill of securing meetings, and closing deals. So why are we, too, susceptible to the anxiety that comes with picking up the phone and making a simple call?
Why Do We Fear the Phone?
While the increased reliance on quick communication methods like email, text and social media, have likely added to phone anxiety, they are certainly not the only cause. Fear of the phone has been an issue for salespeople for decades, long before texting was an option.
The real reason is that we psych ourselves out.
As salespeople, we are rejected regularly, and while we do a great job at bouncing back, human nature dictates that no one enjoys this feeling, therefore, when left to imagine the possible rejection to come, our bodies go into panic, and a very real physiological reaction occurs: phone anxiety.
Overcoming Phone Anxiety
Developing as a salesperson means pushing through these feelings, teaching yourself that everything is fine and, 99 percent of the time, calls will turn out better than the disaster scenario that was in your mind.
Here are some very common ways that people psych themselves, as well as how to overcome them:
1. Worried you will say the wrong thing
When phone anxiety grips us, we tend to fear that we’re going to mess up our introduction or our pitch.
The simplest way to overcome this is to be prepared. Know your product or service inside and out. Research your prospect, so you understand their business. Be prepared with ways to answer every kind of question a prospect may ask. Keep these stuck up around your desk, so you are comforted with clues on how to remain cool, calm and in control of every situation.
2. Assuming that you’re intruding
Cold calling means phoning people when they aren’t expecting you and could be busy. This makes many salespeople, especially when they are in an anxious state, worry that they are intruding.
Do you believe in what you’re selling? If no, you might want to call us. If yes, then reaffirm to yourself that you are offering them great value by making this phone call. Your call could make their day, save their situation or transform their organisation. Really believing in the value you add, makes it impossible to feel like you’re intruding.
3. Stressing about time pressure
There may only be a few moments to convince your prospect to stay on the line. This causes many salespeople to worry about those first few moments and getting them right.
Figure out how to explain your offering in a single sentence. You need to determine what you need to get across in those moments to pique their interest. Write this down, practice, practice, practice, and it will soon become second nature.
4. Fear you’ll forget what to get
When under stress, it can be easy to forget to take an email, set a meeting, or whatever else you hoped to get before the call started.
Setting goals is critical to keeping a focus on the call. If your next step is a meeting, propose a meeting to everyone. This is your sole goal. If it is sending information, ask everyone for their email to send the info. One goal at a time is better than achieving none.
The Only Piece of Advice That Matters
All of the information above is important to help calm nerves and get you in the flow, but once all of this is implemented, the only way to overcome the fear of the phone is to just keep at it.
Try not to think about it. Focus instead on the value you believe you’re offering through your company. Being somewhere you believe in is one of the easiest ways to overcome phone anxiety.