Working the phones is fundamental to success in real estate. It’s that simple. Yes, you can prospect many other ways, such as using flyers or knocking on doors. Or hoping someone calls you. But if you dream of earning a healthy living in real estate, you’ll need to follow the model used by all top performers, and that is sitting down every day and making a required number of prospecting calls.

But phone prospecting is scary to many, and very often a deal-breaker.

That’s why it takes courage to pick up the phone and dial.  Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain and uncertainty. Courage is NOT the absence of fear, but the ability to work through fear, to do that thing that often frightens us the most.

So, if you afraid to pick up the phone and make those calls, good. Recognize the fear, honor it, but don’t let it stop you from doing what needs to be done. Following are a few tips and strategies for finding your courage to be a successful phone prospecting real estate agent:

  • Know what motivates you. It’s difficult to succeed in sales unless you are zeroed in on the things that motivate you the most. If you don’t have clear motivations, you might need to get help to uncover them. Perhaps a personal or professional coach will help you tap into your motivations. Sometimes money is the best motivator, but often it’s not. It might be something more emotionally meaningful, such as your family or putting your kids through college. Find what motivates you, and have an image or words that reinforce that motivation covering your work area.
  • Block out negative thoughts, otherwise known as “stinking thinking.” Be conscious of what is going through your mind as you sit down to your desk each day. One, idle, rogue negative thought can shut you down. Even something as innocent diverting your attention by getting up for another cup of coffee or flipping on your email for a second. It’s all a form of negative thinking, something that can cause you to hesitate. Or you allow yourself to imagine yourself getting yelled at if someone actually answers the phone (as if that would happen!!): “Why are you bothering me?”
  • Visualize success: Just like our minds can create monstrous obstacles that prevent us from moving forward, it can also be used to transform our vision of how things can be when we succeed. Take ten minutes before you sit down to call, close your eyes and visualize what your life will be like when you start to connect with, and gain the confidence of, the person on the other end of the line. Or, on a more practical level, close your eyes and imagine yourself using your scripts the way they were meant to be used: as a tool to help you become more confident every time you dial.
  • Stop judging yourself: OK, you might not be strong enough to block every negative thought that enters your head. Instead of saying to yourself: “See, I can’t stop thinking negatively,” why not try a different approach. Acknowledge the negative thought and move on. “Huh, that was interesting. I wonder where that thought came from.” Or, let’s say you have a difficult, frustrating phone experience with a prospect. Instead of using the call to validate some negative attitude you have about yourself, use it as a learning experience for the next call: “What can I learn from that call? Did I use my scripts? Could I have done something differently.”

Here’s the thing: the courage to dial may not translate to success today. But calling is a productive exercise, and sustained productivity does wonders for our self-confidence. The act of calling builds upon itself, and reminds us that we are courageous, and worthy. And that’s