Eliminate the Fear of Cold Calling and Rejection

By Jacques Werth, President

High Probability® Selling

I’ve never met a salesperson who has not experienced a fear of the phone at one time or another. Almost all of them have their reasons for being reluctant to make calls, and most of them have no idea what really causes it.  There are two basic reasons for the fear of cold calling. Both are easy to remedy if you know how.

1.  1.  The Experience of Repeated Failure

Most salespeople set out to contact a large number of people who have an apparent need for their products and service.  Their objective is to convince every one of them to grant an appointment.

Let’s assume that you contact 50 people a day and average 2 appointments. In your business, that may be a very good result.  Nevertheless, you will have the experience of repeated failure because you tried to convince all of them to set an appointment and failed to meet your objective of 48 out of 50 calls.

The remedy is to change your objective.  This new objective is to make appointments only with High Probability Prospects – and to disqualify everyone else. Make those 50 calls and be clear that you’ll only make an appointment if the prospect wants what you’re selling. If the prospect doesn’t want what you’re selling, terminate the call quickly and courteously.  You now have the experience of succeeding in your objective 50 times out of 50 calls.  And you will be conditioning them to take your next call…you’ll be there when they’re ready and 99percent of the time, they’ll take your calls.

Meeting only with the prospects that have an intention of buying certainly helps as well.

2.  2.  Fear of Rejection

Most salespeople have a prospecting "pitch" which is designed to interest, entice, excite, convince and persuade people to give them appointments.  They have a string of questions to get the prospect involved and interested in meeting them.  However, every question they ask increases the prospect’s sales resistance.  Negative reactions to their methods grow very quickly.

Most prospects react to any prospecting pitch defensively.  Their resistance is aroused as soon as they hear your warm greeting and your friendly, enthusiastic, professional pitch. The more skillful you are in keeping them talking and listening, the more they become wary and annoyed. Eventually, many of them become non-communicative, or too busy to talk, abrupt, sarcastic, or otherwise negative.  All of these reactions cause most salespeople to feel rejected.

Almost all sales managers and trainers will say that you’re not being rejected, that the prospects are merely declining the offer of your products or services.  Why then do almost all salespeople feel rejected?  Are you too sensitive, too thin-skinned?

Think about it.  Who do you trust?  Is it the sales manager who wants you to keep on going until you become insensitive to the rejection?  Or do you trust your own perceptions, your feelings of rejection?  Are all other salespeople who feel the rejection also wrong?

No, you feel rejected, personally rejected, because you are being personally rejected. That rejection is caused by the normal defensive reactions that everyone has against being persuaded to do something they don’t already want to do.  If you want to eliminate rejection you must change the way you prospect. It’s all about intention.

The Remedy – See Item 1 above.

THE RESULTS – No more fear of cold calling and no more wasted time with low probability prospects.  You meet with prospects who are ready to buy.

If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth – High Probability Selling

Copyright 2007.


Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

6 thoughts on “Eliminate the Fear of Cold Calling and Rejection”

  1. Sell well…great signature! I just had a conference with an excellent sales woman whom I met over the Internet — she answered on line ad for an on line affiliate program I was working — who wanted to sell me leads. She told me that if I’d buy her leads, then she’s show me how to guarantee my success with them. And she did indeed stand by her word. I called her back for some mentoring — since she has sold like this for years — and asked her how to approach what I was now selling — deregulated energy. Most of her advice was similar to those of “High Prob” except for her comment about the “fear of rejection” never going away. This article refutes that — for which I was so relieved, as I fearlessly march through my calling list today. 🙂 Thanks again.


  2. Deb, If you forget to click on the box below that says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”, you are welcome to revisit the same blog post, leave another comment, and remember to check the box that time. – Carl


  3. Thanks for finally writing about > Eliminate the Fear of Cold Calling and Rejection ? High Probability Selling < Liked it!


    1. Dear Jacques,
      I spread the word about your selling concept everywhere I go. I hope to some day fill a classroom with people who sell with/for me. I want to personally thank you for the time you took with me earlier this year. I’m finally a salesman for an SEO company, a company that I can respect their business practices and procedures. That’s essential for me to represent a good company/service.

      Anyway, I love your newsletters and read them all as they come into my Inbox.

      Hope you and yours are all well.

      Deb Adams
      I just moved to the outskirts of Houston nearer to my mother who resides now in a “home.” She’s a remarkable lady of 92 years, and I’m glad I can now be nearer to her for more visits and time spent together.


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