Whether it’s cold calls, sales calls or building a relationship with a vendor, phone conversations are prevalent in many professionals’ daily working lives. However, it can be tricky to sound confident and at ease over the phone without a face-to-face connection.

No matter what your specific role is, getting comfortable with phone conversations is crucial, as these conversations can make or break sales and important working relationships. To help, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer their tips for sounding more confident during business phone calls and explain why each strategy is so effective.

1. Know Who You’re Calling

Knowledge and experience are easy confidence hacks. So, do your homework: Get to know your prospect by reading their LinkedIn profile and find a point of relation, whether that’s employment history, personal interests or your alma mater. Before you start the call, remind yourself that your life and business aren’t going to fall apart if it doesn’t go to plan–that vacuums out the fear. – Jonathan Maxim, K&J Growth Hackers

2. Practice Often

Confidence on a sales call is born from practice and experience. Young entrepreneurs fear losing every sale, so they sound desperate and anxious on the phone. It takes time and practice to know that not every phone call will result in a sale, so just be yourself and let the rest take care of itself. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA

3. Develop A Foolproof Process

The best tip to make a sales call effective includes developing a process. You need to lead the person on the phone and set an agenda. After setting the intention of the call, you must immediately qualify the potential buyer and practice active listening. When you follow a clear process, you’re standardizing how you communicate and making the other person feel confident. – Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss

4. Start On A Positive Note

Whether you’re making a sales call or are building a relationship with a vendor, always start on a positive note. You can start with a positive comment, talk about the good weather or your favorite team winning a match. It’s a great way to sound more confident and build a rapport with the client before getting into business. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

5. Repeat The Question

Taking a pause after being asked a question and rephrasing it back to them is a good way to build a relationship with your vendor. Most people simply want to be heard in a conversation. Repeating the question ensures that’s done and builds trust with your vendor. People also love to mirror behaviors, so if you gently rephrase, the other person is more likely to agree with you by adopting a friendlier attitude. – Brent Liang, Fractal

6. Smile To Change Your Tone

This is a fun tip: Try smiling when you talk on the phone. It changes the tone in which you speak and can help you sound more friendly, upbeat and confident. Even though your listener can’t see you, they’ll be able to sense that you’re smiling and it will make the conversation more pleasant for both of you. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

7. Avoid Space Fillers

Avoid saying “um.” When you have meaningless space fillers between words and sentences, the client subconsciously thinks that you are not confident in your message. Removing these space fillers will not only make you sound more professional and confident, but it also will relax the subconscious of the potential vendor by affirming that you understand your product and will deliver on it. – Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

8. Lower Your Expectations

I think people botch their calls when they set their expectations too high. When you’re desperate for a win and/or you want to impress, it can come across as forced and inauthentic. You’ll sound more confident and at ease over the phone if you have the mindset that you’re okay whether you win or lose. You’ll still do your best but without sounding like you’re trying too hard. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Utilize Bullet Points

You can sound more confident on sales calls by writing down bullet points that you can use to reference. This will help in case you don’t know what to say next or feel that the conversation isn’t flowing. This will also prevent you from sounding robotic and rehearsed. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

10. Leverage Facts And Data

One strategy that can help you build rapport with vendors or clients is to keep your facts within your line of sight. Data will win people over, regardless of how they currently feel about your business. If a potential client or investor has a fact-based question and you can’t quickly provide them with an accurate answer, they may lose trust in your brand. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

11. Believe In What You’re Saying

The secret to sounding confident over the phone is realizing they need you as much as you need them. You are offering them something in exchange for something they are giving you, whether it’s a product you’re buying or cash for a product you’re selling. You have to believe that what you’re selling (or your business) is valuable. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure