39 Proven Cold Calling Tips That Will Change Your Prospecting

8 min readFebruary 20, 2020

Love it or hate it, cold calling is a part of sales. Nearly everyone has cold calling tips that they believe will make you a more effective cold caller. Here are our cold calling techniques that are not only proven to be successful, but may actually help you enjoy cold calling a bit more.

1. Always offer value

Let’s face it, when you cold call someone, you are interrupting their day. Your call was not asked for and it may happen at an unsuitable time. To mitigate your interruption you should always have something of value that you can offer your contact. That may be a useful piece of content, some sort of advice, or a true solution to their needs. It also will make your message more impactful.

2. Avoid distractions

One of the most important cold calling tips is to remain focused. Once you start dialing, don’t stop until you have completed your goals for the day. If you become distracted, you will not only spend more time making cold calls, but you will lose focus on your task, and may not be as effective.

3. Be comfortable with rejection

Most cold calls result in rejection, you cannot succumb to it. You must find a cold calling technique that allows you to be unfazed by rejection so you can continue making calls without it impacting your effectiveness or confidence.

4. Keep moving

Don’t stop! For many, cold calling is not an enjoyable activity. But like anything, it is much harder to stop and then get started again. Once you begin your cold calls, do not stop. Keep dialing until you are done and you will find that it is much less painful.

5. Set mini-goals for yourself

Make your cold calls fun! Set mini-goals and rewards for yourself if you make a certain number of connections, get so many answers, or book appointments. You can even get your teammates in on it and compete with one another.

6. Eliminate tedious tasks

Sales teams can save a massive amount of time through the elimination of tedious, time-consuming tasks related to cold calling. These tasks not only waste time, but make cold calling a poor experience.

7. Don’t be robotic

If you want to succeed at calling, you must be natural, warm, and conversational on the phone. Scripts can be especially helpful, but you should not read them word for word. You’ll sound robotic and unattractive. Instead, create guidelines or outlines for conversations and be more human.

8. Make your calls in the morning

ringDNA data shows that sales calls answer rates are the highest between 10 and 11:30 AM in your respective time zone. Block off time on your calendar and commit to making cold calls during this time to maximize your connection rates.

9. Leave effective voicemails

The majority of cold calls will go to voicemail. One of the best cold call techniques is to leave voicemails after every non-answer. This ensures your dialing efforts will not go to waste, as hopefully, your prospects will call you back.

10. Be enthusiastic

The ultimate secret to an effective sales pitch is enthusiasm. It guarantees you can make a positive first impression which opens the door with your prospect.

11. Learn the common rejections

Learn the most common sales objections that your sales team encounters and know how to address them. Chances are if you are making cold calls, you will hear them more than once per day.

12. Have more information ready

Since cold calls are an interruption, prospects will likely attempt to get off the phone as soon as possible. Prepare “leave behind” materials that you can send along when your contact requests it.

13. Capture attention

To be an effective cold caller, you must be able to capture attention immediately. Come up with an impactful opening statement that makes your contacts want to hear what you have to say.

14. Don’t pitch immediately

Prospects don’t want to be pitched, if they answer your cold call, make sure you provide them value by telling them exactly why you called and providing them with something of value. Then, ask one or two questions and tailor your product description to fit their needs.

15. Make it about them

The best way to have successful cold calls is to make it about your prospect. Of course, you have goals to accomplish, but when you make a call, it should be all about your contact. Work for a way to solve their problems, help them do better, or otherwise provide value. If you can provide your contact with true value, then you will be more successful.

16. Ask great questions

Great sales questions help you stand out, and get you incredibly useful information for further down the sales process. The right question can reveal a lot about your potential buyer and their situation and can help you win.

17. Have context, but balance

The more you can personalize your call to the recipient, the more effective and impactful it will be. However, especially when cold calling, you cannot spend a large amount of time researching the company, contacts, and curating a call. Cold calling is still largely about volume, so gain enough context to be effective, but don’t spend too much time gathering. Sales tools that automatically surface contextual information can be especially helpful with this.

18. Practice

Practice makes perfect. If you want to be great at cold calls, you need to practice, practice, practice. Use different sales role-play exercises, rehearse scripts, and work on your enthusiasm either with a teammate or on your own.

19. Make calls off of trigger events

Just because you’re making cold calls doesn’t mean your leads have to be completely unfamiliar with your company. Utilize your content management system and CRM to search for known site visitors who have visited pages or downloaded content, but not enough to warrant an inbound lead call. They will already be familiar with you and may yield a more successful result.

20. Listen

On a cold call, you may just want to say or do anything that will result in an appointment booked. However, sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen. With the right questions or prompts, you may hear the key piece of information you need to book a demo.

21. Be understanding

Be understanding and considerate of your prospect’s time. If you are respectful and avoid being pushy, you may earn enough Klout for a few minutes of attention or a callback later.

22. Don’t be overwhelming

It’s a normal reaction to want to immediately launch into your pitch as soon as the phone is answered. To many its even a surprise when the phone is answered. As much as you may want to blurt out all of your info, slow it down. You don’t want to overwhelm your contact with info and questions.

23. Plan your questions in advance

Part of a well-thought-out call outline includes pre-planned questions that get you the information you need and lend themselves to a thoughtful conversation. Once you have someone on the phone, you want to make the most of it, so ensure you capture all the information that you need.

24. Call in blocks – group similar companies together

If you have the ability to organize your call lists before you being your call blocks, group similar companies together. Put companies of the same size, with similar products, in the same industry, or in the same location together. This will lend itself to more natural flow for yourself.

25. Don’t attempt to sell

Cold calls are not for selling. Some of the best cold calls barely touch on the actual functions of the product at all. Do not try to close your contact on the first call, all you need is a little bit of interest.

26. Find their problems

Again, make your cold call all about them. Try to uncover the problems or needs that they have. You can use this to successfully pitch your product, earn the demo, and close the deal.

27. Be warm and friendly

Treat your contacts as if they were an old friend. This familiarity will break down defenses and make them less wary of you. When they are less defensive, you have a better opportunity of making a successful call.

28. Tell them why you called

Be upfront, recognize that it is a cold call, and tell them why you are making it. State the benefit that you believe they could obtain and get straight to the point.

29. Stick to basic qualification information

Don’t be nosy. Stick to a few basic qualification questions and move on. Unless your contact is open to sharing, you don’t need to force information out of them right away.

30. Follow up

Regardless of the outcome of your cold calls, always follow up. Leave a voicemail, send an email, and/or a text message. Thank them for their time, or just let them know that you called.

31. Record your calls

Recording your calls allows you to listen back to hear what you do well, and what needs to be improved. You can also send calls to your managers or peers for their feedback. Call recording tools, and those that use conversational analysis are especially useful for this.

32. Learn from mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay. If something doesn’t go quite right on a cold call, learn from it.

33. Ask for help

It’s okay to ask for help! If you feel like you need to improve on somethings specific, ask you managers, coach, peers, or mentors for feedback.

34. Reward yourself

Sales teams often run contests and giveaways for reps that meet certain goals. That doesn’t mean that you can’t reward yourself when you accomplish something. Set cold call goals on your own and treat yourself to a reward when you achieve them.

35. Try different strategies and tactics

Cold calling is not one size fits all. Try different strategies and tactics to see what works best for you. Implement those that lead to success and toss what doesn’t

36. Call back and keep trying

It can take multiple outreach attempts and channels to reach a prospect, so never give up on the first try. Use cadencing tools to schedule multiple outreach attempts and vary the channel that you use.

37. Use a dialer, but keep it quality

A dialer will have an incredible impact on the efficiency of your cold calling, but don’t lose the human touch. Auto-dialers create a poor sales experience and can actually result in lost sales. However, dialers that work out of Salesforce or offer click-to-call strike a positive balance.

38. Capture as much data as possible

Data is the key to improving performance, but you must first capture it. Sales dialers automatically capture and store call information so reps have to do less logging and spend more time selling. Managers get more complete and accurate data to analyze and improve.

39. Learn to get past the gatekeeper

Especially when calling into executive levels, sales reps will encounter gatekeepers. Learn to get past them to be effective.

Recommended eBook: Socratic Sales

About the Author

Zack Cronin

Zack is a Sales Content Specialist at RingDNA. He is passionate about solving everyday problems and increasing performance through innovative technology. Zack has worked directly with sales teams and understands the challenges they face on a daily basis. When he's not developing and sharing knowledge at RingDNA, he loves being outdoors, hiking, and coffee.