Does a fear of talking on the phone hold you back from following up on leads and making new connections? Phone phobia can be troublesome, particularly to business owners and entrepreneurs. While text and email are definitely common methods of communication these days, sometimes you just have to pick up the phone and call. If you procrastinate or moan and groan about calling, here are a few tips that can help.
- Change your attitude. While not easy, changing the way you perceive making phone calls can make a huge difference. A shift in perspective – from a useless waste of time to an opportunity to nurture and grow a relationship – can help remove some of the barriers to taking action.
- Do research. Make sure you are well versed in your company’s products and services. Then, make it a point to do research on the person you’re calling as well. Can you identify potential areas where your company can fill a gap or solve a pain point for the individual or organization?
- Plan talking points. This differs from preparing a script. You won’t actually read verbatim everything you wrote down. Instead, you’ll focus on jotting down the few things that need to be discussed while on the call. By doing this, your conversation has purpose and you’ll be more likely to stay on topic.
- Make sure to really listen. And, don’t forget to smile! Don’t be in such a rush to get off the phone that you neglect to pay attention to what is actually being said by the person that you’ve reached. Listening can go a long way in building a better relationship. Smiling before and during a call really does make a difference. Promise!
- If you get caught in voicemail tag or stopped in your tracks by a personal assistant, find a workaround until you reach your desired contact. Ask about best times to reach the individual you’re seeking and don’t forget to be helpful and courteous to the assistant. They might turn out to be your biggest proponent in the future.
A few final thoughts – set goals for yourself to make a certain number of calls a day or during an open time block. Once you’ve completed your tasks or goals, reward yourself! Positive reinforcement can help turn calls from a dreaded chore to a bearable task, at the very least.