Back in 1999, three weeks into my first recruitment role, I realised I’d made a massive mistake.
Recruitment was not for me. I wasn’t cut out for it.
Why? Well, the concept of cold-calling a complete stranger, in front of a room full of uber-confident Recruiters, paralysed me with fear.
And making cold BD calls was a massive part of the job. (I knew this before accepting the job, but chose not to give it a seconds thought).
One lunchtime, after a particularly traumatic morning of failed BD calls, I warm-called my then girlfriend from a pay phone in Manchester city centre and said “I’ve messed up. I can’t do this! I should never have left my old job to do this!” (She offered very little in terms of basic BD training in response).
This fear of offending a complete (scary) stranger by calling them in the middle of their busy day, or being told to “go away” by an angry MD who’d already had 3 other cold calls that day, was enough to make me break into cold sweats. (No mean feat in the typical Manchester climate!)
So what was I going to do?
I had gone to extreme lengths to break into Recruitment. This job was all I ever wanted. This job was going to put me on the path I wanted to be on in life. Recruitment was going to make me a WINNER! (Yes, I had fallen for the hype!)
And now it was slipping through my fingers. The same reluctant fingers that couldn’t punch numbers on my desk phone.
The dream was over before it had even begun.
So, how did I find myself still working in Recruitment 20+ years later, when it looked like I was ready to quit after 3 pathetic weeks?
Well, in short, I had a word with myself…
Told myself to stop catastrophising every single cold call.
Reminded myself that I’d most likely never meet those few people who got angry at me down the phone.
Accepted that even if somebody did get their underpants in a twist, it really didn’t matter. They weren’t going to find my address in the phone book, come round my house and stab my dog.
Taught myself to learn from every badly executed BD call, rather than automatically assuming I wasn’t cut out for Recruitment.
It wasn’t an overnight fix. It definitely took months not weeks to get over myself, but I got there eventually.
Eventually, in time, it became second nature. Almost easy. (And I didn’t even practice in the bathroom mirror!)
And guess what, to this day, none of those bad calls exist in my memory. I can only remember the successful calls.
So… To all those salespeople and Recruiters out there struggling with a little bit of “Phone Phobia”, ask yourself this…
What are you actually scared of?
Because I can guarantee, whatever it is, the BIG scary thing you’re worried about either isn’t even real and only exists in your head, or won’t even happen.
So, crack on… Pick up that phone… It quite literally will not bite you… ☎️👊🏻