Mark Dembo

Article Summary:

A four step cold calling technique to help you make successful calls every time.

Cold Calling Technique

One of the most-feared, and yet most effective, ways to develop business is the dreaded, and much maligned "cold call." But, if you develop a consistent approach to your cold calls, you can overcome the fear of not knowing what to say or how to respond when the person on the other end of the phone actually answers!

First thing: remember the goal of your cold call. Your goal on a cold call is to GET AN APPOINTMENT. Your goal is NOT to sell on the phone. (If your job is telesales, then of course your goal would be to sell on the phone; we will be covering that topic in a separate article.) When you set your priority on getting an appointment and not on selling, it becomes much easier to for you to actually get in front of the people you need to see to make your goals and close more business.

Here are the four steps that go into a successful cold call:

1. Opening
In your opening statement you want to get the other person’s attention (by using their name), give a brief "commercial" about your company and tell that person why you are calling (to get an appointment.) So, for example, your opening might sound like this:

"Good morning Ms. Smith. This is (your name) calling with XYZ Company. We are the largest manufacturing of remanufactured widgets specializing in the giggabot industry. The reason I’m calling you today is that that we’ve recently successfully completed a project with ABC Company where we were able to help them reduce their time to market by using our widgets in their manufacturing process. I’d like to get together and show you how we were able to help them achieve this result. How’s Tuesday at 2?

2. Response
The person you’re speaking with is now going to respond to you; most likely with an "objection" – or a reason why they shouldn’t meet with you. Think about the most common responses you are likely to hear in your business, and be prepared to turn their response around.

For example, if you know that you will typically hear something like "Well, thanks for your call, but we’re all set for now" (and you probably hear that a lot, right?) you should have your "turnaround" ready to go…

3. Turnaround
To turn around a response, you want to reassure the person on the phone that you’ve heard what they said, and that you understand their response – BUT, don’t just give it up. Your response should sound something like this: "You know, Mr. Smith, many of our clients said the same thing when we first spoke with them, until they saw how our widgets were able to benefit them. Why don’t we get together, and I can show you how. How’s Tuesday at 2?

4. Appointment
After you’ve tried to turn the call around, you’re either going to the appointment, or you’re not. If you’ve tried two or three turnarounds, and the prospect still doesn’t want to meet, then it’s time to thank them for their time, and move on to the next call. Don’t spin your wheels expecting to get an appointment with everyone you speak with.

Will this approach work every time? No – but then again, nothing will work every time. Will you get more appointments if you use and practice these techniques? You can you will – absolutely. Guaranteed.

Mark Dembo; President, Lexien Management Consultants. Mark has over 20 years of sales, sale management, and business development experience, focused on improving the performance of individuals and organizations. Lexien Management Consultants provides sales training, consulting, and coaching services to organizations and individuals who are motivated to grow their businesses. Lexien works with companies in a wide range of industries including technology, financial services, media and publishing, public relations, telecommunications, and professional services, Mark also publishes the weekly Sales Success Newsletter. You can contact Mark at 914-682-2069, or at

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