5 Steps for Cold Calling Success

February 9, 2016
min read time
Sam Aparicio
Sam Aparicio
Co-founder & CEO,
5 Steps for Cold Calling Success

Earning your living selling can be a tough business.  Sales is full of rejection so you must have a thick skin and prepare for it as even the best salespeople are getting rejected a majority of the time.  

Now, new technologies help salespeople be more productive and make the job a little bit easier. With so many great tools available to help you turn cold leads into warm conversations through email cadences, it’s easier than ever to email large lists of people and A/B test your way to the best response rate.

But what response rate do you really expect from your emails as more people rely on emailing and inboxes become more cluttered?  5%? 10%?

If you REALLY want to generate revenue you need to get on the phone.  Email is great for helping you warm lists and set appointments but revenue is generated over the phone. Did that prospect just open your email? Awesome, call them.  Seriously, call them right now.

In order to succeed in sales (especially complex software sales) you must still connect with people and talk to them. The right combination of email and phone calls will maximize your conversion percentage.

Here are 5 simple steps to be more effective on the phone especially when cold calling to secure a meeting.

1. Envision a Positive Outcome

Your subconscious mind is a powerful force.  If your mind is filled with anxiety or fear of rejection you will not be effective at confidently engaging a prospect. Right before you pick up the phone or click to call a CRM record envision a positive outcome.  

What do you want to happen?  What do you envision when you pick up the phone?  If you made a sale and earned commission on every call that you made how many calls per day would you make?  How fast would you pick up the phone?  

The easiest way to get better on the phone is to expect good things to happen!  Before making a call take two seconds and envision exactly what you want.  Make the outcome of your call very vivid in your mind.  Own this outcome because ultimately you are in control of your success.  

External events like competitors, the price of your product, or tough market conditions are simply excuses that you tell yourself to justify failure.  Accept no excuses, think about how you can get better, constantly optimize your message and succeed!  Success is your choice.  If you choose to think positively about your outcomes you will increase the probability of a positive outcome.

2. Believe

You have to BELIEVE!  To achieve your maximum level of productivity you must believe that your company is awesome and that you offer a word-class product.  

You need to be sure that your company will deliver amazing customer service and most importantly you have to believe that when a customer buys from you that they are better off having purchased your product.  

If you are currently selling something that you don’t believe in you have two options.  

First, you could figure out the positives that you are overlooking and choose to focus on these positives.  No company is perfect.  There are always things that can be improved so often focusing on the positives of your company and product will increase your confidence.  Or, you could leave and find an opportunity that you believe in and a product that you can confidently sell.  Life is too short to sell something you don’t believe will help someone. If what you are selling isn’t helping people, you cannot truly be successful.

Tweet: If what you are selling isn’t helping people, you cannot truly be successful.

3. Do Some Research

Invest a brief amount of time to study the business that you are calling.  

Why are you calling this company and prospect?  What specific information can you uncover before you make a call?  What have they shared on LinkedIn?  What are they tweeting about?  

This intelligence becomes your reason for the call and this reason should get you excited to engage the prospect.  It should also show that you have invested some time in determining that you believe that you can help them because you have helped others like them.  

One tip I would suggest is to create a field in your CRM that has this reason for the call so that you can add it to leads as you work them or your sales ops or marketing team can add the reasons for the call when uploading lead lists.  Because you won’t connect with every prospect right away this will help save time on future calls and will help you remember why you are calling.  You can also pull this field automatically into a cadence to further personalize your communication.  

4. Smile When You Talk

Literally put a smile on your face.  Think about something that makes you smile or just force it and turn the corners of your mouth up.  

Smiling lowers stress and anxiety which will help you be more relaxed when you’re making calls . If you cannot smile your energy isn’t right to make a new connection.  Your energy communicates for you.  

Who wants to buy from someone that isn’t happy and can’t stand their job?  Figure out a way to have fun!  For me, I always realize that I’m simply talking to another person and learning about them and their business.  I like to learn and each call is a learning opportunity.  That’s why I love to make cold calls!  Find what you enjoy about the actions required to be successful and make the choice to enjoy your work.

5. Stop Being Selfish

If you have a selfish agenda you’ll never be successful.  Your agenda should be to help the person that you’re speaking with.  If you can help them, great, there is an opportunity for you to do business.  If you can’t help, than that’s okay as well.  You just need to move on and find someone else.  

The moment you NEED the next call to be successful because you NEED to hit your goal for the day or you NEED to hit your quota for the month you will be less likely to succeed.  You won’t be operating out of the best interest of your prospect and you will sound desperate.  

Desperation doesn’t get you closer to what you want.  What will, is confidently expressing how you can help someone.  

Sales is an exercise in probability.  X Activities = Y conversations = Z meetings.  Following these 5 tips for more effective cold calling will help you increase your probability of a successful outcome.  

Making outbound calls is still a great way to win business and initiate a conversation.  The phone is STILL the most powerful weapon you will have as a salesperson.   It’s what you use when you need to secure the meeting, to close the deal or negotiate the terms of a contract.   In order to conduct business there will always be a need for a creative human being to engage in conversation with another creative human being.


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