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Warm Up to Cold Calling

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If you're a salesperson whose job requires the dreaded activity we all know as cold calling, you're probably used to getting hung up on, ignored, and chewed out, all of which can be hard to get used to and can make your job pretty tough. However, there are some tips that can make your cold calls more successful and, in turn, make your workdays a little more enjoyable.

According to Wikipedia, cold calling is defined as the process of "approaching prospective clients, typically via telephone, who have not agreed to such an interaction. The word 'cold' is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting the call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by the salesperson."

In order to be more successful at cold calling, you need to reprogram your thinking. Do not think of yourself as a nuisance, someone who is interrupting everyone else's day. Instead, have pride in your product or service and think of yourself as someone who is brightening others' days by offering them something that will make their lives easier.

When you call, talk to the person on the other end of the line as you would a friend. Don't be cheesy. Be genuine. Ask people about themselves and about their businesses. And above all, do not read your sales pitch off of a script. If there is anything that will make someone hang up on you, it's this. Rehearse what you are going to say beforehand so that you know it and don't have to read it. This will allow for a more natural presentation.

An article on includes an example of a natural-sounding, friendly opening statement:

"Good afternoon, Ms. Marshall. This is Ken Brown with Green Works. I read in the local paper that you recently broke ground for a new office complex. We specialize in commercial landscape services that allow you to reduce in-house maintenance costs and comply with the city's new environmental regulations. I'd like to ask a few questions to determine whether one of our programs might meet your needs."

In order to prepare an opening statement like the one above, you must put forth a little more effort than the average cold caller. It's wise to do some research on the people or companies you are calling so that you can tailor each call to a specific need. This makes your presentation seem less cookie-cutter and makes it harder for the person on the other end of the line to peg you as a salesperson and hang up.

Also, when making a cold call, try to use the word "I" as infrequently as possible. Instead, fill your sentences to the brim with the word "you." Make the call about the other person, not about yourself. According to executive sales coach Keith Rosen in an article on, this will take a lot of the pressure out of cold calling, making you better at it.

"Instead of thinking, 'What do I need to do to earn their business?' or 'What's in it for me?' or 'I could really use another customer; what do I need to do to come across the right way?' ask yourself, 'What value can I deliver?' or 'How best can I support this person?' or 'What difference can I make for them today?'" he advises.

Wikipedia has some other advice for salespeople:

"There are a number of ways in which cold calls can be effective. One is for the selling organization to start with a quality, up-to-date database consisting of qualified prospects that have an interest in the product being sold. Another is to use cold calls as a 'step in the door.' Rather than using the call to try to close a sale, it is used as the initial contact in a long-term relationship."

On the net:Wikipedia

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Cold Calling
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