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I have recently had the opportunity to discuss this issue with a calling champion who long ago got over call avoidance and now was well launched on her career. We were dwelling on some of the gains both of us had experienced in other arenas by successfully overcoming our fears, doubts and strong aversion to picking up the phone.
I thought it would be motivating to some to pass along the non-business benefits that can be anticipated by successfully overcoming call avoidance.
The first of these is a willingness to take risks in other venues. Overcoming call avoidance functions to toughen you by teaching you the lesson that you can face your fears and live to tell the tale. In a way, call avoidance is a metaphor for how we approach all of our fears: our first instinct may be to flee.
But only by facing our fears, moving through them and learning that we can handle them can we move on. I am reminded of the book, Face the Fear and Do it Anyway (Susan Jeffers, Fawcett Columbine, 1987) which argues this point: most of your fears are groundless, especially in telephone work, and even if the worst happens, you find you can deal with it. The 'worst' I guess in phone prospecting is getting treated rudely. But, in business to business calls, I find this happens very rarely.
The point is that by successfully overcoming your fears in this area, you become emboldened to take initiatives in other areas as well. My friend finds her self more willing to ask people out to lunch in the interests of forming a friendship. I find I am more willing to try something I haven't tried before that is outside my comfort zone because I feel, well, I did cold calling and now I'll try this: it can't be as bad!!
A second benefit is a certain lessening in shyness and timidity around other people. Maybe this is a mixed blessing, but as a formerly quite shy and retiring person, I find that quality of my life has much improved since I learned to become more of an extravert.
And this is especially so since we live in a culture that tends to reward extraverts far more than introverts.
Lastly, success in overcoming call avoidance makes you more willing to speak your mind and express your feelings in various group settings. You become more "out there," less defensive and more willing to suffer the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."
In sum, learning how to cold call makes you less RELUCTANT: less reluctant to initiate new lines of action, less reluctant to reach out to people, less reluctant to express yourself into the world.
Mark Sanford, of Sanford Associates, is a business development coach and trainer with 30+ years of business experience. More free articles and training materials on cold calling. Mark can be reached at 925.253.0646.
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