10 tips for cold calling

By David Shields

WealthMark Advisors, Inc


There’s no way around it. Cold calling can be brutal. But despite sales guru Frank Rumbauskas’s gloomy opinion of the practice, cold calling still features prominently in many independent agents’ marketing strategies.

Following are 10 tips to help you get past the initial greeting and set those appointments.

1. Always begin a cold call by introducing yourself and explaining the benefits of what you do. If possible, develop a friendly rapport with the person on the other end before leaping into your sales pitch.

2. Grow a thick skin. Don’t take rejection personally, and above all, don’t let it squash a cheerful, pleasant disposition.

3. If you can, research your prospect. Know their income level and why they might need what you’re offering.

4. Speak naturally and clearly, without rushing. Enunciate. Avoid awkward pauses and relying on verbal filler such as “ah” and “um.”

5. Set a daily call schedule and stick to it. If you’re not finding success, modify your calling hours.

6. Keep track of your contacts by subscribing to a customer relationship management (CRM) application such as Zoho or My Sales Dialer. Zoho has two pay options and a free service with limited features, whereas My Sales Dialer is free for Android phone users.

7. Scripts are helpful, but avoid sounding as if you’re reading from one. If you can’t use a script without sounding like Data from "Star Trek," consider referring to simple bullet points instead.

8. Always have a reasonable rebuttal prepared for an objection. If the rebuttal doesn’t lead to an appointment, bow out of the call gracefully.

9. Make sure you’re following federal law regarding cold calling. Know the prospect’s rights.

10. Don’t give up. Cold calling is a numbers game. The more calls you make, the greater your chances are of setting an appointment.

What cold call techniques work for you? Share your thoughts below.

Further Resources:

How to Improve Your Cold-Calling Skills – insightful article by Darren Dahl

Cold-Calling 101 – article by Elizabeth Wasserman

The Three Steps of a Killer Cold Call – YouTube video featuring communications expert Gary Hankins

10 Ways Salespeople BLOW COLD CALLS! – another YouTube video, this one demonstrating how not to perform cold calls