Top 10 Ways to Make a Successful Cold Call


  1. Understanding the goal of the cold call: When you pick up the phone to set a sales appointment, what do you want to get?Where do you want to be? What do you want to learn? What action/commitment do you want your prospect to take? Knowing the goal of the call and visualizing it will ensure you are better prepared.
  2. Don’t send literature if you do not have to: “Send me some information” is often just a brush off to get you off the phone quickly and rarely (if ever) does it mean your prospect will read it. Too many prospectors accept this as a way to get off the call. If you want to get the most of your telesales appointment, you want to find out why your prospect is asking for information and if they are a true prospect. Getting the most out of telesales phone appointments does not translate into “send me some more information”.
  3. Make sure your telephone etiquette is up to speed: Chewing gum, eating, music or television blaring in the background, talking to other people, sounding bored or using zero inflection while you’re on the phone are all ways to turn your prospect off and reduce the chances that you can have a productive conversation. If you want to set a successful sales appointment – sound articulate and enthusiastic, and don’t forget to smile!
  4. Use your listening skills: Remember the old adage that you have one mouth and two ears and to use them proportionately? Prospects will tell you everything that you need to know, if you ask the right questions and shut up. Listen actively so that you’ll hear what your prospects’ are really saying. If you want to set a sales appointment, listen to what your customer needs!
  5. Do not project your fears onto the prospect: “Mr. Smith is in a meeting” or “Mr. Smith is not available right now” does not mean Mr. Smith doest not want to talk to you. Do not fall into the trap of reading negative meaning into statements made by gatekeepers and/or prospects. Take these statements at face value, assume they are true and call back. The average sale is closed after more than 5 cold calls.
  6. Ask Good Qualifying Questions: This is most arguably the most important aspect of setting a successful sales appointment over the phone. It is critical you gather information about your prospect. Make sure that you have great qualifying questions ready to ask that will tell you what you need to know. Divide your questions into “Need to Know” and “Nice to Know” categories. Make sure to ask all of your “Need to Know” questions first. Good questions will equal more sales appointments.
  7. Be Prepared! When sales appointment setting over the phone, you have about 10-30 seconds to grab your potential clients interest. A professional wouldn’t go into an important meeting with a top customer and wing it, yet that is exactly what far too many sales reps do when they get on the telephone. Because the phone is less “threatening” people think it is “easier” and then they fumble and trip over their words. Make sure you prepare and don’t get caught in this trap!
  8. Ask for what you want! Do not be afraid to ask for what you want! Too many reps get cold feet when it comes to asking for the sale or the sales appointment. You must eradicate this fear! Have your goals for the call clearly outlined (as in #1), and have a fluid way to work the final “do we have a deal” part of the call into the conversation. Do not get caught in the web of overselling when sometimes, all you need to do is ask for what you want. Try it, you might be surprised.
  9. Do not create objections where not exist: Have a good call opening and be clear, concise and articulate. Otherwise, you will not instill confidence in your prospect and they will have an objection before you even begin. Anything that you say to a prospect that does not resonate deeply with them will create an objection. You want to be prepared with a good call opening and good script that will create interest so you don’t get the old, “I’m not interested”. Creating interest creates a successful cold call which will lead to a successful sales appointment!
  10. Leading with value: Remember to look at the call from your prospects’ point of view. Think “what is in this for them” and make this your focus. This what will gain their attention and show them you care about what is the best avenue for them, and not just looking to set a sales appointment. Always lead with the value if you are looking to increase your sales appointments.

Happy Selling!