Brokerage best practices

Why cold calling is terrifying—and how to do it with confidence

May 13, 2022

If the mere suggestion of picking up the phone and dialing a stranger fills you with dread, you’re not alone. According to one study, nearly half of B2B sales pros share this fear—which is likely why more than half give up so easily even when they get someone on the line. Much to the chagrin of seasoned sales leaders, sales call anxiety is a legitimate (and growing) issue. 

But for commercial real estate pros, cold calling comes with the territory. Avoiding making cold calls or refusing to improve your phone sales skills will negatively impact your career and hold you back from millions in potential deals. In other words, it’s extremely difficult—if not impossible—to succeed as a broker without perfecting the art of the cold call.

Want to feel better prepared for your next cold call? Download the 10-minute CRE cold calling script.

Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome your crippling fear of cold calling. Here’s how to do it and background on why making a sales call makes you so anxious in the first place.

Why cold calling is terrifying

Here are a few reasons even the most promising brokers struggle with cold calling

  • You don’t know what to say. For some, cold calling feels like being unprepared for a pop quiz. As soon as a contact answers, their mind goes blank, and they’re suddenly unsure how to communicate their value. Or, brokers may feel comfortable placing a call but worry they’ll sound too salesy and blow their chance at a fruitful conversation.
  • You know there’s a good chance you’ll face rejection. Even though cold calling remains one of the best prospecting tactics, it doesn’t have a 100% success rate. No matter how good you are at your job, you’re still going to encounter rejections—and a steady stream of refusals can be tough on morale.
  • You’re worried about missing goals. Cold calling is a time-consuming effort. According to Gartner, it can take as many as 18 dials to connect with a prospect. This can feel like a waste of time for some brokers, especially if you have ambitious sales goals to achieve.

While all of these reasons are valid, there are several things you can do to negate these fears.

How to cold call with confidence

Some brokers seem naturally gifted on the phone. They sound genuine, self-assured, totally at ease, and appear to have no trouble building rapport and earning prospects’ interest. As a broker with cold calling anxiety, you’ve probably marveled at these peers and wondered whether they have an innate talent or discovered a secret you’ve yet to uncover.

As it turns out, though, there’s no shortcut to achieving this level of confidence—but there are six things you can start doing right now to get on their level.

  • Understand your value and how to articulate it. If you’re struggling with confidence on the phone, it’s a good sign you don’t fully understand what you’re bringing to the table or why it’s relevant to your prospects. Take some time to recognize why a prospect should be interested in continuing a conversation with you.

    For example, what makes your brokerage, listing, experience, or services better than the competition? Once you have your answer, distill your value down to a couple of sentences and commit it to memory.
  • Grow your market expertise. People naturally sound more confident when they have a lot of knowledge or expertise on a topic. Becoming an authority on your market is essential for success at every level of CRE, especially when you chat with a prospect for the first time. Not only will you sound more self-assured, but demonstrating your knowledge will help earn prospects’ trust too.

    A solution like ProspectNow can help you get details on millions of properties, so you’re always armed with the most accurate and up-to-date information for your market.
  • Get to know who your ideal prospects are and how you can help them. Every single person you dial has one question on their mind: “What’s in it for me?”

    If you want to grab and hold prospects’ attention during a call, you need to clarify that you understand their unique needs and challenges and possess the ability to overcome them. Do your homework so you know exactly what prospects want before you pick up the phone.
  • Strategize your approach. One of the best things you can do to improve your cold calling skills (and outcomes) is to build a plan. Prepare a script, develop rebuttals to common objections, and ensure you have answers to frequently asked questions. Sometimes simply having these resources at your fingertips will help you feel 100x more comfortable.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The more calls you make, the better you’ll get. Every new question, objection, or reaction acts as a learning experience that will lead to more productive conversations in the future. Over time, there will be fewer surprises, and you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable picking up the phone.

Cold calling feels scary because it goes against our natural desire for comfort and familiarity. Everyone feels at least a little nervous venturing into the unknown, but you wouldn’t have launched a CRE career if you didn’t enjoy a good challenge. By following these tips, you can quickly uplevel your cold calling proficiency and increase your earning potential. 

Want to feel better prepared for your next cold call? Download the 10-minute CRE cold calling script.

Want to feel better prepared for your next cold call? Download the 10-minute CRE cold calling script.

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