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Sales Training Ideas - Some Ideas For Successful Cold Calling

John Chapin

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Cold calling can either be a very productive task that causes your business to thrive or it can be a huge waste of time and lead to the failure of your business. So how do you make sure you fall into the former category and not the latter? Here are three ideas.

1) Talk to the right person.

Are you familiar with the 60/30/10 rule? It says that 60% of your cold calling success will come down to talking to the right people, 30% of your cold calling success will come down to saying the right thing, and 10% of cold calling success will come down to all other reasons outside of the first two. Many salespeople are not talking to the right people. This happens for a number of reasons, the most prevalent are:

  • The prospect cannot afford, does not want or need your product, or is otherwise not qualified to buy.
  • The salesperson doesn't call high enough in the organization.
  • The salesperson settles for whoever will talk to them.
  • The salesperson thinks they know who they should be talking to, but that person is not motivated by the value proposition.
  • Habit, in other words, calling on the same person for years so even though they continue to shoot us down, we keep banging our head against the same wall over and over again.

Okay, that's a lot, but the bottom line is:

  • Call on people who care about the benefits you have to offer.
  • Make sure there is a want or need for your product, make sure they can afford it, and are otherwise qualified to buy your product.
  • Make sure they are open to giving you a solid shot at the business.

Typically the higher you call, the more those people care about the company and thus are open to your benefits. Second, if someone is best buddies with your competition, don't call on that person, call on someone else. Finally, make sure you are asking the right prospects direct questions and qualifying for money and interest.   

2) Touch prospects more than once.

Touching a prospect only once, whether it be via phone voice mail message, fax, e-mail, or letter, is no good. In order to be most effective with a list of prospects you should be touching them 3 to 7 times in a 2 to 3 week period.   At a minimum, start with a phone call or fax, follow up with the other, and then send a letter out. Do these 3 in a 2 week period. Also, make sure you begin each with your number one benefit.   

3) Leave messages.

Personally, the record on my home phone is from a company that called me every day for 6 months without leaving a message. To this day I have no idea what they do. I can only imagine the time and cost involved in calling the same numbers that don't answer for 6 months.   First off, don't do that. Second, leave a message with your primary benefit. It can be as simple as, “Hi, we've been saving companies in your area 40% on (whatever you do). We currently work for (names of 3 known companies either in the area or otherwise well known. ) If you would like to save money like they are, please give me a call. This is (your name) with (your company) and my direct number is (your number).  

By the way, the point isn't to have them call you back, most won't. It's to get them to a point where they are more open to responding to your follow-up fax, letter, or subsequent phone call.

Bonus tip - Set aside some time everyday for cold calling. You want to get into the habit of cold calling and you want momentum on your side. The more you cold call, the easier it will get and the more business you'll turn up. And now I would like to offer you free access to a monthly newsletter and weekly sales articles, along with an answer to your most difficult sales issue. You can get your access at


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