7 months ago
February 21, 2017

5 Tips for Your First Sales Cold Call

Before you pick up the phone to make your first sales cold call, review the following five tips.

Rhys Metler

Cold calling. If this phrase makes you shudder, you’re not alone. Many people, even those who have always wanted to be sales people, get nervous about calling complete strangers on the phone in an attempt to make a sale. Still, cold calling can be a very effective sales tool if you prepare yourself well and practice.

Success in cold calling is largely dependent on your attitude toward it. If you view cold calling in a negative or passive way, simply relying on sheer numbers of calls to make your quota, it’s going to be a long day, and your success rate will not be very high. On the other hand, if you view cold calling in a positive, proactive, helpful way, you’ll find that not only is your task more pleasant, but you improve your sales skills and enjoy more success along the way.

Before you pick up the phone to make your first cold call, review the following five tips. They’ll ease your task and help you to be more successful.

1. Prepare Yourself

Your cold calling preparations should cover two areas: your mental state and your environment. Mentally, prepare yourself by taking some time to think about your products and services and the many ways they are helpful to people. Think about yourself, too. You’re a highly professional person that others can trust. In fact, you’re something of an expert in your field, so you really do have a lot to offer to other people. With this sort of mental preparation, you don’t feel like you’re bothering others when you call them; instead, you know you have something valuable to offer.

Physically, you should put yourself in a place where you are free from distractions. Cold calling can be stressful, so reduce your stress level as much as possible by eating well, exercising, managing interruptions and other demands, and making your calls from a relaxing place. 

2. Prepare an Introduction

You only have a few moments to introduce yourself when making a cold call. A rambling, incoherent introduction is sure to turn someone off, especially if you’ve caught them at an inconvenient time. Prepare and practice your introduction ahead of time. Be very clear and concise and include the following items:

  • Who you are
  • The purpose of your call (example: to schedule a sales appointment, etc.)
  • Your reason for requesting a conversation (example: to help them save money on temp staffing)

That’s it. If you try to squeeze more into your introduction, you might lose them.

3. Prepare Questions

Quality, open-ended, insightful questions can turn a simple cold call into an interesting discussion about your services and products and how you can play a role in your potential customer’s business. You may not have a chance to ask questions during your cold call, but if you do get a chance, seize it.

4. Be Ready to Listen

If your potential customer takes the bite and answers your questions, use your very best listening skills. The answers to your questions can help you prepare a dynamite sales presentation, custom made to your customer’s concerns. Take notes as you listen so you don’t forget important points in the conversation.

5. Brush Up on Your Education

You’re an expert on your services and products, and you should be prepared to answer any questions a potential customer might have during a cold call. In many cases, some products are less well known than others in any given company, so if you’re unfamiliar with any of them, do your homework. You don’t want to be caught without an answer if a potential customer wants information.

With this kind of preparation under your belt, you’re prepared to pick up that phone and dial. Your first cold call may not lead to a sales appointment or a sale, but the experience will serve you well. And you’ll never have to make that first call again.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.