How To Cold Call Even When You Are Afraid

Welcome to the second guest post by Scott Davis, owner of Davis Writing Solutions, documenting his discovery of the power of phone communication. His dedication to his craft – and to embracing phone communication – is inspirational. Enjoy and share! 

Does the thought of making cold calls scare you?

I’ve been running my own business for 4 years now  and cold calling is my main sales channel. I make an average of 40 calls a week, including follow up calls. And I am still scared to death every time I pick up the phone.

The thing is, cold calling is one of the most effective sales and marketing tools you can use. It has some huge advantages: you can talk to customers directly, it’s cheap and it gives almost instant feedback . So how can you overcome your fear of cold calling and take advantage of this great tool? Here’s how I did it.

  • Get a Coach

When I first started calling, it was a mess. I didn’t know how to manage my calls and I was so nervous that I made a disaster out of every call. So on a friend’s advice I hired Mary Jane to coach me. She taught me how to deliver a pitch, how to develop the perfect phone voice  and most importantly, how to deal with the mental barriers to making cold calls. With a fear this big, you can’t go it alone. You need a coach.

  • Forget About Selling

If you try to sell on a call, you’ll either sound dishonest or desperate. Years of dinner-hour telemarketing calls have given people a built-in BS detector, so if you sound insincere on the phone, your prospect will hang up on you. It happened to me and it will happen to you. When you call, drop the agenda. Your mission is to let the prospect know what it is you do, and then to ask them if they are interested in talking to you about it. The outcome of a successful call is a conversation which, for me, leads to a meeting.

  • Dive Right In

I’m still afraid of cold calling, but I noticed one thing: the first call is always the hardest one. After one call I get into a flow and the other calls get easier. When you call, make a list and dive right in.

  • Call Your Whole List

If you have 10 numbers on your list for the day, call all of them. I found that I’d get excited about one call, or have one really bad call, and then quit for the day. Avoid this temptation. Calling is all about momentum. If you call your entire list every day you’ll build up momentum and you won’t be sidetracked by individual calls. Which brings me to my last point:

  • Individual Calls DON’T MATTER

I wanted to win this client. They were my dream client. They were creative, smart and cool. I agonized over calling them. Finally one day I got the courage to dial their number. I got them on the phone, went into my pitch . . .  and got blown off in 20 seconds. Nothing. No meeting, no sale.

This is the most important lesson I learned about calling. NO CALL is important. Good or bad, they are just calls. Make enough of them and you’ll succeed. The magic isn’t in the call, it’s in the system. Forget about dream clients or nightmare phone calls. Keep calling and you’ll do just fine.

Closing a sale is the natural outcome of inspiring great conversations and listening intently to our potential customers.

This natural approach still involves a process – a plan that moves potential customers through a journey of discovery with you. So ... what's your process? And am I the right sales coach for you? Let's find out.

2 thoughts on “How To Cold Call Even When You Are Afraid”

  1. Great advice Scott, especially the one about calling the whole list in one day. Losing my own momentum is the worst. (smile)

    • So true, Jacqueline, about losing momentum. I love Scott’s idea of calling the whole list each day. Great advice. Thanks for checking in. Perhaps you’ll contribute a blog post soon?


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What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
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