Cold Calls Kill Your Sales: How to Do it Right

Cold Calls Kill Your Sales: How to Do it Right

If you’re reading this, you either manage people who cold call or cold call yourself. The reason why you have to cold call is because your marketing isn’t working; it’s not making buyers ring your phone. But that’s another discussion.

The majority of business audiences that I speak to use cold calling as a primary form of sales prospecting. Yet, the approach most take destroy brand value and kills sales.

Here’s why…

Nobody is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, hoping it’s a sales rep.

Yet, if they’ve been searching and hoping for a solution that you offer, you might be the miracle they’ve been praying for.

So, do you call as an angel in disguise or a devil looking for a deal?

Typical Cold Calls Destroy Your Brand

When you call with typical sales energy, the callee (you’re the caller) goes into resistance mode, rejecting the sales call.

“Hi, this is Jan Doe calling on behalf of Amazing Deals. How are you today?”

“Uh, why are you bothering me?”

“I’ve got this amazing deal you won’t want to miss out on and I want to come by and tell you all about it.”


Here’s the problem. The callee will invent a reason for their rude behavior, hanging up on you. This reason doesn’t do your brand any favors. Your brand is worse off than if you had never called.

Buyers invent a lie about a salesperson to justify their bad behavior when they feel mistreated, to the detriment of the brand.

Typical Cold Calls Kill Sales

When forced to cold call the wrong way, good people sales people get burnt out.

They’re asked to do a task that they really don’t like to do, that is out of alignment with their personality, and that they wouldn’t respond well to if they were on the receiving end of the call they’re making.

All of this, plus faced with rude callee behavior, no success, and a haranguing boss, they’ll give up. They couldn’t close a deal if it dropped into their lap.

The True Purpose of a Cold Call

Why make cold calls?

1) To begin a relationship with someone you don’t yet know.

2) To be there when a person needs what you offer but hasn’t yet made the commitment to buy.

If you’re calling to make a sales, these days you’re not going to make it. You won’t get through the resistance or voicemail.

Start the Relationship

You’re unlikely to reach a person for a live conversation. We all use voicemail and screen calls we don’t know.

For cold calls to work, you have to let the callee know why you’re a person of interest who makes their life better.

Here’s how you can start a relationship with a voicemail message.

“Hello, {callee’s name}. I’m __________ with {your company}.”

“I’m calling to introduce myself so that we are no longer strangers. We’re the people who work with {companies/people} like {yours/you} to maximize your {top value proposition}, minimize your {second value proposition}, and generally make your life easier. While I don’t expect you to have a conversation with me until you need new ideas, new information, or a new price, I want you to know that I’ll be calling regularly, so consider me to be your {product category} resource. I’m ready for a conversation when you’re ready, but not until. Reach me at {phone number}, that’s {phone number}. I’m looking forward to that conversation, {callee’s name.}”

Keep Calling

You’ll need to contact them repeatedly until you become familiar. This probably means leaving a voicemail message every time. I know others disagree with me and they’re wrong.

Here’s why…

When you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize and they don’t leave a message, what do you do? Begin to ignore them. Or even go to the level of blocking them. Your prospects do the same thing. Not leaving voicemail kills your list, making it completely unresponsive.

Keep leaving interesting, entertaining, and personal voicemail messages and when they feel you’re worth it, they’ll pick up or return your call. Once that happens, take the relationship to a new level with an exploratory conversation.

Do anything else, and you’re on a cold, short road to sales destruction.

Let’s have a conversation about speaking at your next event, growing your business through strategic planning, marketing plans, executive coaching, and customer acquisition systems. Find a mutually agreeable time at or contact me.

Get more great ideas like this from my weekly podcast, the Selling Disruption Show.

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