May 4, 2021

Cold Calling Basics

We’re going to kick off a little four week tactical series. It’s time to get in the trenches and uncover some weaknesses not only in our sales processes, but in the structure of sales too.

We’ll dive into sales management, cold calling, sales operations and objection handling tips.

We’re kicking off week two of our tactical series with cold calling tips.


… How many of you were about to troll me with that one?

Whether you agree or disagree: cold calling isn’t going away, so brushing up on your skills is a must.

Being successful making quality dials comes down to persuasion and succinctly chopping down what your product does and how it can bring value to your prospects.

If you’re feeling unprepared and nervous to make a call, it could boil down to not knowing your prospect or your product enough. So how can you change that and be prepared to “smile and dial!”?

It boils down to a few things: confidence, research and taking control.

When it comes to confidence, channel the energy and lack of inhibition that you might have after a couple of shots of tequila or a couple of beers. Sounds ridiculous but the main goal is to let your guard down and not be so uptight on the call so that your tonality and delivery don’t immediately translate to being overtly sales-y.

In 2021 if you want to be nailing your cold calls, make sure you do your research. You should be prepared to know about their company, know what pain you’re looking to solve for them with your product and know what might pique your prospects interest.

Don’t get lazy here, but also don’t go writing a summation for Wikipedia either. Focus on their website, what they might have on their personal LinkedIn page and maybe do a deeper dive to see what posts, podcasts or interviews they’ve done lately. The more you go into the call knowing them, the better it will be but also, make sure you know your product and what you’re selling extremely well. That should go without saying, but lack of confidence in calls is derivative of not being prepared in turn causing nervousness over not knowing what questions could come up and us not having the answers.

The last one is knowing when to control the conversation. There should be enough space for pauses so they can respond and give you information just as much as you take the floor to keep them interested in what your product or solution is. [Gong is a game changing tool here to help with this.] Own that you have control and power in the conversation and take it. Make sure to listen when you ask questions and don’t start rambling like a maniac. Asking genuine questions is only going to uncover their pain enough to arm you with more knowledge on how you can help.

Cold calling’s biggest misstep is that it’s often too controlled — from the script to the metrics to the person behind them — and can be difficult to see that there is no one right way to cold call; it’s unique to each individual.

The sooner you find your voice in your delivery, your script, your pitch, the better they will become. Give yourself time to write down every objection you come across on a call, and nail down your personal responses to them and practice, practice, practice.

If you’re given a script to go by at your current job, great — but by no means does this mean you’re married to it. Give it a try and see how it flows for you but don’t be afraid to rework it, tweak it, then test it out and track how well it worked for you compared to the script you created for yourself.

We were lucky enough to have Sam Nelson, SDR Leader over at Outreach, on Surf and Sales in season one. He’s known for being extremely effective in cold call tactics and recently wrote about cultivating ‘conviction’ as a cold calling tactic.

How does that happen? Get a deep understanding of the product, listen to discovery calls and get to know how the product from the eyes of different departments; that in turn will correlate to conviction and confidence which your prospects can sense immediately if you know your stuff, or will succumb to giving in to the slightest objection.

Practice with people, practice with yourselves but get comfortable being uncomfortable and remember, at the end of the day, if you really believe you can solve for their pain then it shouldn’t feel like a sales pitch at all.

What’s made you successful in cold calling? If you’re struggling, get back to those basics.

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