cold calling tips and tricks

Why is Cold Calling So Hard? Tips & Tricks for Success

Cold calling can be a cold ordeal.

The problem with cold calling is that people are reluctant to make hundreds of calls to people who are likely to reject their product or service after all of their efforts. 

The truth is cold calling can be an incredibly effective strategy in lead generation. If you do it well, you’ll make yourself incredibly valuable in the growth of your business. 

See how Jan-Pro unlocked $695,000 in annual recurring sales through our cold-calling services.

Today, let’s look at some tips and tricks for successful cold calling. 

Why Is Cold Calling So Hard? 

Although the definition of a cold call is rapidly changing, the traditional definition of a cold call is when a salesperson contacts a prospect they may not know to sell to that prospect.

It is this definition of a cold call that might bring you a lot of pressure. The thought of having to generate sales from people you don’t know can induce a lot of anxiety; the thought of having to make hundreds of these kinds of calls will only make things worse. 

Cold calling is a skill, and it is also a mindset. These concepts will help you make cold calls a better experience for you. 

Experience Makes You Better 

Since making cold calls is a skill, you can get better at it. 

Keep this in mind as you make more and more of these calls. 

Each time you reach a prospect and have a conversation–you’re finding out what works and what doesn’t work. 

Over time, you’ll become more and more comfortable introducing yourself, talking about the product or service you have to offer, qualifying a potential customer, and learning how to move on to the next step. 

Just keep at it. Take notes if you need to about what’s been successful for you. You can then begin to use more of what’s been effective for you and your personality and leave behind what isn’t.

cold calling tips and tricks
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Be Value Driven

It isn’t easy to take a person you didn’t know and, after one call, get them to open up and engage with you. For all your cold calls—focus on providing upfront value. 

You provide value by showing the prospect that you care about helping them solve their problems! During your call, ask questions that allow the customer to tell you if they see value in your product or service.

This is one way you can qualify your prospect. You can find out right away if your product will be valuable to them or if it won’t. If they need your product, talk to them about how your product could help solve their problem. Answer their questions and present yourself as someone who has a solution. 

Do Your Homework 

Cold calls are much easier when you have some time to get to know your prospect a little more. 

Nowadays, most people have a LinkedIn profile or some other type of social media presence where you can take note of what they’re interested in. Do not get into the details of their personal lives but take note of special interests the person has made public – changes in their company, position, industry events and trends, etc. 

Doing your homework means you take some time to get to know what is valuable to your prospect so that when you connect with them, you can communicate in terms of what’s interesting to them. 

Your prospect will appreciate the time you took in getting to know them a little before reaching out. 

The research you do will show your genuine interest in the person you’re talking to. It demonstrates to them that they aren’t just another number you dialed, but that they are a person worthy of getting to know and of whom you might be valuable. 

Practice Your Script Until It Sounds Natural 

Some businesses have cold calling scripts. While it is a good idea to master what is on your script, you can’t sound like you’re reading from a script while prospecting.

Potential buyers can sense when you’re not using words that are natural to you—they can hear it in your voice when you’re reading a preplanned sales pitch, and they lose interest. 

Your script is likely a tried-and-true method, but whatever you say has to feel like you’re having a conversation with your prospect. People like being talked to, not sold to. 

You can either practice your company’s script enough so that it becomes second-nature to you, or you come up with your own script that includes all the information you should include and sounds natural to you.

Either way, focus on having a conversation with your prospect.  Smile when you talk to them and enjoy the conversation. Inflect your voice to let your prospect know you appreciate the time they’ve taken to speak with you. 

Whether you’ve naturalized your company script or created your own, also be ready to go off-script. Your prospect might ask a question you didn’t foresee, or the conversation may go somewhere you didn’t foresee—in these cases, stay calm and continue naturally. 

cold calling scripts
Photo by Amy Hirschi

Get to the Next Meeting

Your initial cold call to the prospect should focus on getting to a proper meeting where you can show them your product or service in an appropriate setting. 

Perhaps it is possible to go for the sale on the initial call but recognize that it is far more likely and more beneficial for your relationship with the prospect to guide them to a meeting or another conversation. 

So, listen to the person you called. Talk to them and have a real conversation with them. Get to know them. 

If you believe what you are selling is valuable for them, ask that you both meet soon to present your product. 

This way, you’re not pressured to make the sale on the first call. You are more focused on building a relationship with the person and asking for the opportunity to show them what you have. 

Before you end the call, set the date, time, and place of your meeting. Confirm with your prospect that they have the same date, time, and place as well. 

Follow Up and Reminder

People are busy. With how fast life moves, you must stay relevant to the prospects you’ve been successful with. There are ways to make sure you’re remembered without being invasive. 

After you have made the initial call, you should follow-up with an email. In the email, include your name, your company name, and a reminder of the time, date, and place you’ve agreed to meet next. 

It might read something like this:

“Hi, Mr./Mrs. Smith

This is _______ from ________. I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday.  I’m looking forward to meeting with you on ___________.

Until then, take care!” 

Then, 24 hours before your planned appointment—you can email them again to confirm your meeting. These are subtle ways you can keep in touch with your potential customers and stay relevant to them. You can secure your business meetings and have a higher chance of converting sales. 

Final Thoughts 

It’s perfectly normal to think cold calling is difficult. Afterall, picking up the telephone and talking with hundreds of strangers does not come naturally to most people. 

The condition of having to talk with someone you don’t know is nerve-racking to say the least. As uncomfortable as it might be initially, remember that there are ways to make it easier for yourself, and you will get better over time.

The call is not about what your prospect can do for you; it’s about what you can do for your prospect! Speak in terms of bringing value to your customer. Get to know who they are and build a relationship with them to develop trust. 

Follow these tips, and don’t be afraid of rejection. Even if it is difficult at first, the sky is the limit for you learning to cold call well.

John Dubay

John Dubay is the Managing Partner at Leads at Scale, an outsourced sales support company that helps B2B companies generate well-qualified leads at scale, ready to be closed.

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