Mastering Cold calls


Every aspect of sales has a certain set of rules or
dynamics, and cold calling is no different. You would not
play a game of basketball without first knowing the rules,
your advantages (who the strongest players are on your
team), and your disadvantages (who are the poorest
rebounders). Cold calling is much like a basketball game.
You will be able to score more yes responses from your prospects
when you:
Know the advantages of cold calling.
Recognize the disadvantages of cold calling.

Know the Advantages of Cold Calling

You probably think that there are few advantages to cold calling
over having good leads. Actually there are two advantages of cold
calling you can count on: First, when you make a cold call the
prospect has no preconceived ideas you will need to overcome;
and second, according to the numbers, the more cold calls you
make, the more success you will have.

Recognize the Disadvantages of Cold Calling
Cold calling does have it
disadvantages. First, you do not
know as much about your prospect
as you do when you have a good
lead. Another disadvantage is
timing. Since you are calling on
someone who is not expecting your
call, you may have to work through
gatekeepers, previous
appointments, or other roadblocks
and distractions to get to the
Good preparation will minimize these disadvantages. You can
prepare yourself to meet the unique challenges of cold calling by
learning how to overcome resistance by handling objections and
by understanding the dynamics of your target market

The sales process happens faster during cold calling. You
will be expected to move through the sale cycle at a
much higher speed and this means focusing on the
needs and satisfaction of the prospect quickly. You can
do this more effectively when you:
Plan to deliver more than you promise.
Ensure excellent service and follow-up.
Know how to establish rapport

Plan to Deliver More Than You Promise
Icing on the Cake concept:
What does the “Cake” represent? IT represents the core business
of an organization.
The “Icing” on the cake represents Service that something added to
the basic ingredient to make it special.
Have you ever opened a finely
wrapped package only to find that
the contents did not live up to your
expectations? The same thing
happens in some sales where the
claims end up exceeding the actual
service or product.
Don’t get caught in this trap, exaggerating in a competitive
environment just to make a sale. Instead, have a plan to give
some extra value to every prospect you contact.
This will build your referrals and give you more warm leads.
Excellent service becomes excellent when it is least expected. It is
best to promise what you know you can deliver, but expect to
deliver more.

Plan to Give Extra Value
When planning your cold calls, determine the key benefits of your
product/service —those benefits that are standard. Then make a list of all the
extra value items you could give your customers to deliver more than you
promise. When you make the sale and follow-up with the customer, that is the
time to give that extra value.
Ask the participants – “How can you give extra value to your
If you are selling gym equipment, make sure the paint job, the packaging, and
the workmanship meet your high standards and are demonstrated as key
benefits. Upon delivery of the equipment, add a package of health drink or a
one-month subscription to ‘Health’ Magazine. Then always call back after you
have given extra value to get referrals from a satisfied customer. Ask them how
they are enjoying the product and soon you will be making less cold calls and
more warm calls.

Ensure Excellent Service and Follow-up
Keep good records of your calls so you can ensure accurate,
personal, and timely follow-up. In addition, check to be sure your
company will be able to meet the demands placed by a new order
you sell. This is especially important on special or unique orders
with out-of-the-ordinary requirements for design or delivery.
Keep an eye on how well the
company is fulfilling the expectations
you gave the customer. Check to be
sure everything is going on
schedule, and follow up with your
client to assess satisfaction with
product and service. You’ll be seen
as an advocate on the customer’s
side, rather than just a sales
“huckster”. Use the follow-up as an
opportunity to ask for referrals or
more business.

A Tool: Cold Call Tracking Form has been included to help
document each call the participants make and when the follow-up
action is desired. Run through the form with the participants and
check for understanding.

Keep Good Records
Successful cold calling involves not only good sales skills, but also good record
keeping. While making a call, someone might mention a name you should call or
some important data that will help you focus your sale presentation. Write it
down. If you call a decision-maker and the secretary says to call back in an hour,
make a note, then call back in an hour. Good notes and records are a gold mine
for networking and for projecting an image that you are on top of your game.
Here’s an example that may surprise you.
Manish called and asked for the buyer of the sports department. The secretary
responded by saying,
“Sachin is out of the office for two hours. When he returns he might not be
available until after he speaks with his travel agent about his cruise. Can you call
back and we’ll see if he is available later?”
What important information should Manish be writing down for his follow-up call?
􀂆 The buyer’s name is Sachin.
􀂆 Sachin is going on a cruise (Good information to build rapport.)
􀂆 Sachin will be back in two hours.
You will be surprised how much information people will give you if you just listen
and write it down. Think of creative ways to network and build rapport using any
information you may have.

Know How To Establish Rapport
The most important sales skill you can master
is building rapport between you and your
prospect. Rapport equals sales; it’s as simple
as that. What is rapport? It is a positive
relationship and affinity between people,
between you and your prospect.
Good rapport is reciprocal and is nurtured by trust. When a sales person
has rapport they move from cold sales to consulting sales. This is the
beginning of long-term customer relationships.
There are two important facts of human nature that you should know:
1) People love to hear their name, and
2) They love to talk about themselves.
Make sure you include these two success clues in all your cold calls. If you
don’t know the person’s name, make it a point to find it out and use it
when you address them. Then get the person talking about himself. Ask
for his opinion using open-ended questions. Find some common ground to
further your conversation. Remember to be personable and professional.

Two Success Clues
Let’s go back to our previous example of Manish’s cold call. He gathered some
important information from the secretary during his cold call. Manish took good
notes so when he calls Sachin back, what are some questions or comments he
can make to warm up his cold call?
Manish will use the name, Sachin, when he says hello.
If somewhere in the cold call Manish needs to establish more rapport he
may add:
“I bet you are excited about your upcoming rainy season.”
Or since Manish is selling raincoats, he might say to Sachin to build rapport . . .
“It sounds like you also may be interested in raincoats for your family.”
Ask Open-ended Questions
Open-ended questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Open-ended
questions solicit more information because they ask the listener to ponder a
response. For example, ask someone how she felt about a movie and she will
give you a more detailed explanation than if you just ask if she liked the movie.
Here are some examples of open-ended questions for Manish, our raincoat
How do you feel about a raincoat that has new features and is attractive?
Why did you choose one product over the other?

GRASP the Fundamentals of
Cold Calling
The foundation of lasting positive interpersonal relationships is trust and
integrity, and it is no different in cold calling. Your biggest challenge is to
establish these fundamentals during the first few minutes of the sales call. To
stay focused on the fundamentals of cold selling:

Quiz #2: Check your understanding of Session 2
No Statement True False
1. It is usually better to exaggerate a little bit about your
product or service than it is to bad-mouth a
􀀀 􀀀
2. The more times you are rebuffed on your cold calls, the
more success you will have in getting appointments and
making sales.
􀀀 􀀀
3. As a salesperson, your job is to make appointments and
obtain sales; it is not your role to find out if your
company will meet the delivery and quality terms you
agreed to.
􀀀 􀀀
4. Asking simple “yes” or “no” questions will move the cold
call more quickly toward your objective without the
danger of sidetracking posed by questions which seek a
more detailed answer.
􀀀 􀀀
5. Before making a cold call you should breathe deeply,
visualize a positive outcome, set aside any negative
emotions, and be prepared for a few “no’s” before you
get a “yes” conclusion.
􀀀 􀀀

Key to Quiz #2
QN Key Description
1. False
Neither approach is good. To generate trusting relationships, it is
important that you come across open and honest. Anything that
could come back and bite your credibility will reflect on your
2. True
The more calls you make, the more “yes’s” you’ll get. What you
really want is to improve your “No-to-Yes” ratio while still making
lots of calls.
3. False
This is one reason salespeople sometimes have a bad reputation.
Once they make a sale, they disappear. Continued business after
your cold-call success may well depend on whether you’ve
checked to see if design, manufacturing, and shipping are on
4. False
“Yes” or “no” questions might move the call faster, but more likely
to a final “NO” conclusion. Getting the prospect’s goals, interests,
problems and attitudes through open-ended questions helps you
get to your objective more frequently.
5. True
A winning mindset means being emotionally ready before EACH
call. If you’ve had a couple of “no’s” in a row, take the time to recharge
yourself before making the next call.