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Cold Calls ... A Few Tips

Cold calls are just one of the tools of sales ... and despite the importance of this task many salespeople really struggle with calling people that they don't know. I recently read a good article with some tips that may be helpful. The article was written by Mark Fortune, a Professional Business Developer with the Wellesley Hills Group, a consulting and marketing services firm that helps service companies to grow. Mark can be reached at

Mark's article is titled the Three Cornerstones to Delivering an Effective Telephone Pitch. These three areas of concentration are:

1. Brevity. This is an unsolicited call to someone that you think may be interested in what you have to offer. You need to get their attention quickly or risk losing them before they hear your message. Mark has a 5 sentence structure that he proposes:

Greeting: your name, your company name.
Definition: your company type, its nature of work.
Value proposition: your special offer to the prospect.
Reward: the value proposition's benefit to the prospect.
Request: your meeting request with a time and date.

2. Wordsmithing. In such a short period of time it is important to use the right words. Mark gives some examples. One thought is to avoid buzzwords but to use words that are different enough to get you noticed.

3. Clarity. Mark's third cornerstone is to make the message very clear, so that there can be no misunderstanding about what your are trying to convey.

All of the above are great things to consider for the sales person about to make some cold calls. Here are a few Kevin Dee thoughts to add:

1. Inject enthusiasm without being "over the top". Nobody wants to deal with someone who is "flat", nor do they want to deal with someone who is obnoxious.
2. Smile. It is "felt" at the other end of the phone line!
3. Make the message fit. Know who you are calling and be sure the message is appropriate.
4. Stand. If you sit while making a series of cold calls your enthusiasm will wane and the calls will become "stale". If tyou stand, and better still walk around then your energy will be injected into the calls.
5. Don't do too many cold calls in a row. Split them up with other activities, because it is difficult to keep the enthusiasm going. We are all different so you need to understand what works for you, 20 calls at a time or 50 calls at a time or somewhere in between.
6. Believe in your message! If you don't believe in what you are selling then how will your prospect? If you have doubts, them work with your manager to sell yourself!
7. Practice. Practice saying it to yourself, call your own voicemail. Practice with colleagues, role playing is a great way to improve your messages.

When you master the art of cold calling you will see an immediate impact on your sales results, but like anything worth doing it takes effort. Good luck!