A tale of two cold calls


Although I’ve been making cold calls myself for a touch over 20 years, I still consider myself to be a student, someone that’s constantly looking for more effective ways to make the “perfect cold call” and, as a result of that, I always welcome cold callers – to a degree.

When I say to a degree that means that, whilst I’m not likely to purchase from many – if any – of those that call me up, I treat the call as a learning experience, both to help develop my own techniques (and those of my team) and to take note of any bad practices.

Today I’ve received two very different cold calls and would like to share my experiences with you.

Call number 1

At around 11am today, my phone rang, I picked up the receiver.   The caller briefly introduced himself, included a benefit regarding what his company does, asked if it was me that dealt with this area of the business then, as soon as that was confirmed came out with a solid gold introductory strategy –

“Can I ask you a question?” – now, as an avid reader of Thomas A Freese’s “secrets of question based selling”, I’ve seen this technique before and it’s a technique that works!

Of course, in the vast majority of cases, anyone you’re calling is going to accept the offer of being asked a question – if only out of being polite.

So, he asked me the question – Do you use Linkedin to develop sales leads

My answer – fortunately for him was Yes.    Suddenly he’s got confirmation that I might potentially have a need, I’ve put myself in a position where I want to find out more

Then – in another wonderfully strategic move, he briefly covered how his companies solution could help to improve our efficiency in that area, said he’d like to set up a demo which shouldn’t take any longer than 10 minutes and when would I be free next week

Before I even knew what was happening, I’d bought into his offering and agreed to a 10 minute demo next week.   BOOM!

We ended the call, me intrigued about the demo we’re about to have next week, him pleased that he’d secured another demo.    Job most definitely done!

I even sent him an email to congratulate him on how well delivered his call was  – needless to say he was amazed that someone had praised him on the quality of his call.   Thanking a cold caller is tantamount to thanking a traffic warden for sticking a ticket on your car!

Call number 2

Approximately 10 minutes after I’d had call number 1 – my phone rang.

“good morning, can I speak to Dan”

– speaking

“I was after Dan”

– this is Dan

“morning Dan this is xxx from xxx home improvements – how are you today?”

– good thank you and yourself?

“the reason I’m calling you today is that we spoke to you last year regarding a quote for your windows and we have some brilliant special offers at the moment on which I’d just like to tell you about……”

He then proceeded to waffle on about their special offers, taking absolutely no time to qualify whether I was even vaguely likely to be interested in what he was offering.

As it turned out, I had no need for what he was offering anyway and, to be honest, even if I had done, there’s no way on earth I’d have used his company purely due to the way I was approached.     For a short call there were a huge amount of incidents of bad practice in there.

Terrible introduction, launching straight into asking me how I was, ignoring my reply to his question, not checking if I was ok to talk, launching straight into his pitch with no qualification – the list goes on.

So, 2 calls – 2 different approaches – 2 entirely different results.

If it’s not been made obvious – if you’re looking to make a cold call  – aim to be number 1, not number 2!


And if you’d like to talk about how we can help identify more sales opportunities through outbound sales & marketing, get in touch on 0330 20 50 500 or fill in the contact form on our website and we’ll call you straight back

Dan Smith
Inspired Business Development Ltd


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