What is Cold Calling and How Does it Work?

cold calling

If you work in sales, you’re no stranger to the art of the phone call, effective communication, and the development of client relationships. However, even the best salespeople shudder at the thought of making a cold call.

As the name suggests, “cold calls” are phone calls made to a list of “potential clients” to verify that they exist, obtain their complete data, qualify their quality as prospects, and encourage them to continue interacting with our business.

How Does Cold Calling Work?

Cold calling meaning in sales refers to the practice of approaching potential customers who have never met the salesperson before. These phone calls can be nerve-wracking to make because you’ve never met them before and don’t know what to expect, but also because cold calls aren’t always met with the most open mind.

The importance of cold calling relates to expanding your business, even though it can be difficult. What you should be aiming for is:

  • Potential customers should be introduced to your business and yourself.
  • Your product or service’s worth should be conveyed clearly and succinctly via telephone.

Difficulties Faced During Cold Calling

The effectiveness of cold calling is about 2 or 3% (which is the real average of success) is not compensated by the enormous effort, frustration, and wear and tear of having to contact people who, for the most part, do not want to hear from you, even if that contact is made by a third. Why?

  • Because you’re calling when you want to sell, not when people want to buy.
  • Because they use a minimum segmentation, they are all potential customers, and the more, the better. It is a principle of volume, not the quality of the prospect.
  • Because they focus on selling, not on arousing interest, liking, and starting a process of building trust.

Here are examples of cold calling scripts:


In a cordial tone, not too effusive, but that gives off confidence. Rehearse until it looks as natural as possible. Usually, only the name is used.

Good morning, I’m John from…

Hello, good morning, my name is John, I am calling from…

Good morning, my name is John and I am calling you from…

The company you represent and the position you hold

At this point, having a reference source (a friend, acquaintance, or co-worker) is an advantage for the development of the call.

“I’m calling from…company name: what is your company about

“My company, (I’m sure you know us) we are all over the region, with more than… physical offices

I belong to a company or group; you probably already know us. We have been making services or products for 25 years

I am a…, or I dedicate myself to… and I work with very competitive rates

“ICEBREAKER” question

The term “ICEBREAKER” is essential in a call to a stranger if, on top of that, you want him to end up buying or hiring you something.

Just as effective is the question: “Have you heard of a company name” or if it is a new version or innovative product “Do you know main feature + product?”

A possible example of how to unconsciously provoke a negative response in the other person is: “Is it a good time to talk?” “Do you have 5 minutes to explain?”

Better “Can you give me 2 minutes and I’ll tell you, do you think?” or “I don’t want to take up your time, I’ll be brief…”

Effective Cold Calling Tips for Increased Conversions

  1. Research your leads
  2. Stay up to date with current trends
  3. Create a script
  4. Call at the right time
  5. Talk about them
  6. Use Trigger Events to Spark Interest
  7. Avoid pitching too soon
  8. Be specific
  9. Learn from rejection

1. Research your leads

Cold calling is an integral part of a well-crafted lead generation strategy. But by researching the leads on your calling list, you can gain valuable insight into approaching each case. People are more likely to listen to you and buy from you if you make them feel important and valued.

For example, you might be given a state of residence for your call list, and acknowledging something as simple as the weather in your region can show a potential prospect that you’re engaged in the conversation. This can be more persuasive to a potential client than just talking about your sales pitch.

You can also research your prospect’s role if you are selling them a product or service at your company. Try to find out what function he has, what his company does (if you are targeting companies), what sector he works in or if you have any mutual relationship.

Any way to establish a personal connection between you and the potential customer will enrich the dialogue and offer you a greater possibility of selling.

2. Stay up to date with current trends

Familiarize yourself with your prospect’s industry by following changing trends, new legislation, or other developments within your prospect’s industry. You can then use this information to help connect your product or service to your potential customer’s needs due to changing trends.

3. Create a script

Writing out a script of what you want to say beforehand can help you organize your key points, polish your introduction, and prepare for potential objections. When scripting your cold call, try to grab your prospect’s attention in 30 seconds or less. Remember that the script should be used as a guide and should not be read verbatim to avoid sounding unnatural.

When writing your script, consider including key elements like your introductory phrase, common interest to start the conversation and a qualifying phrase that tells your potential customer how your product or service can meet their needs.

4. Call at the right time

Find out the best hours and days for the market you want to sell to and make your calls then. You can also use tracking software that shows you the different percentages of leads available during different hours of the day. For example, you may find that many of your potential customers are accessible—and perhaps more receptive—during the morning hours.

5. Talk about them

When you have your prospect on the phone, lead the conversation by asking questions and showing interest in them. Letting the prospect do the talking while you listen can be an effective and highly persuasive strategy to make them feel comfortable with you, which can ultimately lead to a cold-to-warm lead conversion or a sale.

6. Use Trigger Events to Spark Interest

When there’s a big change in your prospects, such as the launch of a new product or hiring a new senior executive, take the opportunity to reach out to them and show them how your product or service can help them through their transition.

7. Avoid pitching too soon

Even if the goal of your cold call is to get to your sales pitch, if you do it too soon, you risk the call being ended before you have a chance to present it. Start the conversation by establishing a connection and relationship with your prospect and identifying a specific problem or need that you can solve with your product or service. Once you’ve reached that point, you can present your sales pitch.

8. Be specific

Be clear and concise when talking to your prospect. Just as speaking too prematurely can put a potential prospect in jeopardy, being too vague in your message can also put a prospect in jeopardy. After establishing an initial rapport and identifying your prospect’s problem or need, be specific about how your product or service can value them.

9. Learn from rejection

Part of identifying how to improve is accepting rejection—and sometimes—a lot of it. A combination of practice, preparation, and strategy review will help reduce the number of rejections you receive, improve your confidence and effectiveness, and improve your overall sales.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cold Calling

  1. What is the difference between cold calling and telemarketing?
  2. What is another word for cold calling?
  3. How do you start cold calling?
  4. Why do they call it cold calling?
  5. What is B2B cold calling?

What is the difference between cold calling and telemarketing?

Telemarketing includes cold-calling. Cold-calling is required for telemarketing; you can conduct it without it, but you or your employee must make one.

What is another word for cold calling?

Another word for cold calling is hard selling.

How do you start cold calling?

You start cold calling by introducing yourself in a warm tone.

Why do they call it cold calling?

Due to the nature of cold calling, the term “cold lead” has been coined. In this category, you’ll find potential customers who haven’t expressed any interest in your products or services. Cold calling is an art form, not just a matter of randomly dialing a phone number.

What is B2B cold calling?

Selling to a potential B2B customer who has never contacted your company before is known as B2B cold calling.

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