There is only one goal for a great cold call

barista editorial board

March 15, 2022 / 4 Min Read

Cold calls are for the brave ones. Peeking up on someone in the middle of the day, trying to sell them. Right? Actually, think again. A cold call is not about selling, it is about starting the engagement. The goal of a cold call is not to seal the deal, but to create an opportunity. Therefore, when you’re picking up the phone, you should have only one goal in mind – get another call.


Why do we cold call

So, if chances are low, embarrassment reaches the sky and the reward is just another call, so why do we cold call? There are several reasons that make cold call attractive:

  1. Cold call hot lead – When a cold call becomes an opportunity, you know much more about the client. You actually made a human connection. You heard her voice and know that she was intrigued by something you’d said. The buying signals are higher than just a click of a button.
  2. Immediate learnings – Cold calls are measurable and provide tons of data on top of the funnel. What makes clients stay on the call? What questions do they ask? What messaging annoys them? And so on and so forth. It’s like a pre-discovery call, that serves not only sales but also marketing. Those learnings fuel marketing with gold for the inbound cycle and feed sales with immediate learnings on how to manage conversations with prospects.
  3. Consistency – The nature of cold calls is to be right to the point. Effective, short, sharp. That is why scripts are very common for cold calls. 


Pre-call qualification

There is no reason to cold call a client if you couldn’t qualify before the call. There are so many challenges of getting a meeting out of a cold call, so try not to waste your time, effort and mental energy on prospects that cannot turn into opportunities. In addition, there is no chance that your prospect will want to answer tons of questions when she was interrupted in the middle of the day. So don’t bother trying. 

Instead, dedicate extra time to qualify your prospects and build a cold call target list of the most qualified ones. Define your ICP, sit with marketing to understand what are the criteria your SQLs consist of and build a target list that matches that. Having a good target list will save you time and increase your chances of getting those second meetings.


The 3 steps for every cold call

So, after we established that the goal for a cold call is not to sell, rather get that second meeting, let’s outline how every call should be structured:

Introduce yourself – In order to get a second call, you should build trust. And without letting the person on the other side who you are and why you’re calling, it is impossible to build one. It sounds simple, and it is. The tricky part is how to do it quickly and concisely. The key here is not to feel any sort of blame. You’re calling this person because you have a way to solve her real problem. You’re actually doing her a favor and you should embrace this attitude before you’re picking the phone. A good script for this part could be something as follows:

“Hey Ms. customer. My name is […] from [company name]”.

Then pause for 3-5 seconds

The pause is meant to let the other side absorb this information before you go on. Let that sink in. The shock of the pause and the feeling of the silence will increase the chances that the conversation will continue.

Than, move on to the “why”

“We’re helping people like you to [one line of your solution]”. 

That’s it. If you made it up to here, the hard part is behind you. She knows who you are, she knows why you’re calling and she knows why it matters to her.

Intrigue – People are intrigued by things that relate to them directly. So this part of the call is all about personalization. Which means that good preparation is needed. It can be something about the client’s industry, it could be throwing up names of competitors that work with you. It could even be about a post she shared that is relevant to your solution. The important thing is that you’ll have something personal enough to take your prospect from “I’m willing to listen” to “I’m curious to see”. 

An example for a script for this part could be:

“I’ve seen your website and by doing [1,2,3] you can increase your conversion rate in X%, as we did with [client X] from your industry”.

It may seem aggressive, but it is personalized. The effort of looking at the client website in advance and providing real value in the first interaction cannot be overlooked. Personalized value is always a preferred strategy, and preparation is key here.

Commit to the next step – You’re already done. But to make your effort worth it, don’t end the call without scheduling the next step. Your prospect stayed with you this far, she’ll make that other effort of scheduling on spot. Think of it that way, her intent now is probably much stronger than it’ll be in a few hours when she’ll see the invite after more meetings and dozens of mails. 


Take a big breath and pick up the phone

So, if you’re up for the challenge and in the mood to take it, go for it. Just remember to qualify in advance, and aim for the only realistic goal, which is to intrigue the prospect enough to get another opportunity.