It lays in the corner "all coiled up and hissing" as if a dangerous snake, something to be feared. You tend to avoid it if at all possible. You feel inadequate when you must utilize it. You may even suffer from anxiety of sorts when thinking of it. Yes, your telephone sits there on your desk, just waiting to be utilized, and it doesn't even bite!
What is this stigma that so many people associate with using the telephone to call prospects and customers? Why do we fear it so? It may be that we associate it with rejection. We may have accumulated a good amount of history of unreturned calls and messages left unresponded to. Why do you think that is? Do we babble or stutter, with knowledge that our words are now expelled and irretrievable? Do you ever hang up the phone after leaving a message and drop your head in shame because you feel embarrassed over your lack of coherency? How about making a call and at the last minute, forgetting who it is you have called and why?
Many of us will make almost any excuse for not picking up the phone. We will embrace every conceivable activity, in reality... stalling, instead of grabbing that device. STOP RIGHT THERE.
What is the telephone anyway? It is a device enabling immediate verbal communication between parties at virtually any distance. That's not intimidating, it's amazing! What a great and useful tool. With this tool, I can get a great deal accomplished in less time than ever! Honest!
Here are a few techniques and reminders to help tame your phone-fear-beast:
1. Remember that the phone is a wonderful, time-saving tool.
2. Consider that the person you are calling likely has the same issues that you do when he/she is calling out.
3. Picture the other person clearly as if you are speaking face-to-face. If you have never met the person, imagine a friendly face.
4. Sit up straight. Feel professional.
5. Smile. This will transcend the digital transmission and inspire the same on the other end of the call.
6. Write out a brief call-outline on a note card to keep you on track, being confident that you will not babble. Be concise and brief.
7. Relax before dialing. Take a few deep breaths.
8. Greet the other person by name and use their name at least one more time in the conversation.
9. Be polite, friendly and professional. You will be remembered as such.
10. Consider each call to be unique, not one more call on a long list. Expect success from each call.
Once you realize that the telephone is your ally, not your enemy, you will actually look forward to utilizing it further. What a great device, that phone!