Prepare for the “no” and 4 other cold call strategies to fire up your cold calls

Posted August 9, 2017

Chelsey feldman headshot

By Chelsey Feldman

Product Marketing at Outreach

Data from over 100,000 calls that will heat up your cold calling strategy

Cold calling is hard. The truth is, sales representatives that make cold calls are interrupting their prospects, and their calls are not immediately welcome. We make a lot of cold calls here, and we’ve been through just about every scenario. We’ve taken a deep look at our data from over 100,000 calls and identified common objections as well as general cold call best practices that all successful calls have in common.

Make your prospect feel safe

Humans are predictable, and when humans get caught off-guard, they immediately express a fight-or-flight response. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “smile and dial”, it implies that the likeable, non-threatening, warm attitude you convey can be relayed through the phone to the prospect. You want to make the prospect feel safe, increasing the chances that you can get through to the next challenge. Achieve this with the cold call best practice of being friendly and helpful, not aggressive or impatient.

Be direct

You’re a sales rep - your prospect knows why you’re calling. You have such a short window to keep them from hanging up the phone, so no time to beat around the bush with awkward small talk. Jump straight into the value proposition and become relevant to your prospect as quickly as possible. You have time for details later. Now’s when you need to get them hooked!

Be relevant to your prospect

Once your warm attitude gets you through the first few seconds of the call, you should focus on establishing relevance. Prospects at this stage are wondering “so what?” and you want them to think “me too!” Spend this time explaining why you have specifically called the prospect and what you are offering that will genuinely help him/her. This is a great opportunity to share success stories from other customers in the industry who have been able to solve similar pain points to those of your prospect.

Be confident and be certain

Certainty sells. If you are attempting to convince a decision-maker to take you seriously and listen to you, you should practice the following four principles before and during the call.

  • Truly understand your prospect.
  • Truly understand the pain they experience.
  • Truly believe your solution solves that pain.
  • Express your confidence and certainty in regards to all the above.

If you do not believe your solution is a good fit for the prospect, don’t call. If you genuinely don’t believe in what you’re selling, you should change your job to selling something you do believe in.

Have a plan B

Cold calling can be hit or miss. Sometimes you do everything right, and you still get a “no”. Maybe you just didn’t connect with your prospect quickly enough, or maybe they were distracted by an urgent email that came through right when you were about to drop the best part of your pitch. It happens.

What distinguishes the reps who will crush their quota is the ability to anticipate the “no” and always be thinking one step ahead. That’s why we’ve created a guide for handling cold call objections that prepares you with a tried and true strategy to respond to the 15 most common cold call objections.


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