Cold calling can leave even the most seasoned pros with a chill. It’s always worth polishing up the tools you use to break the ice, and teaching them to your team. Here are our faves of the experts’ tips and tricks for warming up your technique.
Aim for quality, not quantity
You may think that a longer list of prospects is key to eventual success with your cold calling, but it all depends on the quality of those leads. In her article for Entrepreneur, Jane Porter advocates doing some research when it comes to your clients. If your product or service best serves large companies or organizations, then make sure your prospect list reflects that. Of course, even the most well researched prospect list doesn’t guarantee a “yes,” but you set yourself up for a higher rate of success when you target the right audience for cold calling.
Try a strategic name drop
Do you and your prospect perhaps have a mutual contact or friend? Easy enough to find out with a simple dash through Linked In. Don’t underestimate the value of a well-placed name. It may just be what tips the scales in your favor. Leading sales expert Brian Tracy believes that having a common denominator helps to relax your prospects when cold calling. If you don’t have an initial or obvious mutual connection, then it’s time to hit up LinkedIn and see where your circles overlap.
Master your voicemail approach
Kraig Kleeman, who bills himself as “The World’s Greatest Cold Caller,” reminds us that only 1% of voicemails get returned. Those aren’t good odds at all for your bottom line. Though banks like JP Morgan and Citigroup are in the process of axing voicemail, Kleeman urges you not to give up. You want people to call you back? Spend time refining that voicemail and consider writing a script that you can customize for each client. Sales expert and Salesforce partner John Barrows of is a fan of the 30-second or less voicemail during which you leave your name and company at the end of the message, not the beginning, to avoid any hasty hang ups based on false assumptions your prospect might have about your company’s services.