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How to instil cold calling confidence in your team

October 19, 2021

*Sees phone ringing*

It’s your sister….

You watch it ring.

And then send the “What’s up?” text.

We watch the phone ring when it’s someone we actually enjoy speaking to...

So no one is telling the truth when they say they love talking to strangers!

B2B cold calling is no exception to this rule.

How then do you get your team to:

  1. Pick up the phones and dial prospects all day
  2. Do this with confidence

Well, you simply follow the tips from one of our SDR Team Leads, Tim Miller.

Scroll 👇 to get all the tips you need to help your team increase their cold calling confidence!

Confronting cold calling anxiety | Don’t make memorable calls | Fake it till you make it | Cold calling hacks | Cognism’s Cold Calling Handbook

Get 10 top cold calling tips from Cognism's Senior Video Marketer, Emily Liu! Press ▶️ to watch her masterclass.

Confronting cold calling anxiety 😰

Picking up the phone to talk to a stranger is incredibly intimidating.

Even more so when you’re trying to sell them something in order to meet your target.

This can be a stressful process for your reps and can induce a lot of anxiety.

Take it from us, sending your reps out and telling them to “have fun” isn’t really going to cut it.

Tim elaborates:

“Filling your team’s mind with half-truths like ‘cold calling is more fun than a Friday night with your best pals’ simply misaligns expectations and sets salespeople up for disappointment. That’s where defeating cold calling anxiety should start – by confronting it.”

Let your team know that you recognise that cold calling can be hard. Show them that it’s not supposed to be easy or tranquil or filled with shooting stars and rainbows.

Rather, it’s full of rejection, hang-ups and small wins.

The idea of small wins will lift the pressure of booking a meeting or making a sale.

One thing that’ll let your team know that you’re on their side:

Share your own experiences of outbound sales and how nervous you used to be when picking up the phone.

This will establish common ground between you and your reps.

Once they know you’ve been in the same boat, your reps will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and approach their calls with less apprehension.

If you want to do more than the ever unhelpful “just relax”, get your reps to:

Make an outline of what they’ll say on a call

This is different to a cold calling script - it’s a few points to refer to while the prospect’s on the line.

Do their research

They should dig up more detail than usual - e.g. more than just knowing the prospect’s name, they should practise pronouncing it.

Smile while you dial

Smiling and sounding positive on the phone will relax the rep and engage the prospect.

Take time to reflect

Your reps should listen back to good and bad calls to see where they should improve and to understand where they went wrong.

It’s then time to let the team know that they 👇

Don’t make memorable calls 💭

Wait, what?

Aren’t you always supposed to be top of mind?

In an ideal sales world, yeah.

But, you’ve got to get your reps to acknowledge that no one will remember their cold call a month from now.

No matter how poorly they think it went, the prospect will forget it. Your reps should too.

As Tim said:

“If I racked my brain, I might be able to think of five bad cold calls that really stick out as embarrassing. Not bad for three years of cold calling making thousands of dials.

And guess what? A prospect doesn’t remember them either. If a salesperson spends more than 30 seconds griping over a botched call, they've already spent more energy on it than a prospect will.”

Prospects don’t sit at the dinner table talking about an awful cold call they received, so why should anyone else remember it for any longer?

If a call goes badly, forget about it, because your prospect already did!

To keep pushing your team through the tough times:

Check in on your salespeople and make sure that they’re not beating themselves up over a few calls.

If they are, you’ve got to step in and help.

If you don’t, they’ll ruminate over their ‘failures’ and this will only add to their anxiety and affect their confidence.

So, what advice might you give your reps to get them out of this mindset?

The most useful advice in the book 👇

Fake it till you make it 🤥

They’ve got to lie to their prospects!

And no, not in a ‘controversial lie about your solution and its benefits’ way.

But about who the caller is!

Not in a ‘use a fake name’ way.

In a ‘I’m a super-confident salesperson’ on the other end of the line and you’ll never know otherwise’ way.

This will all make sense with Tim’s elaboration:

“Salespeople entering the industry certainly struggle with sounding confident on the phone, as do newcomers to organisations. You’ve got to think to yourself, as a sales leader: ‘How can we solve this?’”

Take Tim’s advice and let your reps act like they’re a superstar cold caller.

“Literally, have your sales team treat the cold call like an improv class. Have them create their persona or brand and let them run with it.”

In time, the confidence will come and it will spill over on the phone, with meetings booked left and right.

But until then, they should act like the greatest cold caller this universe has ever seen.

Tim suggests that they change their mindset to think as follows:

“I’m no longer Tim Miller the cold caller, I’m now Josh Braun 2.0. My mistakes are not mine; they’re blamed on Josh Braun 2.0. So, when I mess up, it’s not on me, it’s on the character I’m playing. Let them treat objections too, not as they themselves are making the calls, but as their personas are.”

And what comes after your team’s embraced completely new identities?

Do they move to a new state?

Do they run away and start a new life?

Not even close!

They simply follow our...

Cold calling hacks ⛏️

This is not as anti-climatic as it may seem!

In fact, using these tips will get your team more confident than ever and all revved up and ready to get on the phones!

1 - Think about your tone

I think there are two types of tones successful cold callers take. They’re either so enthusiastic they could convince a goose to stay north for the winter, or they sound so calm and slow that you wonder if they even care how the call ends.”

Both of these work.

For the enthusiastic crowd, the sheer excitement they have about the solution they’re selling sounds so great and so energising that the prospect would be insane to miss out on the fun.

Salespeople should take heed when they sound this way though.


Tim explains:

“They can’t be annoying and they must clearly communicate the value of the solution on the phone. Anything less is fluff.”

And for those who stay cool under pressure like Tim?

“This is the tone I go for. We must use phrases that supplement how we sound. No guarantees or promises are made here. Instead, we sound like we couldn’t care less if we book the meeting. We say we’d love to explore an idea with the prospect, pick their brain, and hear their feedback.”

“Words like demo, meeting, cutting-edge, industry-best, and the likes, better be wiped out of the vocabulary. Keep the conversation slow and low(key).”

2 - Let them make sales

Your team feels ready to dial, but when the lights shine and it’s time to make that first call, anxiety may still exist.

The best way to beat that anxiety is to get them on the phones, learning as they go.

There are several ways your team can hype themselves up before they start calling.

Tim runs us through these:

“There’s no one right way to skin a cat, and there’s no objectively correct way to prep for or make cold calls. I like to talk to my prospect before the dial. Something like this!”

“Oh man, John is about to pick up the phone. He’s gonna be in a great mood, love my solution, and book a meeting. John will love me and I’ll love him back. It’s gonna be better than when I scored 21 points in a JV basketball game.”

“Some may listen to music to get them hyped. Others still will read a short excerpt from a book, roleplay, or practice their script. There’s nothing wrong with either of these if it helps a salesperson feel ready for a call block.”

3 - Make the prospect the focus of the call

If your rep struggles with confidence, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be talking about themselves on the call.

Honestly, this is perfect for B2B sales because they shouldn’t be talking about themselves at all.

Instead, they can shift the focus onto the prospect by asking questions around:

  • What they’re looking for.
  • What their pain points are.
  • How they plan to solve these pain points.

And then, the rep can swoop in with info on how your solution can help.

Remember, cold calling is more about listening than speaking.

If your reps can get the prospect talking, their confidence should start accelerating.

4 - Embrace rejection

In the B2B prospecting game, and especially cold calling, rejection is inevitable.

This means that your reps really need to embrace it if they’re going to keep their confidence up.

Of course, being told “no” multiple times a day, and sometimes in a far harsher way, would knock anyone’s confidence.

The key is to get your reps comfortable with rejection.

To learn to not take it personally and to keep pushing through the “no’s” because they know they’ll get the “yes”.

Remember, it’s on you, the leader, to keep your team motivated.

Follow Tim’s advice and we’re sure your sales team will become less anxious and far more confident!

Cognism’s Cold Calling Handbook 🚀

This blog’s the gift that keeps on giving!

We’ve got even more cold calling hacks for your SDRs in our Cold Calling Handbook.

Your reps will:

  • Learn what qualities they’ll need to embrace in order to become an even better salesperson.
  • Get tips and tricks for every stage of a cold call.
  • And get a list of the best tech to help them along the way.

Get your copy by simply clicking on the image below 👇

B2B Cold Calling Handbook