How To Make a Dreaded Cold Call

Even if you are good at selling in a face-to-face situation, using the telephone for a introductory call needs additional, different skills.  Known techniques must be applied in a new way.  If you normally work in an office in a sales function, you may not see yourself as a salesperson.  For you to make an introductory sales call you also need additional different skills.


Concentrate  on doing the job professionally by:

  • Doing an amount of simple research.  Have an idea of what they do.  That will give you an insight into their likely problems.
  • Getting the name of the buyer. During the call use it.
  • Holding fire until you speak to the buyer. You will get nowhere trying to sell to those with no need or buying power.
  • Giving brief details of your company – and showing that you know about theirs.
  • Collecting and recording information about their present situation. To do so avoid asking closed questions which result in yes/no answers.  Use open questions.  Those are questions which contain the words why, what, where, when, which, or how.  That way you will be given more information.
  • Exploring past problems and future worries.
  • Underlining Benefits – what’s in it for them if they buy from you?
  • Finishing with an order or a commitment to the next step – for example an appointment for a salesperson to call.
  • If possible get an order number.

Do these things and your cold calls can be more effective.  Don’t – and you’ll be wasting your time and everyone else’s.


To make effective introductory sales calls on the telephone avoid:

  • Rushing into the call without preparation
  • Trying to sell to the wrong person – assistants, interns, etc.
  • Wasting time with irrelevant chit-chat
  • Making no notes of the call and its contents
  • Asking questions which call only for a yes/no answer
  • Running down their existing supplier
  • Failing to convert interest into an order or other form of commitment
  • Not tailoring the information you give to the person to whom you are talking
  • Inviting rejection
  • Rushing into your sales pitch