Outbound comms need not be nerve-wracking

May 14, 2021

Practise your outreach as much as you can with your manager and team so you can build your confidence and performance

Even if you do it all day every day, outbound calling can still be pretty nerve-wracking.


We’ve all been there – the stutter, the dry mouth, the pounding heart. You have to make an outbound sales call and you get an attack of the nerves. 


When you’re an SDR, outbound calls are the cornerstone of your job. You will probably make dozens of them every single day. It’s essential, therefore, to keep your nerves under control. You need to sound confident during sales conversations. After all, if you don’t sound like you believe in yourself, you can’t expect a prospect to believe in you.


We’ve put together seven tips to help SDRs manage their nerves and execute amazing outbound communications. Take a deep breath – and let’s go!


1 – Know that it’s natural


It’s perfectly natural that you get a bit nervous before a cold call. It’s your body’s reaction to anticipating danger.


When your brain’s neocortex believes an activity you’re about to perform is important, it triggers another part of your brain, the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus then goes into fight or flight mode. Part of this response includes directing your adrenal medulla to release adrenaline and noradrenaline into your bloodstream, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure.


Nerves are just the way your body works, so don’t be alarmed by them. Remember that nerves can be a good thing. They remind you that you are alive and that you actually care about what you’re about to do. Try to harness your nerves rather than fight them.


2 – Look for the signs


Check in with yourself to try and notice what happens when you get nervous. If you take note of how you act when you get nervous before a call, you may be able to do something about it.


For example, if you’re about to make a call and you feel your mouth going dry. Take a minute and drink a glass of water. If your hands are shaking, take some time to loosen up. 


3 – Be prepared


Why do you get nervous before a sales call? Most of the time, it’s because you have a nagging doubt in the back of your mind that you are not going to do a good job. Nerves usually come from a thought that you’re not as good as you should be, or that you’re winging it.


So, make sure you’re not winging it.


Before a call, make sure you have done as much research as you can. Think about what you’re going to say and how you will reply to questions your prospect might ask. 


Practise your outreach as much as you can with your manager and team so you can feel more confident going into your call. 


All this will help silence those nagging doubts.


4 – Remember that perfection doesn’t exist


There is no SDR that has booked a demo with every prospect, just like there is no AE that has closed every deal. While you can improve your sales skills, you will never be perfect, because perfection in sales doesn’t exist. 


As an SDR, you will face rejection from prospects dozens of times every day. So, don’t take it personally and don’t let it control you. Just try to do your best.


The nerves never go away. Even salespeople that have been doing it for years still get nervous before a call sometimes. But, the best salespeople know how to control their nerves and even use them to their advantage.


5 – Visualise success


When you feel an attack of the nerves coming on before an important call, take a minute off to close your eyes and visualise success. Think of yourself making the call, striking up an immediate connection with the prospect and confidently booking the meeting or the demo. Go through the call in your mind, thinking about what you will say and how well it can go.


Why am I asking you to do this? Visualisation plants the seed in your brain that you are a confident, highly-skilled SDR and serves to calm the nerves. 


Try it!


6 – Remember you’re there to help


Part of the reason you may be feeling nervous before an outbound call is that you think the prospect is going to be angry with you. You might think you’re interrupting their day with something they’re not going to want to hear about – and that they’ll swear at you and hang up.


But, as long as you’ve done your research properly, you are actually calling them up to try and help them. You’re calling to tell them about a solution to a problem that keeps them up at night. You’re showing them the impact that solving this problem will have on their lives. Remind yourself that before you pick up the phone.


If they swear at you and hang up, it says more about them than you!


7 – Manage your stress


In your everyday life as an SDR, you can take steps to manage your stress levels. When you’re more relaxed generally, you will get fewer attacks of the nerves.


Here are some tips for minimising your stress:

  • Stay healthy – Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep. All that good stuff! Being in good mental and physical condition will lead to better sales performance.
  • Take regular breaks – If you feel your stress levels rising, take a break. Go for a walk, take some deep breaths, listen to some music to take your mind off things.
  • Share it with your team – Your team are there to support you. If there’s something on your mind, share it with them.


One of the things our SaaSLeads Academy graduates find really helps to lower stress is to talk to your teammates about when things go wrong. Once the pain of having a prospect hang up on you wears off, you’ll usually find yourself laughing about it!

Torron Iveson

Torron is a SDR Team Lead & Coach here at SaaSLeads.io. He was one of our first Graduates from the Academy and was so impressive that we couldn’t let him leave!

Torron has been a key member in building our 2021 Academy and has proved to be a vital source to identify how we create an Academy that best delivers for both our students and customers. He is particularly skilled in the prospecting of opportunities and developing effective communication cadence campaigns.

Torron lives in Sutton and has a law degree from Canterbury Christ Church University. He is a passionate football fan, is constantly trying to create viral posts on LinkedIn (one success to date) and hosts his own podcast due for release in the summer of 2021.

Follow him on LinkedIn here

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