Overcoming Phone Phobia

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Blog

A recent research study found that one in every two salespeople are afraid of making cold calls.

Unfortunately, salespeople who suffer from this phobia have trouble hitting their quotas, are more stressed, and are likely making less money than their counterparts who dial for dollars.

In this week’s episode, we share a never-before-heard sales mastery call by Chet Holmes, the man that cold called his way into winning 60 of the Fortune 500 as clients.

You’ll hear some wild stories of cold calling miracles.

You’ll also discover:
-How to overcome phone phobia and manage the stress of making phone calls.
-What to do before the cold calling to help secure appointments with major clients.
-The importance of having a compelling “hook” for the prospect that results in more closed sales.

If you fear cold calling, you’re not alone.

But if you overcome it, you have great leverage over a generation of millennials who would do anything to avoid cold calling.



Continued Learning: [Gold Calling] The Biggest Failures Salespeople Are Making


  • Want to know what’s keeping you from doubling your sales in the next 12 months? Take our quick QUIZ to get answers: Howtodoublesales.com
  • If you’d like to have a profound breakthrough in your business, schedule your breakthrough call with a LIVE expert here: Chetholmes.com/Breakthrough
  • Claim your FREE chapter 4 from the top 10 most recommended marketing and sales books of all time! Visit: Ultimatesalesmachine.com to find out how you Create 9X More Impact from every move you’re already making to win clients!


*this transcript was mostly generated by AI, please excuse any mistakes smile

So today’s area of mastery is all about setting appointments and of course if you’re deep on my material, you know that, that is one of the. 12 competencies that makes a great business is the ability to get in front of more clients on a more consistent and regular basis. So if you’re b2b, it’s obvious you have to set appointments and get out there and get in front of clients as much as possible.

 It’s amazing to me that the biggest problem in setting appointments is that phone phobia.

Here is your daily dose of the Ultimate Sales machine coming to you from the new edition. Visit ultimate sales machine.com to get your copy or multiple copies. Hi, I’m your host, Amanda Holmes, CEO of Chet Holmes International. What you’re about to learn has assisted a quarter of a million businesses to generate billions of dollars working faster, better, smarter.

 It’s amazing to me [00:01:00] that the biggest problem in setting appointments is that phone phobia.

Where you just have people who the phone is so heavy they can’t pick it up, or they’re afraid to go to the phones or, that facing rejection is the toughest part of setting appointments. And that’s why in my own personal organizations, what we do is we set it up in advance. We train brand new salespeople that they’re going to have to call somebody 13 times.

And of course, the study that I have in the Business Growth Masters series shows that it’s 8.4 attempts to get an appointments, but that’s several years old. And I’ll bet it’s, I’ll bet it’s going up 40% or 30% at least. Because we see it in our own environment. How many times we have to call up a person.

You may be even one of them. You’re listening and. We may have called you 13 times, 14 times to get [00:02:00] you to take the next move with us, whatever that move may be, whether it’s a web seminar or, talking to one of our coaches or some other kind of situation. What I would do is if I were you, is I would set it up in advance that whoever is making those phone calls that you just tell ’em in advance, it’s going to take you 13 attempts or 14 attempts to get an appointment with any one of our prospects that we have.

You establish who those prospects are. Let’s talk b2b straight out first, and then we’ll go to b2c. So b2b business to business. What I would recommend is that you put together a schedule. And you plan it in advance. Here’s the first thing we’re gonna send, and then here’s the phone call we’re gonna make.

Then here’s the second thing we’re gonna send. Then here’s the phone call we’re gonna make. Then here’s the third thing we’re gonna send. Then here’s the phone call we’re gonna make. Then here’s the fourth thing we’re gonna send, and then here’s the [00:03:00] phone call we’re gonna make. And I’ve had 60 Fortune 500 clients.

I got them all myself. They were phone calls that I made. They were outbound cold calls into companies like Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Warner Brothers McKinsey and Company. It’s not a Fortune 500, but they were and probably still are one of the top consulting firms in the world. And I got them as a client and I did training in there, which is hysterical, considering with my educational background.

I wouldn’t even been able to get hired there as a consultant. But I got a job there as a trainer, and Cole called my way in and got them as a client. I’ve had a lot of big law firms. I had baker and McKenzie, which is the largest law firm in the world. I’ve had Folley and Larner. They’re a huge law firm as well.

Just the biggest companies you can go after American Express Citibank in the banking field I’ve had [00:04:00] Citibank, Wells Fargo banker’s Trust when they were huge. That was years ago. And et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Merle Lynch, New York Stock Exchange. And the way I would do it is I would go after the client as if it was a F of complete.

This is just going to be a client of mine. I don’t care how long it takes or how many calls, and I just started on them. And if you are the CEO of Morgan Stanley, for example, I hit that guy so many times from so many directions, so many different ways on so many days, and so constantly that for six months, just every week for six months.

And then actually what was interesting is in the sixth month, he called me, his secretary called me and sent an appointment for me to go meet with him. So that was amazing. 

And, but you can’t count on people to have that instinct and that intuitive [00:05:00] nature and that I’m gonna chase you down and hunt you and go after you every single day until I get you.

So what you do is you build all that in advance. You build, what’s the first thing you send and what’s the second thing? And of course, we have a little thing with the gifts, but I can tell you that we sent out for my book launch. I bought the top 3000 executives in the country and we mailed six gifts to them.

And then I had a couple of people call after those and we thought it would be better in this case. And I have discovered that is true. And it might be true for you too, so I’ll share this with you, is I have another client where we, after sending four gifts, we found that they were fairly receptive to taking the phone call.

They were going after CFOs for large companies, very large [00:06:00] publicly traded companies. And after the fourth little gift, and these are very inexpensive gifts. Magnifying glass, which cost 23 cents a piece. A Rubik’s Cube. We used those two and they were 40 cents a piece.

So the mails were out the door, run a dollar 25 and in their case they went after, let’s say 500 companies. So you’re talking about a $750 a month budget for your mailing. That’s not a lot actually in their cases every other week. So it was six weeks worth of budget. And they found after the fourth one, they didn’t get any phone calls.

And I’m just gonna warn you all, cuz you’re thinking, oh, I’ll send those little gifts and hope the world will beat a path to my door. It doesn’t work that way, but after the fourth tchotchke sent out to these people, when they called, they took their phone call. So that was huge. And but with my book we sent out 3000 and [00:07:00] unfortunately as usual, I have way too many things going on.

I’ve got eight companies that I run. I’ve got tons of initiatives going on, and the book is this extra thing that of course I did spend time on it and put some dedication into it, but it’s not like it was my only thing to focus on. And I personally didn’t get to make any phone calls, any outbound phone calls.

And from the mailers we did get a couple of speaking engagements and a couple of appointments. And of course, it paid for the mailer. In my case, I spent about $60,000 on the mailers. So we bought a list of 3000. We bought 18,000 gifts, so 3000 gifts each. I bought them from China. And to my rude awakening the shipping was a huge cost in the factor of getting the products over here.

And then of course I had to hire a mail house. I had to buy a list, we had to clean the list, [00:08:00] we had to blah, blah, blah. It was all these things. And there’s of course staff people who were in charge of that. And, but if I personally got to make those phone calls or if I hired a top producer we had some PR people calling after that was a mistake because they weren’t Barracuda cold calling, hungry salespeople.

And, we all know, as a CEO that this is a hard thing to find. So if you really want to become a master of growing your company, number one focus is finding these superstars and they’re rare. And we’re gonna have a whole. Session on that cuz it’s so important to put good talent into every area of your company.

But what’s even more important is to have the procedures and policies at every level so that no matter who you have, they perform at a high level. I’m working with a company right now, they have about 36 people. They’re doing about 50 million and they have a [00:09:00] telemarketing crew that pounds away trying to find.

People who might be interested in their services right now, purely tactical, only going to the very, very top of the pyramid. And okay, there’s some wisdom in that, meaning you’re, you sell grommets and you call up, 4,000 companies in a week and say, are you interested in buying grommets this week?

Are you, would you like to talk to anybody who sells grommets? And you might get, I have 4,012 people who will go as a matter of fact, yes, we are interested in buying grommets. Whereas, if you have a more strategic approach, which we’ll talk about in a moment, you might get from that same list of 4,000, you might get 400 appointments, and it’s very possible to do that.

And we’ll talk about that in a moment. So the first aspect is, what’s the first thing you’re gonna send? What’s the second thing you’re gonna send? And as I said, it might be smarter to send four gifts in a row and then call. And then start calling behind. [00:10:00] And you know me, I get a speaker’s fee of 50,000.

So from my mailer, which cost me 60,001 speaking fee, pretty much paid for almost the entire mailer that we did, the 3000 other executives. And I couldn’t tell you how many other places that effort manifested something. There’s a ton of other places where that effort will manifest something.

So I’ve been very aggressive and I’m in a place in my life where clients now come after me. So I’m not out there pushing to get clients and I, I’m not in that place in my life anymore. But if I was, I can tell you that. I handpick the clients that I want. And it hit them hard and from so many different directions and in so many different ways that within a very short period of time, whoever that prospect is, they get to know exactly who you are.

Exactly. They know you. And if let’s say you’re hard to get to, I’m hard to get to. I’m impossible, actually. You can’t get to me because there’s no [00:11:00] where you can send me anything that it actually comes to me personally. And there is no phone call. You can call me where I get screened out because with the virtual world, I have an operation center and they’re in Georgia.

I live in California and there is no phone number where you can get me. Not at all. And everything is virtual for me. I work outta my hou, I work outta my home. I have a private office five steps from my door. And so I go out my My kitchen door, walk across my balcony, and there’s my office nestled in the trees.

It’s about 30 feet off the ground. Beautiful location and setting, and that’s where I work. I’ve had celebrities as clients. I have celebrities as clients. I’m working with Tony Robbins and I am working with Brian Tracy and these guys. We got to by hitting them so many times from so many different ways in so many different places, that eventually, I don’t care who you are, you get to know who these, [00:12:00] who someone is, who comes after you, like that.

So first part of it is what’s your plan? What are you gonna do week one, week two? And then you need documents for every reaction you can get from that prospect. I’m not interested. Boom. You’ve got a document that says, I know you said you’re not interested. That can’t be true. That must not be right cuz with all the things we can offer you, I cannot believe that you would not be interested.

I will try again. I will call you again. I will send you more information. I will be in your face and they get the message. You are never going away until you get some progress. And we’ve had people tell me many times, I’m not interested. Again, I’ll mention Morgan Stanley. That guy told me I’m not interested six months in a row and then I didn’t call them the last week, they called me and set the appointment.

So George Zimmer at the men’s warehouse called [00:13:00] me to tell me to stop calling him and I talked him into an appointment. So there’s really no one you can’t get to if you are determined and you’re pigheaded. And you are disciplined and you’re just gonna go after them again and again. Now, second part of what you do in order to go after these prospects needs to be focused solely on making an offer that sounds irresistible.

When I called up car Raker the chairman of Wells Fargo Bank, I said that I had seven philosophies. And this is early Chet selling. Now we have the 12 competencies, but I had seven philosophies that would double his sales, and he was certain there was nothing that would double his sales.

And I was more certain that my philosophies would. And so when two people come together, the one who is the most certain is going to win. Or as I was on my sales meeting yesterday. [00:14:00] And we were playing a call. We record a hundred percent of our inbound calls to our virtual call center. And virtual meaning that we have a hundred people working out of their houses, and we have a technology that enables us to route calls to homes.

This is not anything new today. JetBlue big airline, they have basically customer service people now who all work from home. So you may be calling and the woman may be, have a child on the floor playing in her ankles, but she’s in a house and they can route to hundreds of people through this service.

That works like a Rome feature in an office. If you had 25 lines in your office and 13 people are on the phone, the 14th person is the one that gets the call. So we have this and it records a hundred percent of the phone calls and I’m playing one of the calls from one of the salespeople and basically [00:15:00] the prospect, you could hear it, this guy wanted to be sold.

He was open to it. He was saying things like I know you probably made commission. And it sounded interesting to me. And I probably would attend. It’s just, I’m not gonna sign up right now over the phone. And, and the sales rep kept, buying his story and it was obvious to me and to the other sales talent, the high level executives that I have that work for me, every one of us is going close.

This guy already, close him. He’s dying to be closed. And I pointed it out one way, then the other way, then the other way. And what we do is we play those right over the phone, and then you get to hear what the prospect is saying. And you get to hear what the rep is saying. And I’m just telling you, it was amazing how the one with the most passion one and the salesperson wasn’t really that pushy.

He, he [00:16:00] basically acquiesced and respected the guy’s desire to get information, quote unquote, as a way of brushing him off. And he’s, a high level executive runs a multimillion dollar company. He’s had the business for 15 years. I think he said he has some major clients. He’s in an airport or something.

He was first started off in his car and I guess he parked his car while he is talking to our rep. 15 minutes. His conversation went on and then he said I’m in an airport right now and I don’t have my credit card with me. And I’m going liar to the sales rep. I’m saying, buyers are liars.

There’s no way this guy. Who runs a multimillion dollar company, doesn’t have his wallet with him with a credit card in it, especially if he’s in an airport. Give me a break. George Zimmer calls me up to tell me to stop calling him. And I went at this guy so hard, so many times from so many different ways.

He finally caved, I think it was 11 tries before he said, okay, you got yourself an appointment. And [00:17:00] then it was so hard to get him to agree to the appointment. I wrote him a letter and said, look, you’ve agreed to take the appointment now. Be a mench. Be open to it. Be, excited about it. You have an opportunity here.

I’ve helped all these other companies and I’ve listed a bunch of them, and don’t be so sure I can’t help you. And if you’re going to come into that meeting with your arms crossed in a determined attitude not to be helped, then please by all means, cancel the meeting. But it, since you’ve already said it, And since you might have an opportunity to significantly increase your sales, then come to the meeting with an open mind.

And he was so friendly. It was unbelievable. He walked in, it was like we were college buddies. He shook my hand, he patted me on the shoulder. He used my name in a very friendly way. He was like, Chad Holmes, how you doing? And you gotta go after those guys. You need a plan. You need a way to come back.

No matter what that person says, you if you do get ’em on the phone, the one with the most passion [00:18:00] is gonna win. Whoever’s selling the best that day is gonna win. So you should be roleplaying the heck out of that. You should be practicing what that rep says. You should be roleplaying as that person is trying to turn you down, how many different ways you’re gonna go back at them.

And I don’t care who you are. I did a manufacturer in England and they were technicians that sold industrial paint. Not exactly a sexy field guys and hardcore technicians. There wasn’t a salesperson in the bunch that I would hire for any. Company that I own where we need quote unquote salespeople.

These guys were technicians. They knew about paint, they knew how fast paint dried, they knew how to spray paint on, they knew how to, but this is industrial paint. It’s used on jets and when you go to a payphone and it’s got that black enamel paint on it, that’s just literally like almost bulletproof.

That’s a much stronger [00:19:00] paint. You can’t even buy this kind of paint in stores. It’s industrial strength. And it does require this expertise in order to know how to apply it to a chair or to a, the metal on, your briefcase handle or whatever. All those little parts and pieces on everything that we buy are all painted somewhere by this industrial paint.

And these guys were technicians. They were not salespeople. And every week I got on and I role played with them for 20 weeks and five months. And I let them come at me every way. And then I pitched ’em this way, pitched ’em that way, and I got it to, by the end of the five months, there wasn’t one of these 55 salespeople that you couldn’t get on the phone and a hot seat, which is what we’re gonna do in a few minutes.

And that sales rep could do a really good, solid job of going back and trying again and again. [00:20:00] And if you’re in England and you’re listening, I will tell you my stuff works really good there because it’s not as competitive of a market. And you might be thinking, yeah that, that can’t be true. In America there’s 60 million salespeople, and in England there’s 59 million people.

So the total population of people doesn’t equal the amount of salespeople that we have in the United States. So you can imagine that naturally, I think there’s 3 million businesses in England. And we have 25 million here, and that doesn’t count all the little home based MLMers out there. We have millions more than that.

So we have a highly competitive market, and you need this kind of stuff today in order to be effective in the world. So the other part of it is now it’s also what you say and what your offer is. So I had the seven philosophies that will double [00:21:00] sales. I now have the 12 skills or competencies that make all great executives.

Again, I’m not soliciting myself and my pitch has gone from, Really what I used to be able to do in 22 minutes to now, I need two and a half hours, but again, I’m not pitching myself anymore. So it’s it’s, I don’t really need anything. But I did a program for Ford and I had to present to all their dealers and they gave me 45 minutes.

And I started with the stadium pitch, where normally that’s the, in terms of competencies, it’s the second competency of all great companies is that they’re strategists and you need your stadium pitch and all that. And again, most of you on this conference call are here because you’re deep in our material.

And so I don’t wanna start teaching you stuff that you could learn from the training programs. Not gonna do you as service. That way we have to go further on this call. This is about mastery and [00:22:00] taking you further, but It’s amazing how most companies are, incapable of being highly strategic.

And so what is it that you could offer that sounds highly compelling, that would be very hard to resist? What’s the hook? What’s the approach? What’s your, story that you can tell when you get that person on the phone? And when I got Car Riker on the phone he was chairman of Wells Fargo on my way to the meeting because to my utter shock, he set the appointment for the very next day.

And I will tell you that he’s, he is retired now, but when I went after Wells Fargo I called him up and he called me back. 10 minutes later, I left no message except my name and phone number. His secretary didn’t ask me a single question, didn’t scream me whatsoever. I guess you figure who calls the chairman of a hundred billion dollar bank.[00:23:00] 

And he just called me back to my shock and he tried to turn me down the entire conversation and I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing and then he said, house tomorrow at three. And this was on a Monday and Tuesday at three o’clock, I got in my car a couple hours early and stopped at several Wells Fargo bank locations on my way down.

And had many great stories to tell him about that ridiculously tactical experience or not one person even did a decent job at even pitching the bank. It was astonishing to me, but that’s the way, that’s the retail world where basically you go in and say, Excuse me, I’d like to open a business checking account.

And they give you the form and you’re like can you tell me anything about the bank? And they’re like what do you want to know? They just couldn’t even, it was really amazing to me that you can’t even pitch the bank. How long do you work here? So you must [00:24:00] have a plan of what you’re gonna say.

You need a core story, you need a stadium pitch. You need something educational that you can offer that person that is just too tempting or goes down easier or is easier to sell. So I mentioned, I have this client that will call 4,000 people, but all 4,000 of them could pretty much use their services.

They’re using somebody else’s services right now. Excuse me. We designed an educational experience where you can call up that prospect and say, Hey, I’m gonna show you the five biggest mistakes that people in your position make that could potentially cost you a fortune. And I’m gonna show you how to do that in a way that’s gonna save you money.

It’s gonna save you taxes, it’s going to reduce your stress, it’s going to take away your [00:25:00] problems. It’s going to, benefit, and all vague, nothing specific on purpose, cause you’re looking to get an appointment. Do you want to get into a 45 minute discussion about the appointment?

If you do, then start to give specifics. If you want to just have a five minute discussion to get the appointment, then just give mysterious benefit without giving a single detail about what you want to talk about. I’ve got another client actually probably listening right now where he has a salesperson who gets into the full-on debate, goes into it, starts to talk about his company and how it functions and what their sales angle is over everybody else’s.

And, so basically he is trying to make the full sale over the phone before they even get the appointment, where you can get way less appointments by doing that. Way less. So you need a pitch that’s highly structured. So let’s do this. Oh, I wanna talk about B2C for a moment. Again. If you wanna go [00:26:00] after affiliates, the first thing you should do is have something you can offer them.

So in my case, I do a famous author series. Which is every other week, and most of you are, experiencing this. You get a notice from my list. Or actually, if you’re brand new to our world, you don’t get the notice because we wait several months because I don’t want you besieged or barrage with too many things from me.

When you first get involved in our world, I want you focused on growing your business and making your business solid. So actually every other week we do a notice about famous authors that we’re going to interview. So when we want to get an author to do something with us, we first start off by offering to do something for them.

We call up that author and say, Hey, we have a famous author series, and usually on our teleconferences we can have as much as 2000 people show up. And we want to interview you. And then we send it out to my entire [00:27:00] database, which is in the six figure range. And we’re gonna send out full announcement to my entire list and then give the recording to everybody.

It’s a opportunity, a possibility to get thousands of new fans virtually in a single hour telephone conversation. And then that gets us in play, and then we have to make a good impression, and then we have to do a good job. And then we have to get lots of people to show up. And then we usually will help them promote something that they’re trying to promote whether it’s their book or their training program they might have that’s complimentary to mine or whatever.

So we, on a regular and consistent basis approach these people and offer them something. And then in that process we get to know them and then our next phone call is, Hey, what about us offering something to your database? And we’ve worked many relationships like that. [00:28:00] So if you’re looking for affiliates, what can you offer them first, or at least dangle in front of them?

And that’s a really good way. So what we’re gonna do now is gonna do hot seats. And if you’re interested in having some red hot focus on you and your company, hit one, one time. And Shante, tell me if you have people raising their hand.

Hello? Not at this time. Not at this time. This is your opportunity. Let’s have some red hot focus on you. You are here for CEO Mastery. And I am here to try and help you achieve that. And I want to focus on your company. I want to tune you up, find various ways to help you go further. So I cannot believe that you wouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity to get some individualized [00:29:00] personalized focus on your sales process.

Let’s talk about it. Who are you going after what is the setup you’re doing? What’s your approach? What’s your pitch? Make, every aspect of that thing you’re doing. We can tune that up. And then we’re recording this. So you’ll have me designing what your approach is gonna be when you call that ceo.

So if you’d like to take that opportunity or that affiliate, then you must hit one one time. That’s the point. We’re at

If you’re enjoying the weekly dose of the Ultimate Sales Machine, then you’ll love our new community program, the Ultimate Sales Machine Dojo, because business is more complex, more crowded, more difficult than ever before. 90% of executives believe that we’re about to hit a recession. So we have to truly avoid the shiny object syndrome.

We can’t just wing it in our marketing and sales processes anymore. We have to get hyper-focused and do what works during a no [00:30:00] spend economy. So what would be more enjoyable than spending just one hour a week with a group of pigheaded disciplined and determined companies that are committed to grow?

Because in studies of previous recessions, 91% of companies either go stagnant, decrease, or go bankrupt during recessions versus 9% that actually grow. If you wanna be part of that 9%, that’s why we’ve created the Dojo. Visit Dojo do j o dot ultimate sales machine.com. That’s Dojo D O J o dot ultimate sales machine.com to apply in just one hour a week.

You can transform your whole business, taking just a handful of concepts and working to master them with repetition, right? Just like my father taught, like the Dream 100 are the best buyer strategy, education-based marketing. Time management, secrets of billionaires. We dissect the concepts, bring it back for discussion and workshop, the [00:31:00] solutions on how to implement it into your company’s dna.

This is for CEOs, marketing and sales departments. We want everyone to be on the same page. And not only that, we’re inviting professionals that want to use brain power over wallet power. Solving old problems with new ideas. If you want to simplify and make bigger bets on fewer things, if you want to be surrounded by that group, all you have to do is apply for the Dojo at dojo doj o dot ultimate sales machine.com.

I’d love to see you there. I’m extending my sacred space to a group of like-minded individuals that all wanna elevate during a time when everyone else is in panic. We’re not. We’re just hyper-focused. We’ve got a roadmap ahead of us that’s worked for 250,000 businesses, that’s generated over 2 billion for our clients.

We know it works. We just have to have the pigheaded discipline and determination to do so why not do that in a community? I look [00:32:00] forward to seeing you there. If you’re willing and able to do something great, visit dojo dot ultimate sales machine.com to apply.

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