Phone Phobia Is More Than The Fear Of Making Cold Calls

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

24 September, 2012

In today’s world of e-prospecting, social media marketing, texting and sophisticated electronic communication, it seems picking up the telephone is becoming a lost art. Although we all know that no matter how the future continues to unfold, the telephone will always be an integral part of sales success.

The problem I have found is that in the wake of all the new avenues of approach, sales people are quick to believe that picking up the telephone, be it warm or cold calling, is no longer effective.Call icon

The REAL Reason
While it is true that much has changed and the process has evolved, too many sales people use today’s environment as an EXCUSE to avoid the telephone at all cost. The fact is that while the sales call paradigm has changed, as did the prospective buyer, so has the meaning and stronghold of Phone Phobia.

You may not feel that you suffer from Phone Phobia. However, read the following, as the information may surprise you.

What Is Phone Phobia?
Telephone sales expert and trainer, John Landrine of the U.S., is credited with first introducing the term Phone Phobia in 1990. In his work, “How to SEE On the Telephone,” John explained that Phone Phobia relates to a mentality that sales people develop that results in problems much more serious than the simple fear of making calls.

The Mental Process
The problem is that most sales people inadvertently and unconsciously place too much value and significance on the outcome of a telephone call. This creates the underlying mental process that ultimately causes the fear. It looks like this:

1. Sales person knows that to be successful and have a great life, you must continuously close sales.
2. To close many sales, you have to close one at a time.
3. In order to close the sale, you must ask for the order.
4. Before you can ask for the order, you have to have an effective sales interaction.
5. Before you can have the sales interaction, you have to have an appointment.
6. To get the appointment, you must pick up the telephone, reach the prospect and get him or her to agree to meet with you.
7. Therefore, everything: a successful career, a great life, a nice home, everything depends on the success on the next cold call.

Harmful Effects
The above thought process, while essentially correct, causes many negative outcomes, only one of which is the fear of picking up the telephone. For instance, when making calls, the often-subconscious fear elevates your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. This changes the relaxed state and tone of your natural speaking voice, which in turn makes you sound rehearsed, phony and even suspicious to the prospect.

Your unnatural sounding voice acts like a warning beacon to the person on the other end of the telephone by projecting the image of the stereotypical telemarketer.

A Chain Reaction
The result is that the imagined has become REAL and prospects are indeed hanging up and shunning you. You then begin to not only fear the cold call, but many other sales activities as well. Confidence begins to wane and it negatively affects every aspect of your performance.

Face The Fear
Of course you need to use all of the new and advanced avenues of prospecting at your disposal. However, pick up that telephone and do not let the phobia become a cancer.

Happy Selling

Sean

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

450 sales questions free report