What Not To Do When Cold Calling

by Scott - 9 Comments

Receive more articles like this one

Last week I found myself doing a bunch of cold calling into 1,000+ person companies so I thought I’d share some quick tips specifically on what not do when cold calling.

What Not to Do When Cold Calling from Scott Britton
A few key takeaways from this presentation:

The goal of a cold call is to set a meeting, not to sell them on the spot.

When you cold call someone, you’re probably interrupting their day. They person you’re talking to is not primed to be receptive to your pitch in this state. You only want to pitch someone when they’re ready to hear it and attentive. This is why the goal of an initial cold call should be to set a meeting.

Write out a script before the call.

Even though I’ve made hundreds of cold calls, I still write out a script before I start calling every time. Having it in front of me:

a) reduces the amount of anxiety I have making the call
b) engenders confidence which can be perceived over the phone
c) allows me to communicate my message effectively because I know exactly what I’m going to say

Ask a question within the first 2 sentences of the conversation.

When someone is cold-calling me, most times I know it immediately. The give-away is the fact that they just start spouting off their spiel without even making an effort to engage me in a conversation. When I recognize this, I immediately turn off my brain and solely focus on how I can politely get off the call. I think I’m not alone in this camp.

One way to thwart this is to ask a question within the first two sentences of the call. My personal favorite is “I was hoping you might be able to help me out…do you know who manages [insert initiative]?”

I don’t think anyone enjoys cold-calling, but the fact is sometimes you need to do it to get the job done. And trust me, it can work at the fortune 500 company level if done properly.


First-time reader? Get future posts by subscribing via email or following me on Twitter.

Join 19,746 Subscribers

9 comments, add to the conversation.

  1. Jon Birdsong

    Scott, another great article. I ask a very similar question to the one you propose. One variation that’s produced measurable results is coining it this way: “would you be so kind as to letting me know who manages [insert initiative].” It plays on the emotional side of a gatekeeper.

    Jon Birdsong


  2. Alex

    Another great post, Scott. Thanks. A few tips that make the difference for me:
    1) Indifference: Be casual but respectful and confident but never beg. If it’s not a fit.. it’s not a fit! Keep at it and be relentless. 2) Test&measure: Measure everything. # of calls, # of conversations, # of appointments set and the time when you’re calling. You can’t have irregularities without standards. 3) Ask for cell phone numbers: If you don’t ask you won’t get them. An extensive list of direct dials can be a very powerful asset.

    Cheers, -Alex.


    1. ScottBritton

      Thanks Alex! Those are all great tips.

      I especially can relate to the first one. Sometimes you need to take a “buyer’s mentality.” Specifically qualifying if someone is a good fit to work with you instead of trying to beg for their business. This can be very powerful


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.