Every afternoon, I take a 10-minute walk outside. This walk clears my head, boosts my energy, and helps me spend the last hours of my workday as productively as possible.
It turns out I’m not the only one who’s noticed the benefits of a daily walk. On the Top Sales Dog blog, Dave Clemens suggests salespeople walk around while they call prospects.
According to Clemens, this small change can make calling “less of a headache” for reps who dread it. In addition, walking has positive effects on your attitude and mood.
The Benefits of Taking a Walk While Calling
Even a brief walk benefits both your mind and body. According to a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, just five minutes of daily outdoor exercise can improve mood and self-esteem. Similarly, research from Robert Thayer, a professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach, found a positive correlation between the number of steps people took and their happiness, energy, self-esteem, and health.
Walking also boosts your confidence. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and professor at Harvard Business School, conducted a study showing a person’s body language can change how they perceive themselves.
Cuddy asked participants in her study to hold high- and low-power poses. Their testosterone and cortisol levels -- hormones that influence confidence and stress -- were measured before and after.
After the high-power group held their pose for just two minutes, they experienced a 20% increase in testosterone and a 25% decrease in cortisol.
“Two minutes lead to these hormonal changes that configure your brain to basically be either assertive, confident, and comfortable, or really stress-reactive and feeling sort of shut down,” Cuddy explains.
Walking around forces you to maintain a high-power pose: You’re upright and in motion rather than slumped in your desk chair.
Ultimately, the psychological benefits of walking will translate to more successful calls. When you sound calm and self-assured, prospects instinctively perceive you as more trustworthy and competent.
The Logistics of Calling and Walking
This technique comes with a couple logistical considerations. First, it’s easier to walk and talk if you use a headset or earbuds with a microphone rather than hold the phone up to your ear.
Furthermore, if your manager requires you to record your calls for training purposes, use conference call software with a recording feature.
When you expect a call to take 10 or more minutes, make it at your desk. Longer calls usually require the ability to look up information and take notes, which is far easier when you’re stationary.
If the weather makes an outdoors walk unappealing, Clemens suggests using a big conference room or a long hallway.
There’s also the option of calling at your desk -- but standing instead of sitting. Many offices (like HubSpot) provide employees with height-adjustable desks. If you have one, take advantage during your next call.
Unable to walk or stand while making calls? You can reap many of the benefits simply by going for a walk at some point during the day. If your schedule is jam-packed, see if you can turn one of your meetings into a “walk and talk.” Your coworker will likely appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs just as much as you will.
Your mood and mindset can determine the outcome of your calls. To increase your odds of a positive response, go for a quick walk.