Overcoming Cold Call Fears

sellingDo you agree with this statement?

“There is nothing worse in the business world than cold calling.”

I absolutely, positively hate it. The way your nerves tingle as you wait for someone to answer the phone, the anxiety of making sure you use the right words in the right places, and that overarching fear of rejection.

It’s like walking into a dark abyss and having no clue what’ll be inside.

When I first began my marketing business, I made cold calls. Not only was it extremely nerve racking, but it was also completely ineffective; I didn’t get one client from any of my calls.

That’s when I decided I would never make a cold call again.

But Maybe It’s Worth One More Try

Good old William “Skip” Miller. He wrote the book “ProActive Selling: Control the Process — Win the Sale”(amazon affiliate link). Of course, being the book worm I am, I started reading it.

After only 4 pages, Miller got me thinking, “Maybe I should try cold calling again.”

The book is magnificently written. It presents clear, actionable steps to prospecting and selling. As I read it, I saw all the mistakes I had been making with my sales, most prominently when I made cold calls.

So today, I started making cold calls again.

I made a list of businesses in Manhattan Beach, got my phone out, and started calling them, going down the list.

Only one owner picked up the phone, and instantly told me he wasn’t interested. The rest were just employees who said the owner was not available.

You might think to yourself, “Ah, Brandon, yet another cold call failure!”

I say, “Not even. In fact, my goal for today was just picking up the phone and calling.”

I realized what was keeping me back from making these cold calls: it’s fear. And the best way to overcome fear is to face it head on. Fear kept me from picking up the phone, asking for the owner, and pitching my business.

The fact that I was able to do this 10 times today is, in my eyes, a success.

I definitely don’t think I’ll become a master salesman. I accept that selling is my weakness.

And I do know the saying, “Concentrate on your strengths.”

But at the same time, I think there is something to be said about facing your fears. That’s what business is all about. It’s about facing your fears and overcoming them. It’s about accepting the fear that your business may fail, but going ahead with it anyways.

My question to you:

What fears have you been facing and overcoming lately?


  1. Leah Baade says:

    Ah, you've sold me on this book!
    I've always been of the mindset that if people want something they'll go out and find it. What I've learned lately is that people are busy and if they want something they just might take the first good offer that comes their way.
    I'm sure not a fan of cold calling but if you don't ask, you'll never get.
    Thank you, Brandon.
    My recent post The New Klout

    • Brandon Yanofsky says:

      You definitely need to purchase it Leah. Even if you have no intention of selling or cold calling, there are some great lessons in there on business in general.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says:

      You'll love the book. I love the book. Even if you don't plan on cold calling, it's got some amazing things to think about.Definitely a must read.

  2. Hllary says:

    Brandon a technique I was taught in Insurance sales.We would send a note or flyer to the prospect and call a few days later to ask if they received our note.
    If yes we launched into our pitch, if no we launched in to telling them our pitch.
    I don't know if this is still a successful marketing tool, but it helps you too make that call because in your mind it isn't a cold call.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says:

      That's a great tip, Hllary.

      I think I'm going to borrow that on my next cold call.

  3. Katie says:

    Here's an odd fear: Making calls in which I KNOW I'll get the work. It's not a fear of success thing. I'm actually so very busy right now, that I'm afraid of not being able to say "no" to these people who have asked me to call them because they need my help. Perhaps I'll make that one call today that I've been avoiding for the last two weeks…maybe.
    My recent post KatieStroudPro- @ExpertusONE Thanks for RT