Following are a few tips for making cold-calling less stressful (in order of effectiveness).
1. Commit to an amount of time, not a certain number of contacts. So instead of starting with a list of say 25 prospects to call, commit to an hour of cold-calling. This has the psychological effect of putting a cap on the anticipated stress. It also makes a negative response or two less likely to affect you and it will make you more likely to engage with a promising prospect (you aren’t thinking “I can’t talk long because I still have 18 more prospects to call”).
2. Coffee. If you are a coffee drinker (and I hope you are) have a full cup about 20 minutes before you start calling. The hour that you have set aside will fly by and you will feel more positive and energetic on the phone—no matter how people respond.
3. Don’t drink alcohol, Mountain Dew, 5-Hour Energy…Unless you want people on the other end to think a) there is something wrong with you b) whatever you are selling is so bad that you need major reinforcement. So why is coffee OK? It’s not obvious.
4. Don’t wait until you are desperate to start cold-calling. If you desperately need business, that’s going to come across in your conversations and you are also going to get discouraged much easier by a negative response. Make cold-calling a habit by setting aside a regular time each week no matter what business is like.
5. Have a treat waiting at the end of the hour. Maybe Mountain Dew or 5-Hour Energy or a walk to the cookie store or a gossipy call to your best friend…And if your hour ends at 5 (4-5 is actually a great time to call), maybe that alcohol.