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Cold Calling Techniques that Actually Work – Cold Call Secrets

Sales 08:03: min

Many people claim that cold calling is dead in 2021. While not completely true, it should be clear from the start that it’s not as efficient anymore.

So what should you do instead if you’re looking to improve your B2B lead generation process? We advise checking out our 8 methods of getting leads without cold calls.

However, if you apply the right cold calling tips and techniques, you can still close deals through this channel too. One of the most important things to remember is that generally, most people hate cold calling

It’s all right, it’s not a secret. It also doesn’t mean for a second that you can’t be successful with cold calling if you know what you’re doing. You just have to understand that people are always unprepared for cold calls. 

You don’t want to suddenly be ambushed by someone who’s trying to convince you to buy something. Yet, cold calling is still here. The practice wasn’t abandoned, and for good reason too. With the proper techniques, you can still make millions.

Don’t waste time and get your bespoke lead generation strategy, coaching or outsourced services ASAP. Just get in touch with us and we’ll go over the details.

What is Cold Calling?

If you’re just going about your day and suddenly get a call where you’re being sold something, that’s a cold call. It’s an activity specific to sales where representatives keep reaching out to prospects. 

The core characteristic though is that the caller and the person being called have never interacted before. That’s why it’s a “cold” call. It’s up to the salesperson to deliver a quality pitch fast enough so that the other party doesn’t hang up.

This is also the main reason for which it’s a difficult lead generation channel. The sales rep. must be very sure of themselves and sound convincing, as prospects can hang up anytime. 

Lately, while it’s still recommended to have a script, it’s also wise for B2B sales efforts to be target-driven. It might simply by another day in the field for you, but it’s the first time the prospect hears of you. They fit in nicely in a sales pipeline, they’re part of your target industry, but they’re still they’re own person.

Rigid adherence to a generalized approach is detrimental and makes sales pitches sound like a robot working through their programming. However, be careful with improvisation if you’re still learning the ropes. Re-inventing the wheel when you don’t know how has seldom proved to be profitable.

13 Expert Cold Calling Tips and Techniques

1. Research Who You’re Calling

This is your pre-call bread and butter. If you don’t understand who you’re trying to sell too, you’ll appear as just wanting to widen your client portfolio. 

That’s a great disadvantage, as prospects will always want to see what’s in it for them. It’s clear from the get-go what’s in it for you: revenue. 

So, spend those extra minutes, half an hour, an hour (it depends) to familiarize yourself with the prospect. Think of how you can bring value to the conversation. What can you say that’ll keep the prospect focused and interested?

Such personalized approaches are appreciated every single time. By spending time on their company website (about us, blog, open positions) and LinkedIn profile, you’ll create better conversations. Similarly, look at what their competition is doing.

Familiarize yourself with their industry, so that you can bring better arguments about how your B2B solution will make them better than their competitors. 

You could also use your CRM system to gather all the information you’ve collected, even though they’re not a customer yet. For example, after checking a prospect’s website, you could make notes about their story and core values.

About their potential decision-makers, software that they could already be using, recent accomplishments, areas of interest, etc.

The more you know, the easier it is to tailor your cold calling script to the prospect’s needs and preferences.

2. Look for Decision-Makers

You know the business you want to contact, but you have to reach the right person. If they agree with everything you’re saying but they have no authority, it’s time wasted.

At the same time, be upfront with how much you’re going to charge them. Don’t spend time explaining why they should choose you if in fact they can’t afford you.

Don’t plunge in with the cost though. Wait until you see that they’ve become “hooked” to your offer. And speaking of being persuasive…

3. Create Your Sales Script

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Cold Calling Techniques l Sell Using 3 Emotional Triggers

Sales 07:43: min

You can easily be tempted to create a sales pitch based on logic. Don’t do that

Staying on the phone with a prospect to insist how you’re the best and how you have data to back up those claims is not going to work. At the end of such a conversation, you’re just a stranger to them. Not worthy of trust, regardless of the facts.

Instead, focus on emotion to skyrocket your sales. Yes, we use logic to reason why we’ve made a decision. But we initially act upon emotions. We make decisions because they feel right. This doesn’t work the same in B2B as it would for B2C though.

You can’t sell SaaS on the basis of “hey, you’ll be happier after you sign!”. 

Let’s assume you’re selling some sort of software. For finding leads, optimizing business processes, managing teams better, email marketing, etc.

You would work these elements into your script (which should be kept short and to the point; target 30 seconds to 1 minute maximum):

  • Get the product in their hands — When you’re requesting to set up a follow-up conversation, offer a demo. Ask what data or information they’d want to see in that demo. Present the product the way they’re requesting it, and they’ll form a connection with it. They’ll envision themselves using it in the future, in their company.
  • Be upfront & credible — The prospect is already considering the downsides. Don’t underplay the negatives. Be confident and say things like “yes, it does take a lot of time”; “yes, it is difficult to learn at first”. This will build a relationship of trust between you and the prospect, quickly turning them into a lead.
  • Be transparent — Don’t avoid comparisons to your competitors or alternatives. Target the weak points of your competition vs. your strong points.

4. Test Cold Calling Times

If you’re always cold calling at 9 AM, guess what? You’ll always miss the people who only start work at 10 AM. Test the reactions of prospects if you’re calling in the morning vs afternoons. 

For really high-level prospects, the best times could actually be in the evening, as they’re much likelier to continue working until 7 – 8 PM.  However, that’s not ideal. Sticking to regular business hours will make you seem more professional, especially since it’s a call that the prospect didn’t request.

Try to target 3 – 5 PM or 10 – 11 AM. Those are the best times of day for cold calling. Generally, they’ll last over 5 minutes because prospects are either getting ready to end their work day, or to grab some lunch.

Either way, they’re much more responsive to disruptions, as they’re not as focused on work.

5. React FAST to Inquiries

If a prospect asks for additional information or details, great job. You have a new lead! Now, give them what they asked for in a literal flash if possible. 

Sales representatives that take longer than 5 minutes to answer an inquiry can experience an 80% lead qualification decrease!

There are many cold calling tips and techniques to remember. But if you were to choose just one, pick this. 

Remember: you called them. It goes without saying that you know your product/service in and out. That doesn’t have to be true, mind you. Just create a comprehensive database of information with all the details.

This way, you’ll have everything ready to go, no matter what your lead is asking you. Try to predict questions as well. Think about what leads could be curious about, given the nature of their business.

6. Be Open to Change

If you’re not getting the results you were wishing for, it’s possible that your approach could use some improvements. That’s perfectly normal, as the art of cold calling can’t be mastered right away. 

When you notice that prospects keep hanging up on you, try to do the following:

  1. Remove parts of your script which make prospects want to end the conversation. If there’s an over 50% drop rate at certain points, they’re a problem.
  2. Figure out if you’re getting stuck yourself while selling. Do you sound unsure when you mention a feature or comparison to competitors? Work on how you can improve your pitch.
  3. Keep switching it up until you can go through the entirety of your talking points with more than half of the prospects you’re calling.
  4. Use more open-ended questions for your prospects. You don’t want them to just listen to you, but to think about your propositions themselves. This way, they’ll create their own connections to the ideas.
  5. Document what you learn so that you don’t forget about it. Share new tips & tricks with your colleagues too. It’s a team effort!

7. Manage Your Expectations

Even if you’re the superhero of cold call lead generation, you won’t always be successful. Some prospects won’t buy from you no matter how much you try. After a while, call it quits. 

You could keep wasting time and effort on a prospect (or even lead) who keeps stonewalling you, or you can move on to better qualified leads. 

Don’t be discouraged by rejection, as it’s an important part of the learning process. If you always do it right, then you’re not actually learning anything new. Take failure as an opportunity to develop your selling skills. 

However, keep in mind the cycle for B2B sales isn’t the same in all cases. Some leads will just take longer to sign. You’ll need to be extra convincing. This is especially true if you’re looking to sell to enterprises.

Big businesses have long and complex sales cycles, with a ton of decision-makers involved. Those deals are always very profitable though.

8. Learn From & Accept Rejections

Some people get frustrated fast when they get unsolicited sales calls. You’re bound to hear at least some unfriendly forms of “no” when you’re dealing with people all day long. 

Remember: don’t take it personally! It’s really not about you. If the person doesn’t want to discuss a cold offer, they’d have simply refused someone else as well.

Because of this, don’t keep pushing at that point. Simply thank your prospect for their time, but also ask why they’re refusing you. This way, you get valuable feedback about how you can improve your pitch. 

You could have a rejection script ready to go that sounds like:

Of course, I understand. Thank you so much for your time! Before I go, could you please tell me why you don’t think we can help you?

Even if you notice a chance for a counter-argument here, don’t take it! The prospect has already made up their mind, and you don’t want to sully the name of your brand by sounding spammy at that point.

Besides, by being polite and understanding, you a leave a door of opportunity open. The prospect could seek you out themselves in the future. If you annoy them though, that won’t happen. Never forget that most people are driven by emotions, and it’s people that lead businesses.

9. Keep Practicing Cold Calling

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How to Close a Sale on a Cold Call – Cold Call Teardown

Sales 10:33: min

You could have weekly training with your colleagues where you just run pitches and scripts by them. There could even be a focus point on them rejecting you very harshly so that you can become better at handling those situations.

It’s also going to be constructive emotionally. Instead of focusing on what you’re doing wrong, your colleagues will also be able to tell you what you’re doing right and how great your approach was. 

This will build up your confidence for actual calls, which is a huge thing. Prospects won’t know anything about you on the phone, save for how you sound. 

If you’re using a monotonous voice and saying “um” a lot, you won’t come across as a professional at all.

Try to get the tone of your voice “right”. Actively follow how you’re linking words together. Don’t talk too fast, but not too slow either. The more convincing and reassuring you can sound, the less skeptical prospects will be about what you’re actually selling.

In fact, if you can pitch your solution like a tried and true salesperson, there’s a good chance that prospects won’t even have follow-up questions. They’ll be persuaded by how much you seem to believe in what you’re selling.

There’s a lot of truth in and old saying that goes like this: “it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, but how you’re selling it”. The only way for a prospect to evaluate your product or service (on the cold call) is through you. If you sound unsure, they’ll hang up.

10. Focus on How You Can Help

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling through cold call lead generation. It matters that the prospect understands how it can help them achieve their goals easier and faster. 

For example, if you’re selling marketing services, you shouldn’t be too sales-y from the start. After the opening statement, you could lead with something like:”

I was looking through your website and you guys obviously have a great team. However, I was wondering what you’re doing right now to get new clients? How is your marketing strategy looking?

This shows you’ve done your research and you’re looking to build a connection of trust and mutual profit.

11. Use a Human Approach

In the intro of the cold call, you must make sure to create a genuine interaction. The prospect has to wish for the conversation to continue.

If you get to the point of the “where did you get my phone number?” question and the prospect sounds at least slightly irritated, it might be a lost cause. 

That’s the question of a person who has no idea why you’re cold calling them, is also aware they’re being sold something, and feels like their time is being wasted.

The fix to that is showing the prospect you know why you’re calling them. You’ve done your research, you know what they’re good at and what they can improve; and you can provide that improvement. 

Also important is to actually avoid saying “I don’t want to waste your time”. That will just get the idea in their head that you could be wasting their time. 

Cold calling is not for confirming a deal that was already agreed. This person has no clue who you are, what you want, or why they should care about what you’re saying.

12. Keep Cold Calls as Short as Possible

You need to know the specifics of what you’re selling to the letter. Otherwise, you can drag on sales calls for no reason, or even sound unsure of what you’re saying. Give straight-to-the-point answers for what the prospect is asking.

Provide case studies about your efficiency if you notice the prospect trying to disqualify themselves. Examples of disqualification include: “So you’re based in North Carolina, but we’re based in South Carolina.

You’d simply have to say that you’ve had plenty of clients in South Carolina for which you’ve generated X amount of revenue with your solutions. Of course, don’t lie. Say only what’s applicable.

If you don’t know how to answer a question, there’s no shame in admitting it. In fact, it’s highly recommended! Don’t give Y information on the cold call just to correct it with the Z information down the line. That’s not going to look good for your reliability.

Instead, simply tell the prospect that you want to gather all the necessary details about the question. Then, get back to them ASAP.

13. Leave a Voicemail

A lot of (if not the majority) of your cold calls are going to go straight to voicemail. The first thing you got to do is capture the prospect’s interest in listening to the whole voicemail.

Again: capture their interest, don’t try to sell. What you want to achieve is the prospect willingly calling you back and asking for more details. 

  1. Don’t ramble. Choose only ONE message to get across. Maybe you want them to know who you are, or that you’ve been recommended by someone they know, or that you’ve helped businesses in the prospect’s field before.
  2. Emphasize effectiveness. Open with a message that shows you should be called back, such as: “Hi [prospect’s name]. I’m [X] from [Y]. We’ve solved challenges like yours for tens of other businesses. Please call me back when you have a minute to discuss what I can do for you”.
  3. Be friendly. Like we’ve said before, use a human approach. An upbeat tone, an energetic feeling about what you’re saying. Use your prospect’s name! At the same time, keep it under 30 seconds and insert some urgency.
  4. DON’T mention deals. No discounts, no special promo codes, no offers. You’ll only sound desperate.
  5. DO leave multiple voicemails. If you don’t get a callback the next day, call again. If it’s voicemail again, then just say something different. Remember? Only 1 topic per voicemail. However, if this has been going on for a while, just stop. You’re wasting your time.
  6. Document voicemail scripts. Keep track of which messages result in callbacks. Tailor other scripts in that way too. See if you’re getting better results afterwards. It’s important to always seek out personal improvement.

Debunking Cold Calling Myths

1. Cold Calling Doesn’t Work

Completely untrue. While we’re also supporters of other types of lead generation methods, especially email outreach, you shouldn’t refrain from cold call lead generation if that’s what you want to try. 

It’s a practice which literally still makes people millions of dollars. You just have to follow the right process, be consistent, and not give up. Cold calling can drain you fast if you don’t know what you’re doing, and perhaps that’s why its reputation isn’t the best right now.

2. Finding Numbers is Very Hard

If you do everything manually, sure. But here’s a tip: don’t.

There’s software out there which grants you direct access to B2B decision-makers. We recommend you try using Seamless or Lusha. The only thing you have to master is selling itself. Find the number with an online service, research your prospect, and then put the charm on them.

3. You’ll Eventually Burn Out

This will only happen if you’re not pacing yourself, or if you use improper techniques which always result in a “no”. Do your proverbial homework and improve your selling process. You’ll see that prospects will want to talk to you and give positive feedback.

4. It’s Hard to Start The Call

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How To Build a Cold Calling Script

Sales 08:40: min

Not true! Use our cold call script blueprint and you’ll be that much closer to becoming a pro. The best part? You can download it for free today! We’ve made over $100,000,000 in B2B sales for our clients, so rest assured that it’ll work for you too.

5. Cold Calling Turns You Into a Robot

If you’re trying to turn everything into a rigid template, you’ll quickly find out that you’re stuck saying the same things over and over again. Unsurprisingly, prospects won’t be interested in what you have to say.

Remember that cold calls are still a human interaction. Your script is there to help you out and provide general routes for a prospect’s answer. The actual result of the call is still in the “hands” of your social skills.

6. Cold Calling Software is Complicated

Completely false. Here are 4 solid options out of the bat:

How to Build Better Lead Pipelines

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About The Author

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Alex Berman is the founder and chief content creator of X27 Marketing. He is passionate about promoting efficient B2B lead generation channels and executing on data-driven strategies for his clients.