SALES QUESTION: “How Do You Deal with Anxiety Before Each Cold Call?”

By Michael Pedone,


Cold call anxiety happens when at least one of these two things is present:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Fear of rejection

You can psych yourself up all you want to make calls but if you are constantly being rejected when selling by phone, eventually no matter what you tell yourself or do to get all jazzed up before making the dials, the rejections will continue and eventually selling won’t be very fun anymore.

And when selling isn’t fun, you’re in real trouble. Like, “Can’t make the mortgage payment because I haven’t hit quota in 3-months” trouble.

You can try and find ways to stay positive in everyday negative sales calls but that never addresses the real issue of what’s causing the “rejection” (which causes lack of confidence and fear of further abuse / rejection… it’s a vicious cycle)

There are two schools of thought on this subject:

  • Its part of sales, deal with it or get out
  • It’s largely preventable (I’m in this camp and have years of experience behind me to prove this scenario exists)

When your cold call rejection rate is high, instead of accepting it as part of sales, why not ask yourself “why am I getting rejected a lot?” and refuse the answer of “that’s the way sales is” because it isn’t.

There’s a difference between being “rejected” and a prospect not being “qualified”

If your “rejection rate” is high, that’s a big arrow pointing to your sales process (what you say, when you say it, how you say it, why you say, who you say it to, etc)

In essence, your game plan (sales process) isn’t working and you need one that does.

The first place I would look to revamp your sales process is within the company you work for… who’s the top sales person month in and month out? Learn what they are doing and follow their sales process.

If that isn’t an option, find someone else who has already accomplished what it is that you want to accomplish and learn from them.

The “A” Factor

Once you’ve found a sales process that produces the level of results that you want, your confidence will jump and commission checks will grow. But every once in a while you’ll still make a sales call and get a prospect on the other end of the phone that will just rip you a new one.

I’ve seen too many salespeople (myself included) take a working sales process that has made them lots of money just to start tweaking the heck out of it because of one prospect that read them the riot act over the phone. This is a mistake!

A mentor of mine taught me a long time ago to never let the “A factor” change what you know works. When I asked what he meant by the A factor, he said when a prospect is being an @ss! (Actually, he was a little more verbal in his description, but you get the point)

Fix your sales process until you have repeated success with it. And when an occasional call goes bad, you’ll have the confidence to know it wasn’t anything you did and you’ll be able to move on to the next call without an ounce of anxiety.