Cold calling – don’t shiver, deliver!

Learn how you can become a master salesman over the phone by learning the secrets of great telesales

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If the thought of cold calling leaves you numb with anxiety and fear (and it can do to even the best sales people) worry not. A few basic Sales Commando principles – methodologies if you like – will make you fighting fit for success.

Related: 5 Advanced selling skills

The biggest secret

First and foremost, the biggest secret of cold calling success, whether on the telephone or face to face, is organisation and preparation. It’s not enough to know your product or service backwards, you need to know your target the same way as well.

And that all starts with research. Let’s call it “attention to detail”. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that the effort you put in will be directly proportionate to the results you get out.

The morphing effect

When you’re collating your data (research), invest energy and time into segregating your contact list into definable demographics so that, for example, the construction industry, teachers, service sector, lollipop ladies – whatever – get their individual groups.

The reason for doing this is what I call “the morphing effect”. In principle, this means when you talk to specific groups of people you will naturally adopt selling techniques to suit that particular group.

You may not even realise you are doing it but believe me you will be.

Preparation – train, rehearse and drill

You’ve got your well-researched data. You’ve grouped your contacts. But it still isn’t time to start contacting. The final and arguably most important part of your preparation is to train, rehearse and drill yourself so that you are in perfect shape to make that call, knock on that door, meet and greet your potential new customer.

Be a master of your craft. Rehearse various ways of saying the same thing so you can appeal to different character types/market segments. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the industry or a twenty-year veteran, you’ll still need to prepare and train.

And the goal?

Make that sale

Fully researched, fully rehearsed, you’re now ready to make that contact. And it will go – regardless of who that contact is – in three definable steps.

1.Introduction and permission

2. Question and short story

3. Close

Step one is when you tell them why you’re calling and gain permission to tell them more. Step two is when you tell them about your product or service (short story) and identify the features that will most likely fulfil your customer’s needs. Step three – you’ve got this far so make that sale!


The art of great selling is about research, preparation, rehearsal and delivery. While the sales process is no alchemy machine, these few basic principles will give you the confidence to engage with your potential customers and in turn, persuade your potential customers to engage with you. And that’s what cold calling is all about.

Related: Essential selling skills