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6 Lessons Learned From Cold Calling

Posted March 31, 2014 by Sarah Lagen in On the Ladder
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After working in my first inside sales roll, it’s safe to say that I’ve learned a lot about cold calling.  I’ve learned that you have to be a special person to be good at it and you  have to be able to do it every day and move on quickly. After 6 months experiencing my first cold calling job, here are the top tips and tricks that I’ve learned:

  1. Practice what you are going to say.  Write out the impact statement or the reason you are calling, and then practice saying it out loud a lot.  The more you sound like you are speaking and not reading the more receptive people will be.
  2. Listen!  Cold calling people can be scary because you never know what is going to happen, but when someone decides they want to hear more about what you are calling for you want to make sure that you are listening and ready to respond appropriately.
  3. You’re going to hear ‘No’ a lot! There is no pretty way to put it; this is just the nature of cold calling.  However, it is a numbers game meaning the more people you call the more opportunities you have to hear ‘yes!’ so call as many people as you can!
  4. Learn what the odds are for success with your calls.  For example, when I cold call to set appointments, I keep a tally sheet of the number of dials that I make. I keep a separate tally of the number of decision-makers I talk to, and another tally sheet for the number of meetings set.  At my company the success rate is 5%, so I know for every 25 calls I make I should be setting at least one appointment.  I found this tool helpful tool for accomplishing my daily goals, and to keep me on track and focused.
  5. Apologize for calling and taking time away from this prospective buyer.  I heard apologizing for calling is a great way to get your prospective buyers’ guard down.  For example when I’m calling and get to the decision-maker  I’m trying to reach I say “Hi, first I apologize for reaching you out of the blue.  I know you weren’t expecting me.”  This shows that you understand you’re taking time from someone else and building the perception you’re not just a colder caller.
  6. Take breaks with co-workers and talk about your worst call of the day.  Because you never know what’s going to happen —  you could have a really bad call because you forgot what to say, or someone on the other side of the phone said something that threw you off your game.  So create a little game to see who had the worst call of the day.

Have you cold called before? What are some lessons that you’ve learned? 

About the Author

Sarah Lagen