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Conquering the Fear of Cold Calling: A Guide for Digital Marketers

Cold CallConquering the Fear of Cold Calling: A Guide for Digital Marketers

This blog post provides a comprehensive guide to mastering cold calling for digital marketers. It covers strategies for overcoming fear, creating effective sales scripts, handling objections, and building genuine relationships with potential clients.


If you’re struggling with cold calling, it’s probably because you’re not implementing the strategies that we’re going to discuss in this blog post. Today, we’re going to give you the keys to success when cold calling any business, regardless of your industry or experience level. Whether you’re a complete beginner or you’ve been calling for quite some time, this guide is for you.

About the Author

My name is Anurag. I own a digital marketing agency in India. Before that, I worked in corporate sales, spending thousands of hours on the phone calling up businesses. This blog post is part of a new sales playlist that we’ve launched on our channel. We aim to make what is perceived as a very complicated industry very simple, so people like you can learn from these posts and improve your sales skills.

The Fear of Cold Calling

Cold calling is the big one. It’s the most requested topic we’ve had to cover, and probably going to have to make a couple of posts on it because there’s a lot to cover. Cold calling is an outreach strategy that every salesperson dreads, especially in the beginning. It’s intimidating, requires the most amount of effort, and there’s more room for you to screw up. People are just scared about cold calling, and that’s the first thing that we need to cover today.

I know how that feels. When I first got my first telesales job, I was an introvert. I got into my first sales meeting, and we had our training. We were talking about how we were going to cold call a hundred companies per day. I remember when I got my script, and I was trembling with fear making my first cold call. I was forced to cold call a hundred companies every single day because if I didn’t, I was going to get the sack. Over time, I got better and better, but I truly know how it feels to be afraid of picking up the phone.

Overcoming the Fear

One of the biggest things that helped me out when I was in my first sales job was when I said to my trainer, “Look, I am really scared of picking up the phone. I’m so intimidated by having to do these cold calls.” They asked me, “Anurag, what are you afraid of happening?” I said, “Well, I’m afraid of them saying this. I’m afraid of them rejecting me. I’m afraid of this.”

They said, “Okay, fine. So you’re afraid of rejection. You’re afraid of not knowing what to say when somebody gives you an objection. I just want to start by saying that an objection is not a rejection. It’s just a request for more information.”

They asked me to write down every single possible objection that I thought I could get on that phone call. What are all the things that could go wrong? What are all the things that they could say to me? Write them all down on a bit of paper and show it to me, and I’ll work with you on them.

Essentially, what they did was they worked with me on coming up with an answer to every single possible objection in my mind. Now, I knew that the majority of those objections I had written down were not going to happen. They were just made-up, fake things in my mind. But some things were in my subconscious that were bothering me, which was preventing me from picking up the phone being confident on the phone and not sounding robotic.

One of the things you need to do to loosen up on a phone call is to make sure you’re very comfortable. If not, you’re going to sound robotic.

The Trap of Sounding Like a Salesman

One of the biggest pitfalls you need to avoid is falling into the trap of sounding like a salesman. You’re going to fall into the trap of sounding robotic, and that’s not what you want. You need to be comfortable on the phone. To do that, you need to understand what you are going to say from your actions. You need to get rid of the fear of failure when you’re cold calling.

Handling Objections

Write down all of the potential objections and next to them, write down all of the things that you can say to fire back to that business owner. We’re going to come back to discuss a couple of things later on in this post. Dozens of your business owners can be future customers as well. But we’re going to come back to objections.

Understanding the Stakes

The next thing you want to make sure you do is understand that you have nothing to lose when you’re cold-calling somebody. You’re trying to secure new business. You didn’t have that business in the first place. You didn’t have that client. You didn’t have that money in your bank. So if you come off that cold call and you still don’t have anything, you haven’t lost anything at all apart from one cold lead. And there are thousands and thousands of them about.

Sales is a Numbers Game

Sales is a numbers game. Like anything in life, the first time you do it, you’re going to screw up, and you need to accept that. That’s fine. You’re going to fail. You’re going to screw up. You’re going to stumble over your words. You’re going to say something silly. You’re going to be like, “Why the hell did I say that?” But you learn from it.

Accepting Failure

If you learn to accept that you are going to fail when you first start, you’ll be a lot more comfortable on the phone as well. And you’ll start to eradicate that fear. So just accept that with every single call you make, you’ll get better and better and better. You’ll realize that you can change your tonality. You’ll realize that certain buzzwords will make people respond more favorably.

The Power of Cold Calling

Force yourself to call up businesses because believe me, no outreach strategy in the world connects with people on a deeper level straightaway than cold calling. Now, there are a few other things that have worked for me that I would recommend you do before you start cold calling to make yourself feel a lot more comfortable. You need to loosen up. You need to be comfortable about making these calls.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

The first thing you want to do is get yourself in a space on your own. You don’t want to be around people. You don’t want to be in that telesales environment. It’s not a nice environment to be in. We had headsets, and I’d recommend you get a headset if you have the opportunity. Or of course, if you’ve got your mobile phone, that’ll be fine as well. But ideally, you want your hands free flowing. You want some kind of hands-free so that way you can be expressive.

Express Yourself

Though they can’t see you, the way that you speak, the way you throw your hands all over the place, because you’re being more expressive, you’re more passionate, you’re more into the things you’re talking about. So you want your body, you want to be able to be free. And you also don’t want that intimidation of having somebody listening to you or being conscious about the fact that someone is listening to your wife, your children. You feel like they might judge you on the things you’re saying and judge you on how your call is going.

So try to get away from people. Walk into the other end of the house. Walk to the other end of the office. Be on your own. Be isolated. And you’re going to be a lot more comfortable in making those calls.

Preparing for the Call

Before every single call, I like to practice breathing affirmations. This is a technique I learned from Wim Hof, which you can find on YouTube. This is a simplified version of that. What I like to do is take some really deep breaths before I start calling. This surges my body full of oxygen and gives me more energy, especially if I’m doing an afternoon calling session when naturally your energy is a little bit lower anyway because you’ve used it in the morning.

Breathing Techniques

I practice really deep breathing in from my nose and out from my mouth. I do that about five times, pausing in between. Then I’ll do it with my mouth. I’ll do that five times. This kind of stuff does help. It’s not just la-dee-da stuff. It does help you concentrate. It’s almost like a mini form of meditation before going on every call. Try and do that before you then jump in between every single call. You’re almost like resetting your psyche.

The Right Frame of Mind

It is so key that you are in the right frame of mind. I would put your frame of mind, your mindset, above everything else, your scripts, the whole lot. You need to make sure that you are relaxed, you’re in a positive state of mind, you’re optimistic, and you’re ready to change someone’s life, to impact them for the better, no matter how big or small that is.

The Power of Your Product or Service

If your product or your service genuinely has the power to impact someone’s life for the better, which is why you’re selling it in the first place, then you are doing them an injustice by not calling up that person and allowing them to improve their life, improve their business, improve whatever it is that your product or service fulfills.

The Human Connection

Because at the end of the day, when you strip it all back, you’re one human being speaking to another human being, one of them trying to positively impact the other person. So you need to give yourself that affirmation, remind yourself that that’s what you’re trying to do. You’re doing them an injustice by not calling up that person.

The Right Attitude

So pump yourself up, and get yourself in the right state of mind. You’re going to call that company up, you’re going to call that customer up, and you’re going to smash it, and you’re going to kill it. That’s the frame of mind you need to be in. Because if you exude negativity, if you’re in a defeatist mindset, and you’re already thinking about how they might say this or they might say that or what happens about this, then you’re going to exude negativity over that phone call. You’re going to receive negativity back.

The Law of Attraction

I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction. Everything that you do on that phone call, if it’s negative, it’ll come across in your tonality, it’ll come across in the words that come out of your mind. Because when you’re thinking about what to say next when you’re put on the spot, your brain’s just sending signals to your vocal cords. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, your words aren’t going to come across the way you want them to. So you need to ensure you’re in the right frame of mind before every single cold call. That’s not la-dee-da fantasy fairy stuff.

Proper Prospecting

Once you’ve got your mind right, the first thing you want to do is ensure your prospecting is done properly. In your lead generation and your research, you need to make sure you know the person you’re calling up by their first name. You know their business name, whether it’s a service or a product, whatever that may be. Or there’s some kind of pain point or something you can highlight to them over the phone.

You want to say something that makes that person feel like they are not the hundredth person that you have called in that day. You want them to feel like they are the only person you have called. You speak to them, you’re a friendly voice addressing them by their name, saying something unique to them, letting them know that you have made the effort to call them. So you need to ensure your prospecting is done properly. Do not aimlessly call people if you don’t know who they are and you’re just mindlessly selling products to somebody who may or may not want what you’re offering. That’s just a sure way to waste your own time.

The Importance of a Sales Script

The second thing you want to do is ensure your sales script is in place. Now, this blog post is not about how to put together a sales script. If you want me to put together a post about how to come up with a cold-calling script for your business, drop me a comment below, let me know, put down “sales script”, and I’ll create that post for you.

But to quickly cover that right now, you need to have a sales script of some sort. Not so you can read off it like a sheet of paper and sound robotic, but so you can have a framework. Going back to when I was in corporate sales, we had this sales script that everybody was given when we started in the company. I worked my way up and became one of the top three people in the company within the first three months.

Understanding the Psychology

Within the first couple of weeks, I’d scrapped my script. The reason why it was key, though, that I still had a script to start with, is so I could understand the psychology behind what I was saying. What were the reasons, what were the goals for each sentence that I was saying, and what emotion was I trying to trigger in my buyers or my potential buyers’ minds?

Once you understand the psychology behind what it is you are saying and why you’re saying it, it will enable you to be more adaptable. And that’s when you truly become a good salesperson when you can adapt your character, adapt your script, adapt your tonality to every person that you are speaking to.

Adapting to Your Audience

One tip, going off on a tangent, we’ll come and bring it back to the sales script, one quick tip on that note, what’s on my mind, is if you’re speaking to someone and you recognize that they have a certain tonality because everybody has a different tonality. Some people are upbeat, some people are a bit downbeat, some people talk slowly, and some people talk fast. You want them to feel like you are on their level.

And the only way to be able to adapt your tonality, to adapt your scripts, to adapt the way you deliver your pitch, is if you are fully comfortable with that sales script in the first place. And the only way you can be comfortable is if you have one.

So it’s important to have a sales script, but it’s also important for you to very quickly learn, understand the reasons why you’re saying what you’re saying, and then allow yourself to completely go off on a tangent and adapt yourself to every person that you’re speaking to.

Crafting an Effective Sales Script

When it comes to cold calling, having a well-structured sales script is crucial. Let’s break down the essential components of an effective sales script:

  1. Diffusion: Start by diffusing any potential resistance or skepticism. Acknowledge that you respect their time and assure them that you won’t waste it. For example:
    • “Hi, [Name], I know you’re busy, so I’ll be brief.”
    • “Do you have a minute?”
    • “I appreciate your time.”
  2. Introduction: Reintroduce yourself briefly. Keep it concise and friendly:
    • “Hi, I’m [Your Name] from [Your Company].”
  3. Purpose (So What): Clearly state the reason for your call. Be specific and focus on what’s in it for them:
    • “I’m calling because we specialize in [specific service/product].”
    • “We help businesses like yours improve [specific pain point].”
  4. Why (Reason): Explain why you’re reaching out. Highlight a benefit or solution:
    • “I noticed that your company [specific issue].”
    • “We’ve helped similar businesses increase [specific outcome].”
  5. Goal (What): Be direct about your objective. What do you want from them?
    • “I’d like to schedule a brief meeting to discuss how we can [specific benefit].”
    • “Can we set up a call to explore how we might [solve their pain point]?”

Remember these key points:

  • Keep it concise: Aim for a 30-second pitch.
  • Adapt your tonality: Match their energy and communication style.
  • Avoid sounding robotic: Understand the psychology behind your words.
  • Warm up before selling: Don’t rush into a hard sell on the first call.

And finally, build rapport and establish trust. Cold calling is about creating connections, not just making sales. So, warm up your leads, build relationships, and focus on long-term success.

Building Interest and Setting Up Meetings

Building interest and setting up meetings are essential steps in successful cold calling. Let’s break down some key strategies:

  1. Create Interest and Curiosity:
    • Your initial cold call should focus on sparking curiosity and interest. Be friendly, mirror their tonality, and make them feel like they’re the only person you’re calling.
    • Use a brief introduction: “Hi, I’m [Your Name] from [Your Company].”
    • Diffuse any resistance: “I know you’re busy, so I’ll be brief.”
    • State your purpose: “We specialize in [specific service/product].”
    • Highlight a benefit: “We’ve helped similar businesses improve [specific pain point].”
  2. Avoid Hard Selling on the First Call:
    • Instead of pushing for an immediate sale, aim to set up a meeting. Warm up your leads.
    • Explain that you’d like to learn more about their business and explore how you can serve them better.
    • Arrange a follow-up call or meeting: “Can we schedule a brief call to discuss further?”
  3. Smile Through the Phone:
    • Smiling changes your tonality and energy. Even though they can’t see you, they’ll sense your positivity.
    • Practice smiling during your calls—it makes a difference!
  4. Adapt to Their Tonality and Energy:
    • Match their communication style. If they’re upbeat, be upbeat. If they’re more reserved, adjust accordingly.
    • People respond better when they feel you’re on their wavelength.
  5. Research and Personalization:
    • Before calling, gather information about their company, pain points, and needs.
    • Mention something specific about their business to show you’ve done your homework.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about how your product/service can benefit them.
  6. Build Rapport and Trust:
    • Cold calling is about creating connections. Make them feel valued and understood.
    • Share a success story related to a similar business you’ve helped.
    • Remember, people love to buy but hate to be sold.

Enjoying Cold Calling: The Art of Communication

Cold calling doesn’t have to be a burden—it can be an opportunity to master one of the most valuable skills in the world: communication. Let’s dive into some key takeaways for successful cold calling:

  1. Warm Up Your Leads:
    • Instead of hard-selling on the first call, focus on building interest and curiosity.
    • Make them feel unique and valued. Use their first name and mention something specific about their business.
    • Set up a meeting for a deeper conversation rather than pushing for an immediate sale.
  2. Adapt Your Tonality and Energy:
    • Match their communication style. Be upbeat if they are, or adjust accordingly.
    • Smile through the phone—it changes your tonality and energy.
    • Remember, people love to buy but hate to be sold.
  3. Research and Personalization:
    • Gather information about their company, pain points, and needs.
    • Prove that you’ve done your homework. Mention a success story related to a similar business.
    • Show genuine interest in helping them.
  4. Have Fun with It:
    • Enjoy speaking to a variety of people. Test out new approaches and tactics.
    • Don’t view cold calling as a burden; see it as an opportunity to improve your communication skills.
    • Adopt a “what will be, will be” mentality—don’t fear rejection.
  5. Communication Mastery:
    • Cold calling forces you to adapt, learn, and connect with different personalities.
    • Mastering communication will benefit you in all areas of life.

Embrace Objections

Objections are not negative; they’re not a rejection. They’re just a request for more information. If you’re cold calling right now and you’re getting stumbled-over objections, you need to ensure that you push back every single time, no matter what. We’ll talk about objections in a future post as well.

Engage with Your Audience

If this is the first post of mine you have read and you have enjoyed it, then please make sure you like and subscribe. About 90% of the people who read my posts, which is a lot of people, aren’t subscribed to my channel. So, I’m doing you a favor by providing this value. Do me a favor by subscribing to the channel. And of course, share this post with somebody else who will get value from it as well.

Giveaways and Engagement

We do giveaways on this channel, and we have a winner from last week’s giveaway. We did a coaching call giveaway on this channel, and we’re going to do one here as well. Andrew Sykes got a coaching call with me. We’re going to break down your sales process and improve that for your business in whatever way we can. Your biggest tip is to be able to walk away from the deal that is not right. So the team will reach out to you, and we’ll schedule that call.

I’m going to do a giveaway on this post. Comment down below underneath this post. I want to know what your biggest tip is when reaching out to a business. We’ll do another coaching call giveaway on the next sales post. Of course, you need your notifications turned on because we post every couple of days. So, if you only have about 48 hours to comment down below on this post, have your notifications turned on.

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