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How to Conquer Fundraising Phone Anxiety

When done effectively, phone calls are a most powerful fundraising tool.But phone anxiety causes many to avoid using the phone - using email or text instead - which costs them lost income. 

Remember - it’s normal to have phone nerves before making important calls. And the good thing is, there are simple ways to get rid of nerves,making you much more effective. Here are some easy-to-implement ideas;

  1. Warm Up -  Start with some easier calls as a warm up. This will boost your confidence. Only then hit the important or more difficult calls.
  2. Pep Talk - Give yourself a pep talk before you start. Remind yourself why you’re doing this.
  3. Fake confidence - if you need to. It sheds the nerves, so you gain confidence.
  4. Breath, Relax, Smile - Avoid holding your breath when waiting for someone to pick up. This causes your vocal cords to tense - making you sound anxious - when you say hello.
  5. Stand up - This makes you more engaging and dynamic when you speak.
  6. Emotional Content - Inject your words - and your cause - with emotion.
  7. Worst Outcome - Clarify the worst outcome. Maybe they’ll scream at you. Or you’ll lose a great lead. Rejection is rarely that extreme.
  8. Giving Not Taking - Focus on giving the prospect an opportunity through your request. (See Rav Dessler Michtav M'Eliyahu Vol 3 Pg 81.)
  9. Hishtadlus - It's just the effort you have to do. The outcome is not up to you.
  10. Practice your opening - Practice practice practice. First impressions count.
  11. Picture your prospect - During the call, look at their picture. This develops oxytocin - the chemical produced when we feel connected to people - which causes them to feel more connected with you! Get pictures from Google or LinkedIn
  12. Bullet Point, Not Script - When you use a script, it takes away your emotion and verbal warmth. Instead, use bullet points of what you’ll need to cover. This will preserve the newness and energy when you speak.
  13. Don’t drop your volume - It’s common to lower voice volume on the point that makes you most nervous. For example when saying, “Could we meet?” Donors pick up on this, which affects the outcome. Practice keeping your volume level throughout.
  14. Tone of Voice - Everyone has a natural tonal range. When you're nervous you’ll tend to go into the higher end of your vocal range. Try to stay in your lowest natural range. Do this by taking a deep breath in and find your lower range on your out breath.

Try some of these ideas out on your next call. And let me know how you get on.

Have a great fundraising week. Avraham

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