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28 Apr, 2009

Top 10 Tips To Overcome Cold-Calling Fear

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles|Small Business Coaching Articles

Cold Calling Coaching - Coaching Blog 

The phrase ‘If you take no action, nothing will happen’ makes perfect sense to me. However, I still hear fellow coaches making many excuses or giving reasons for not actually picking up the phone to prospective clients to find out how they might work with them.

You must do something if you want something to happen. All the positive thinking in the world won’t get you your dream prospective clients. You need to let them know why they should use you, where you are and what’s special about you.

I appreciate that getting on the phone and ‘cold calling’ – making calls to someone you don’t know and haven’t spoken to before – can be scary. I’ve been doing it for years and I still get scared. I have managed to harness the fear and pick the phone up anyway. So can you. Let me share with you my top 10 tips for beating the fear and making some ‘cold’ calls.

1. Know what you are selling – what’s special about you? Know whom you want to buy your services. Who do you want to work with? Know where to go to find your customers. Where will you find them?

I have never seen anyone successfully bore someone into buying from them, so be interesting, confident and professional; smile as you dial that number! Sounds corny, but as coaches, we all know that you can hear by the tone of someone’s voice if they are upbeat and confident.

2. Have an aide memoir next to you for easy reference. I don’t suggest that you use this as a script, simply as a prompt if you feel a tad nervous and are worried you’ll dry up, I’ve been selling for years, and still read them before and during each call.

It needs to have an opening statement that describes what you do, why you are special and what that means to the prospective client.

It needs to include open questions that you can ask to find out what they do already and how they decide whom to use for the services you are offering.

  • Your unique selling points. (USPs)
  • Testimonials or case studies
  • Common objections to your service and good responses to them.

3. Use a nice friendly opening line before you deliver your opening statement. I find these two very effective: ‘I am calling to introduce myself, I don’t know if what it is I offer is of need to you/your company (then opening statement) …’ and ‘This call is purely to explore if there may be ways for us/our companies to work together, (then opening statement) …’

4. Ask outstanding questions – investigate, explore, probe and gather as much information as you can. Have a conversation and learn all about this company/person. Knowledge is powerful thing to have; you’ll be able to identify a NEED they have.

5. Know what’s special about you. Please DON’T SAY CUSTOMER SERVICE, as that’s what everyone tends to say. Ask yourself what is your speciality that NO ONE else does? It can’t be unique if someone else does it too!

6. Create stories to tell, gather testimonials, case studies and feedback from clients who have used you or from people that know you. It’s powerful stuff to casually drop into the conversation.

7. Make a strong opening statement. When some people start their calls, they ask if that person has time to talk and while this is a nice courtesy, in my experience it can give them a reason to get you off the phone, so at least make your strong opening statement and listen out for annoyance. If you get the feeling that they are busy, then ask, ‘Is this a bad time? When can I call you back?’

You might be offering to replace what they already have, that is to change something, which can be as scary as you plucking up the nerve to make the call. You need to communicate that you are trying to solve a problem they currently have. This is why we ask those powerful questions.

8. Match their need with your solution (your service or product). Why should they carry on talking to you?

9. Start. Just start, doing a little and often will add to your marketing mix. Don’t forget to follow up with the people you’ve called or sent literature to.

10. BE LOVELY TO EVERYONE! You do not know who has answered the phone – don’t assume it’s a receptionist; it could be the decision-maker.

By Jo Clayton

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