Picture this – a professional business women who is outgoing and fun and likes to be around people. She can talk to strangers on the street without any fear.
But could she pick up the phone to call customers or potential customers? No way! The phone weighed 300 pounds! Why is this fear so great, she thought? What was she afraid of? This is ridiculous. Why is it any different than speaking in person? Well, she thought, I can’t see their face or body language. That was the big difference for her.
It was also the fear of them actually answering the phone, which was really totally crazy. She feared what to say. She thought, if they said this, what would I say? If they said that, what would I say? Ahhh……
She also wondered – how do I know they want to talk to me? I can’t read their body language. All this craziness was stuff she made up in her head. Maybe none of it was true. Maybe there were a couple of people who didn’t want to talk – but what if most of them did? What if that was true? That’s more empowering and fun to think about!
It was all logical, but the logic didn’t make a difference. It didn’t make the fear go away. Every time she would call, it was still there. Ugh!
She needed help and sought it many times over the years, but it was just stuff like – just do it or ask questions. But what questions should she ask? She knew some, but feared she didn’t have the answers for the ones she wasn’t prepared for. With all her years of knowledge and experience, this fear still plagued her. People who didn’t have phone fear thought she was silly. But again, it didn’t make it go away. Logic was not the answer.
Then one day she started working with a coach who really helped her with her business image and marketing. She developed a plan to grow her business without having to be on the phone so she could stay in her comfort zone. Wow – this will be great she thought. But yet, it still plagued her – she really did want to improve her phone skills.
Then her coach came up with a brilliant idea! We can all work on a conference line together while we make our phone calls and get coached live. Woah!!! Total fear!! People will hear me, she thought. It will be so embarrassing! They will hear me stumble and not know what to say. Yet deep down, she wanted to do this. She wanted to get better. She decided to embarrass herself to improve. It can’t be the first time in her life where she’s embarrassed herself! And these people were nice. Perhaps they will be understanding.
Little did she realize at the time that everyone else was just as afraid as her to get on the conference lines with each other! Of course, we are all human and have fears. It was silly to think she was the only one afraid. She decided, let’s go out and scare ourselves together and support each other at the same time.
She remembers her first few calls very vividly when calling people who had an interest in a home business. Luckily someone with more experience was on the phone with her at the same time. She stumbled so bad that the person with experience took over. What a relief, she thought! I just don’t know if I can do this. But wanting to improve was a much stronger desire in her. So, she kept plugging away.
Having live training was huge for all of them. The team got Instant Messaging. So anytime she got stuck, someone on the team would help by sending an Instant Message to her to help her out. This was tremendous help. She also recorded her calls to see how she sounded on the phone – which was also a huge help. She made nearly 50 calls that week. By the end of the week, she actually improved her phone skills so much that even she was surprised. Wow, I think maybe I can do this, she thought. Working with a team is so incredible. Incredibly hard at first, but incredible in the end. It’s so nice to blossom out on the other end when you work on something very hard. Of course, she always works on improving herself even today. That will always be ongoing for her. Enjoying what she does every day and having fun is her number one goal!
This story is to provide hope for people who are fearful to pick up that heavy phone!
This is something I can totally relate to because this was me. I had so much fear to call people on the phone – whether they were customers already or potential customers. I’m such a face to face person.
It’s amazing how successful my business was with all that fear, but also sad that I probably lost a ton of people because of my fear. I could have developed so many more customers if I talked to them more. I did not follow through with people to see how they were doing – if they wanted more products, etc… My goal is that this article will be beneficial to you if you are someone who fears the phone just like I used to and you want to overcome that fear.
Biggest resources to help overcome phone fear:
- work with a team on a conference line to help coach each other
- get Instant Messaging to help with thoughts or questions when people are stuck
- record yourself – listen to how you sound to other people – your voice tone – loudness, inflections, etc… Sometimes when I’m working with people, their voice tone drops from fear or they have a monotone voice. These are all things to work on if that sounds like you. These are very important since people can’t see you – how you sound over the phone is critical to your success.
- role play. Yes, I know – I don’t like role playing either, but it really does help. The more you do it, the better you get. Perfect practice makes perfect!
It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve worked on the phone lines with my team and I have developed such confidence that I can even make calls without my team on – although I don’t like to do that. I always love working with my team and look forward to getting on the phone everyday with them. I work 10 hours a week on the phone with my team and I have a lot of fun doing it! To me – that’s the most important thing of all. Enjoying what you do everyday!
Jodi Barnhart has owned a successful business for over 16 years and can teach you how to overcome your phone fear like she has overcome hers.
She teaches how to develop a marketing strategy and plan of action for your business so you know what to do and how to do it. This worked magically in her business success. Having a professional business model and plan has attracted other business professionals and can work magically for your business too. If you would like to learn more, click on the link:
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