Internet Marketing From Home

7 Ways to Overcome Fear of the Phone

Is Phone Fear Preventing You From Reaching Your Full Potential?

My Pathetic Tale of (Phone Fear) Woe

How is it with you and the phone? You comfortable with it or is it like a lead brick – too heavy to pick up?
That’s how it was with me back in 2006.  The phone and I were not on first name terms.  For me, the phone was public enemy number 1.  My discomfort with the phone was so ridiculous that I’d typically jump in the car and drive halfway across town to see someone knowing it would have been far quicker and easier to just pick up the frigging phone.
My fear of the phone was on par with my other previous fear –  fear of public speaking.  After demolishing that shibboleth, I still had the phone thing looming large in my thinking.
I knew it wasn’t a good place to be, but until a change occurred in my situation, I was quite happy to continue in my fear based haze.  But then it happened – my situation did change.  My traditional business was going bust, so I had to find another income stream.  I looked at various options until I found an internet thing – marketing high ticket products by generating leads online.  Only one catch – I would have to phone the leads.  Ouch!

At Last – a Breakthrough

After agonising about it for a few days, I made the decision to go with the new program and to hell with the fear.  So that’s exactly what happened.  I joined, I ran some ads and started to call the leads.  Was it terrifying?  You betcha, but after phoning ten leads, I began to loosen up a bit, and by the time I had called twenty I was (almost) enjoying it.  In particular, I was revelling in the fact that I had finally confronted a ridiculous fear.  I got a real buzz from doing that, let me tell you.
By the second week, I could sense an increase in my phone competency.  This was because I was now successfully engaging with prospects.  I was getting into some quality conversations and – importantly – uncovering their hot buttons and pain points.  Wow!
By week 4 I had made my first sales – I ended the month with a tad over $9,000 in my bank account.  Not too shabby for a guy who was terrified of the phone!  During that first month (and subsequently) I developed a few techniques that helped me accelerate my progress.  Here are seven of them:

1. Know Thyself

Why do you have the heebie-jeebies about calling people?  If you’re typical it’s probably about rejection – you hate it.  Just as a spider recoils when hit with the bug spray, you do the same thing a prospect says no.  You detest hearing the word no.   It’s not a problem to be like that – only a masochist or a thick skinned egomaniac loves the no’s.   Recognising the reality of the situation was a major step for me.  After this mini breakthrough, I had another one after I read the book by Susan Jeffers called Feel the Fear ad Do It Anyway.
What an excellent little book.  After reading it, I would recite this mantra many times before making my first call – ‘I feel the fear, but I will do it NOW’.   Somehow stating the words out loud had a galvanising effect on me.  More often than not, I picked up the phone and started calling.

2. Stand Up and Be Counted

If my energy was low, I started dialling while I was standing.  There is a strong connection between our physical and mental state.  Standing gave me more energy and confidence every time I did it.  Another technique is to run on the spot for 5 minutes, and then make your calls.  Playing some up tempo music is another technique.

3.  The Mirror Trick – Worth Looking Into

Another thing I learnt was this:  when I was smiling it was easier to make calls.  So I bought myself a little mirror and plonked it in front of me so I could see myself smiling.  Even if it was a forced smile, it didn’t matter.  When I began a calling session, this technique gave me the ‘Dutch Courage’ to just pick up that damn phone.  It works!

4.  Give Potency to Your Goals

You need to keep yourself inspired and motivated.  One of the things I did was to create a collage of pictures that represented my goals, and paste it on the wall.  Photos of cars and travel destinations helped to keep me motivated and focused.  You’ve got to trick your brain to do what you want!

5. Revisit Your Fear In Your Mind

Dr Lisa Thompson writes about this technique in a blog post she wrote a couple of months ago.  It sounds a bit weird, but the idea is that you kind of roleplay a typical scenario in your mind.  Imagine the guy saying no.  Feel the no in all its glory.  Then imagine yourself smiling and accepting the no with good grace, and even humour.  Give it a try.

6. Focus On Others Not Yourself

This is important.  The more efficient you can be at taking the focus away from yourself and directing it to your prospect, the better.  Remember, this is not about you – it’s about them, every time.  When I was making a lot of daily calls, the day started with me thinking about who I could help, and the problems I could solve for the day ahead.
When I made the calls, I was always intently interested in that the prospect was saying.  This would often get some reasonable dialogue happening, which is essential.  I’d take notes then use the notes to construct a solution to the person’s problem.  This is one of the main reasons why I made money so fast – $9k in month 1, $17k in month 2, and $25k in month 3.  Not bragging just saying that when you have the key elements in place, you can get a quick result.
Success leaves clues, and this tip is a BIG one!

7. Make Some ‘What the Heck’ Calls

Plenty of times I didn’t feel like making calls, especially on Mondays or when I came back from a holiday.  In fact, after a vacation, it often took 2 or 3 days before I was hitting my stride once again.  That said when it came time to dial for dollars once again I would just pick up the phone and start talking to people.  For sure if my attitude was wrong for the first few calls my results were abysmal.  But usually by the fourth call I was hitting my straps and could feel my mojo returning, just as it had done countless times before.  By the sixth or seventh call, I was bulletproof.  Sometimes you just have to pick up the phone, even if you don’t feel like it.

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4 thoughts on “7 Ways to Overcome Fear of the Phone”

  1. Hey Kim,
    This post will definitely resonate with many folks who are absolutely pertified of speaking with prospects on the phone. The crazy thing is many of these same folks just love to chat with their friends with no fears what so ever.
    You gave them the solution – focus on the prospect and not on themselves – works every time.
    The fear of rejection is such a powerful thing and if folks could just realize that its not them being rejected – its the prosposition you are offering.
    Excellent and common sense tips that will be appreciated by many people Kim
    Best wishes frm a remote Thai village marketer

    • Hi Peter
      Thanks for your valuable comment
      Yes, you are right. People shouldn’t take the rejection personally. The proposition gets rejected – not them. Unless of course the prospect didn’t actually like the person. That can happen, but usually, the reason for the rejection is exactly as you say.
      Thanks Peter

  2. Hey Kim! I can relate to your phone woes. It took me a long time to actually pick up the phone and call people. Yikes! Not sure what I was so fearful about.
    I also like to stand up and walk around the room while on the phone. It definitely helps me to keep my energy and posture.
    I’ve had everything from people that were happy to hear from me, to those who hang up in my mid-sentence. It doesn’t bother me anymore, however it took time and skill development to get there.
    Thanks for these great tips about overcoming fears. The fortune is in the follow up so phone talk is very important.

    • Thanks for dropping by Lisa!
      I guess most of us at some point have had challenges with talking to people on the phone, especially in the early stages. I think the most important thing for people to do is to tough it out. In time, they will get better.
      Thanks again, Lisa


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