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Today I want to share a question from a reader who writes:

How do I keep from being burned out while cold calling? My job is to call current customers and also call new business prospects. I have a quota of 60–80 calls to make per day, but it seems as though I cannot stay focused long enough to make even 50 phone calls. By the time I get finished calling my current customers and servicing their accounts, I am mentally burned out. I am in no state to begin calling for new business. What advice/strategy do you recommend to keep me “pounding the phone” and “dialing for dollars”?

You ask an excellent question, and one that comes up for many people who conduct business over the telephone. Phone work can be exhausting! It is an intense experience. You must stay focused, listen carefully, assess prospects and respond quickly.

Try making your new calls first. Set aside a specific time, such as the first hour or two in the morning (depending on how many customer service calls you need to make that day) and dedicate that time to making new calls and only new calls. When the time that you have scheduled is up—stop. Then, go on to your customer service calls.

In addition, be sure to give yourself breaks throughout the day. Get up every hour and stretch. Walk around your office. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, so that you aren’t

Give yourself incentives. For example, every time you complete a predetermined number of calls, put some money ($1, $2, $5…) into an envelope. At the end of the week, take that money and treat yourself to something—even if it’s only an ice cream cone!

Find a mentor in your office (or outside your office) to whom you can go for a pep talk now and again. Maybe there are others in your office who are also feeling burned out. Form an informal support group.

Gather testimonial letters from customers. (This is a great marketing tool as well!) Make copies and post them prominently near your desk. Take a yellow highlighter and highlight all the really good parts. This way when you feel a little burnt; you can remind yourself of all the wonderful things customers have said about you, your company and what you are selling.

Recognize that what you are doing is difficult, and give yourself credit for what you accomplish! Remember that all your current customers were once new customers, and before that, they were probably new calls! Think about the all benefits you bring to your customers—you will bring those same benefits to the new calls you turn into customers. Make a list of those benefits, and also post that list prominently, so that you can look at it when you need a boost.

© 2003 Wendy Weiss

This Personal Development article was written by Wendy Weiss on 2/14/2005

Wendy Weiss, “”The Queen of Cold Calling,”” is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her book, Cold Calling for Women: Opening Doors and Closing Sales, can be ordered by calling: (866) 405-8212. Contact her at Get her free e-zine at