With the "help" (emphasis on quotes) of technology today we are more frightened then ever to pick up the phone to talk to our business associates, customers, prospective customers and even family/friends! How many phone calls did you get on your last birthday, vs texts, facebook wall updates, emails, etc? Crazy right!!! We are all a bit guilty of being scared of face to face and phone communication, even the most extroverted of us. Here are some tips to help get you back to the phone!
1) Set a SPECIFIC and TIMELY goal. Put a post it note above your desk with that goal. "I will call 3 new clients this week with the intention of furthering their education on xyz."
2) Practice. It is like anything, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will get. Call someone you are comfortable with on a more regular basis and just practice the act of dialing, being on the phone, and ending a conversation. I realize this sounds soooo silly, but trust me it helps, you will be looser and more quick to just grab the phone over email next time.
3) Start small! Call the "low hanging fruit" first. The people you are comfortable with and have relationships with. This will loosen you up a bit for the next few!
4) Plan the call out. Its okay to take down some notes or even script out a call. When I call current customers I always jot down a few bullet points and have them in front of me. This way I know I wont forget something and it helps distract me from the "nervousness" of the call itself. I get focused on the bullets and I loosen up on the phone. If I have a potential client I will script out the full conversation. This allows me to walk through everything I want to say without feeling stuck in the middle of the conversation.
5) Smile. If you smile while making the call, it WILL come through in your voice. It will also play a bit of a trick on your brain and you will be happier and more comfortable yourself.
6) Visualize the call. Do some visualizations of yourself talking on the phone and of it going really, really, really well. Imagine the success before the call even begins. This sets your brain up for success. Avoid self sabotage. If you are so nervous you are telling yourself you will fail, miss the sale, etc, you absolutely will. Don't make the call if you are in sabotage mode, you force yourself to fail. Take a break, do your visualizations and go back to it when you are ready.
7) Reflect before and after the call. Think about your intention before hand and then go back to it after. Did you accomplish your goals, did you use your script, was it scary or awkward, what can you do better next time?
8) Repeat. It goes back to the practice idea. The more you make it a regular occurrence the more likely you are to "naturally" continue the trend.
9) Have fun! Embrace the new challenge. Change is the only thing that makes us grow!
10) Get a coach. A coach will help you identify what the fear you are experience is and help you set goals to get over (or around) the fear. Coaches can be beneficial for so many uses and overcoming fears is one of the best reasons to utilize a coach. If you have been thinking about getting a coach now is a great time. Contact me today to set up an initial consultation.