The Fear of phoning…

The Fear of phoning…

I don’t know about you but in my business experience I have become increasingly aware of the fact that individuals fear picking up the phone and phoning people. Whether it is placing an order for a takeaway or contacting the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the insecurities around “chatting” to someone on the phone seems to be growing as each generation comes of age. 

One reasoning behind this is the rise of social media and general texting. According to PEWResearch, 75% of millennials would rather text than talk, in my opinion, contributing to the fear of the cell phone. 

In sales, there should be no such thing as a fear in calling people, however, I still come across individuals, particularly millennials, me being one of them, who are afraid of dialing a prospect. This may be because the days of the “Cold Call” The idea of cold calling is are  long gone,. anyone, again, in my opinion, No one does not wants to receive a cold call from someone to attempt to sell a product!. However, that being said, tBut, he a phone call is still the best tool to use in the event of Wwarm Rreferral. Making that immediate connection and then explaining your value offering will ensure your prospect lowers their guard.

But back to the subject at hand… WSo why are people afraid of phoning? 


Another key reasoning is confidence. Or a lack of fFrom a sales perspective., I have reason to believe that the phone is not picked up because of an insecurity around a lack of knowledge and fear that the target prospect might ask a question or two that will leave the salesperson with egg on their face. To beat this is easy. Be prepaired  My counter argument to this point is preparation. Should you be adequately prepared RE regarding who you are phoning, what you are phoning about and what answers you are seeking the only reason NOT to now make the phone call is preparedness.. This will allow you to leave the angst behind and dial away. Whether it is following up on a lead or nurturing a hot prospect through the sales cycle, being adequately prepared should remove any insecurity around confidence on the phone. 

Lack of non-verbal communication

According to numerous psychological studies, non-verbal communication accounts for 70-90% of all communication. As such, this lack of ability to interpret the recipient’s reaction leaves people a bit nervous as they are not able to take facial expressions, body language and gestures into account when communicating. However, I have found that a lot can be understood and interpreted through the tone of the voice alone. Although, body language is important, fully paying attention and listening to your counterpart on the phone can curb this insecurity. Again, being prepared before making the phone call whether it is to order a pizza or organise a follow-up meeting will enable you to remove this obstacle. 

Time Pressure

The limited time available when making a phone call also leave certain individuals with an uncomfortable feeling when making a phone call. Compared to an email or a text message, once you have someone on the phone you have a limited time to get your specific message across and must think on your feet. Again, my immediate reaction to this obstacle is, once again, being prepared. Should you feel nervous to pick up the phone and are worried that you might get asked a question that you are uncertain about then adequate preparation should again curb this anxiety. The preparation should be done for both situations where you have and don’t have the answer. The idea behind the phone call, at least from a sales perspective, is to ensure that you keep the communication between yourself and your prospect alive. In addition it is really important to remember that the call is not the time to present your solution, but rather to secure more time to share with your prospect. This greatly reduces the pressure and allows you to give the prospect space to talk. To communicate. To form a connection. 

Lack of Experience

Another common trend is simply a lack of ever phoning people. In an era are with apps, chatbots and emojis, picking up the phone is a lost art. My only real advise or opinion on this is trial by fire. 

A friend of mine has a particularly effective means to immediately curb this. He currently runs a debt collection agency and no matter what position you have to fill; it is company policy to spend at least 32-4 weeks on the phone lines phoning people for debt collecting reasons. This not only makes people aware of what the core function of the business is but also cures any fear that a person might have of calling people. 

So… how does one curb this fear to pick up the phone. 

The only answer, trial by fire. Is that yYou need to start. Once you have been through a few tough phone calls that are tough and probably awkward, you will realise that picking up the phone can be an incredible tool in your professional and social use. 

Whether you are in sales, project management or trying to applying for a new position the phone is an invaluable tool. Picking up the phone and contacting the relevant stakeholder can immediately notify you of where you stand in your relationship and ensure that there is a consistent line of communication. Furthermore, tone and the fact that the recipient might have just as much anxiety on the phone as you can work to your advantage to get more information that you bargained for. 

I hope this helps one or two anxious people out there with their fear of the phone…

Happy phoning.

Rejection – Afraid of the “ no thanks” …instead try to persevere and changing the “ no thanks” to yes maybe.