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How to cold call effectively in 2021 - 8 Tips for Sales Reps

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Scared to make a cold call?


Don’t be. With some good tactics, useful sales tools and a bit of homework cold calling won’t feel like throwing mud against the wall and hoping some will stick. 


Learning useful cold calling tips and embracing some winning character traits can help your chances of success.  And if you want to know what we mean by success; we mean securing the next step in the sales process with a meeting. 

If you’re reading this, we presume you already know what a cold call is but if you need a quick Guide to cold calling then here you go.


Cold calling is a technique in which a salesperson contacts people who have not previously expressed interest in the offered products or services. This is often done by phone, email, or door-to-door.


We tend to do cold calling when prospecting for new business. The goal of a cold call is normally to set up a meeting: It’s not about discovery but about selling the meeting. 

Cold calls that lead to meetings often share similar traits of...


  • Has been well researched before picking up the phone (including talking to the right person at the right time)


  • Has a strong introduction including you and your prospects name and company


  • States the reason for the call


  • Has a good opening line and asks an engaging question


  • Is tailored to the individual and company


  • Has a call length time that is longer rather than shorter


  • Involves a two-way conversation where the rep is listening more than talking


  • Includes a good pitch to sell a meeting


  • Has a good closing question to secure the meeting 


  • Is the start of a great long-term business relationship

Watch in this video how to coach character traits that win at sales


The 8 important characteristics to win at cold-calling in 2021


  1. Resilience - No one closes 100% of their cold calls to win a meeting. Don’t take rejection personally. Sometimes you can laugh about your failed attempts” and share them with your colleagues on slack. The main thing is to keep trying. Don’t give up!


  1. Curiosity and desire to learn - Try and learn why you didn’t win by getting feedback from the prospect. Also, get feedback from your sales manager or team from listening to your calls conversations to gain insight and learn from them. 


Share a playlist of “failed” cold calls with your team to help you grow. Want to know how? Read more here.


  1. Determination- Learning from your own mistakes, listening to others and taking information on board will help you succeed on the next call. Set your own realistic targets and managing your expectations. If you’re determined to succeed you are prepared to take risks, make mistakes and work hard to get better each time. Having conversational analytic tools will help you identify quicker how you can improve and reach the goals you are striving for.

  1. Passionate about tech - Have the latest automation tools for sales reps is a time saver and game changer for sales teams. In 2021 Sales Reps shouldn’t spend time working on tedious, inefficient business activities. All sales should be synced with a CRM so the whole team has the latest updates. 


  1. Well prepared - don’t waste time calling prospects you are less likely to win. Spend time researching the correct industry, company size, location, job title/ decision-makers before you make a call for higher chances of success. Be prepared with answers to any objections that might come up. 


  1. Creative - Despite having post-it notes scattered around your desk with reminders of key points to say, make sure you’re personal with your call. You don’t want to sound like a robot. If you can strike a more human connection with your prospect you won’t be just another sales call. 


  • Do you share anything in common? Is there something in their zoom background you could remark about? 
  • Be creative with what you say and how you show up on the call. You can do this with different zoom backgrounds, what you wear and what you ask.
  • Show you are listening to them and you are worth listening to. You can roleplay in front of a mirror (rehearsing things like voice tone and speed) or with your sales team to try different styles to engage with a prospect. Practice really helps with your confidence too. Actors do it, so you should too!


  1. Adaptability - communicating with customers from different countries, cultures, time zones and languages takes a flexible approach to how and when you make your cold call. 


Picking the right time of day in the working week can be different for each person. Do the workers have a siesta? Is it a National Holiday? Is it their busiest part of the year? Does the call need to be fun? Interactive? Educational? Whatever style you choose, keep it positive.


Find out when high-quality prospects are more likely to take your call.


We should always adjust to people if we want them to work with us. Asking relevant questions that give you feedback early in your conversations can make a big difference in how a deal progresses. 


A good networker and relationship-driven person will take the time to build a trusting relationship that lasts the distance. Relationships are what drives sales, and they are personally driven by having good two-way conversations.


If you are having a great day, a person you’ve just cold-called might want to swing ahead and trial your product/service before seeing a demo or meeting with the sales team. 



Be ready for a variety of scenarios in order to move a deal forward.


  1. Persistence - you need to be prepared to leave a voice message if they don’t pick up your call. Therefore deciding on what to say and practicing it before you make your first voicemail is really important. Keep the message short, positive and with a degree of urgency. Remember to always state your name and company, plus the prospect’s name too.


When you need to try again with a 2nd / 3rd / 4th attempt voicemail then try a different message or method of communication to see what grabs their attention. Always follow up on your prospect calls. There was a good reason why you selected them for a call so don’t waste the opportunity.


Analyze if any of your voicemails work better than others and then repeat if they do. It’s all part of testing and learning to see what works best.


Know when you should stop pursuing a call. You don’t want to waste your time on deals that won’t convert so realizing when to abandon the plan and divert your focus to another opportunity will help you move forward. 

You only get one shot to make a great first impression. Make it count today by using Conversational Intelligence with Jiminny.

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