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WOW! I’m going to do some cold calling today!

I am a fan of cold calling. I said it there.

Cold calling isn’t as engaging as social selling, lifecycle messaging, or content marketing. – And despite what any hipster ‘customer success advocate’ tells you…

Cold Calling is NOT dead.

Before I interrupt the force and piss off every mobile marketing Jedi in the galaxy… I want to make it clear that this article is more about the prospecting discipline of cold calling than it is about how to build a brand or where your potential customers come from. I’m also not saying that social selling, drip campaigns, referral prospecting, and SMS marketing are an urban bohemian flavor of the month. These are much-needed and effective sales tools that have a definite place in customer engagement and prospect solicitation.

What am I saying

is that while there are several valuable ways to acquire new customers, I strongly believe that cold calling should be the centerpiece of new business development.

If you call a potential customer who hasn’t been referred to you and you’ve never talked to them before, it’s a cold call. Maybe I’m an inside sales Neanderthal; or just old school; but, I think that to have a material growth, you have to roll up your sleeves and find new clients; Before, your competition does.

Cold calls are the oxygen of your business. You can survive without oxygen for a short time; but, if you spend too much time without it, you won’t make it. Cold calling is the same way.

I’d like to think that everyone knows this; but I don’t think many have the discipline to do it regularly and that number seems to be growing. A quick Google search will show how many sales experts are ringing the bell for cold calling. In fact, the world is changing; but, cold calling is certainly not dead. Sales acceleration plugins like Connect And Sell, Inside Sales.Com, and First Rain are revolutionizing not only cold calling; objective, the marketing strategies of thousands of organizations. I daresay sales acceleration tools like these may even be giving cold calling a bit of swagger..

Whether you’re using a CRM or a pen and paper, your cold calling should be a regularly scheduled, structured sales time so you can find new customers. It’s programmed so that no matter what, you always get your dedicated selling time. Here’s how to do it.


Schedule your recurring outgoing call time on your calendar. Have your calling list prepared ahead of time. Have your thoughts, paper, whatever you need ready. Pre-Call Plan – Know the result you want before you answer the phone. Get excited. Prepare yourself before you start calling. If you’re not sure how to do this, consider the Ickey Woods Geico commercial. Just replace: “cold calling” by “Sausages”. (

Make The Calls.

Self-explanatory law. What I mean is that you need to concentrate without distractions. Put out of office on your email, turn off your cell phone, don’t ask questions of those around you, and don’t check email. Make The Calls. I know it sounds easy, try it.

Establish a Rhythm.

Make calls for an absolute minimum of 45 minutes. Your need to have a cadence and a tempo. If it’s less than 45 minutes, you won’t get enough calls to establish a rhythm. This will help ease your calling process. (ie dialing, talking, call disposition, etc.) Also, I try not to fiercely dial for more than 2 hours at a time. (2.5 hours max) If you really keep up a wild cold calling pace, it won’t take long to run out. After a couple of hours, stop and take a few hours to return some emails, etc… Give yourself a break of at least 45 minutes, so you don’t get tired and end up alone ‘going through the motions’.

Do not waste your time.

Don’t go wild goose hunting. – If you are put on hold for more than two minutes, hang up and continue. – If they tell you that you have to call ‘corporate office’ and you don’t get the name of someone specific, move on. It’s not worth your time. If you really think it’s that important, you can call back later after your cold calling session is over. Once a call ends, take notes, schedule a callback, and quickly move on. I recommend doing any after-call work. (ie sending follow-up emails, preparing proposals, etc.) Doing these tasks during your cold calling session will only distract you, lower your intensity, and make you less effective.

Have a personality.

It’s no secret that people do business with people they like. – You don’t have to be glib or silly… Just be yourself. Be someone someone would like to talk to. Sound optimistic and be confident. Nobody wants to talk to someone who is boring. Using words like, New, Special Y Exciting help to.

Be respectful.

Treat whoever answers the phone with respect. – You don’t know who they are or what influence they have. Please understand that they are doing a job just like you. Your job is to talk to the decision maker and their job is to make sure you don’t. If you approach your call with a positive attitude, like calling a friend to do a favor, instead of making a commission, you’ll be more successful.


When you’re selling, stand up from time to time, especially at the beginning of your calls. Walk around if necessary. This will help you sound more excited. Selling is transfer of emotions. Make your customer feel the same way you do about your product.

Move along.

While we’d all love to end every call we make with a first order or new opportunity, it’s often not that easy. I’m not saying it never happens; it’s just not enough to make a living out of it. Nevertheless; every time you hang up the phone, your relationship with this prospect should be more advanced than it was before you dialed.

  • Find out the buyer’s name.
  • Identify who your incident is.
  • Ask for a reference.

Whatever it is, make sure you hang more than you started with. If you are prepared and know the result you are looking for before you make the call, this step will be easier.

There you have it… It’s not fancy. Cold calling is very much alive and is very hard work. I still make cold calls. When I do, I follow these steps. I win, I lose and I leave voice mail. Take the time to develop a scheduled cold calling discipline. Protect this time. If you can make the time to cold call new prospects on a regular basis without fail, you will dramatically increase your sales success.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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