7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Cold Calling Mistakes You Wish You Didn’t Make

To have the greatest success in your cold calling, you’ll want to avoid the following cold calling mistakes.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Approaching new customers ‘cold’, without any prior indication that they are interested in your products or services is one of the key skills involved in becoming a great sales person. When you do approach someone cold though it typically only takes one of many possible cold calling mistakes to lose the prospects interest, leading to them ending the conversation prematurely. Most prospects when cold-called are looking for any reason to disqualify you and your product since they are busy people and you have probably interrupted both their work and their train of thought, you’ll need to work hard to grab their interest and keep them on the phone. To have the greatest success in your cold calling you’ll want to avoid the following cold calling mistakes that many sales people today are victim of.

Poor etiquette

Regardless of whether you’re on the phone or meeting in person, first impressions count. When you’re calling someone for the first time do so with good etiquette in mind: don’t be eating, drinking or listening to loud music. You’ll also want to make sure you know whom you’re calling, what their job is, and how to pronounce their name properly. This may sound like basic common sense but if you’re guilty of any of these cold calling mistakes, you risk losing your prospect before you’ve even had a chance to tell them who you are and what you’re offering.

Talking too much

Many common cold calling mistakes simply involve too much talk on your end and not enough on theirs. Your aim should be not to tell them as much about yourself and your product as possible but to establish a dialog upon which you can build trust and move towards a sale. If you haven’t given them space to talk within the first thirty seconds your introduction is too long and you’re going to be losing their interest.

Inappropriate pitching

If you don’t do enough (or any) research prior to your call you could find yourself guilty of one of the most common cold calling mistakes by wasting both your time and the prospect’s time by trying to pitch something that is completely inappropriate for their business or situation. Just a few minutes research can save you time later on and protect your reputation by avoiding wasting other people’s time.

Not asking questions

One of the top cold calling mistakes, and indeed one of the top mistakes by sales people in general, is to not ask enough questions. Ideally, you should be asking questions to find out your prospect so you can know more about them and show them how you can help them. By avoiding cold calling mistakes like this one you’ll also start to build better rapport and trust with your prospective client that will help later on when trying to close the deal.

Not communicating value

Rounding out our five cold calling mistakes is a big one – not communicating how your product or company will best provide value to the prospect. The biggest thing you can do to catch someone’s interest is to give him or her a compelling answer to the question ‘What’s in it for me?’ as quickly as possible in your communication.

Avoiding these five cold calling mistakes will considerably improve your success rate when cold calling. Even as you eliminate these cold calling mistakes, you’ll need to keep on practicing and experimenting to find out what works best in your industry. Avoiding mistakes is only half the battle – you’ll also need to build up your confidence and your knowledge of the industry before you can seriously start to say you have mastered the art of cold calling. By educating yourself and putting time and effort into improving your technique there is no reason why cold calling can’t become a highly profitable way to add to your portfolio of clients.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.