Cold-calling explained

Updated: Mar 17

The human voice with the telephone is the most cost-effective way to promote, if used correctly.

  • Cold-calling is not about selling or calling people at home.

  • Cold-calling is not about being pushy or trying to control a conversation.

  • Cold-calling is about creating awareness or getting feedback

  • Cold-calling is targeted

  • It's simply one business saying hello to another business (B2B).

  • "Hi, what's the best way to introduce my business to yours?"

It can be done 2 ways

  1. In-Person (the best way) delivering printed material.

  2. Phone.

B2C businesses can also do it (Businesses that sell 2 Consumers)

  • B2C example - Cake shop calls nearby offices and talks to 'social club organiser'

  • B2C example - Surf Shop calls HR departments. Selling surf lessons as Team Building

Which businesses to call?

  • Call all businesses close to you (you don't know who they know).

  • Call businesses further away if you specialise

  • Call your targets - you know these.

  • Call to create alliances - Real Estate Agents calling Home Loan businesses.

When to call?

  • Not Monday (they're too busy).

  • 10am or 2/3pm whichever suits your lifestyle and customers better.

How to get started

  • 5 calls with 5 emails in 15 minutes on Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday.

Scripts are important (be warm, not a robot) especially for voicemails.

Never call just once - that's for dodgy telemarketers.

Follow-up because trust is built over time. Maximum 6 times over a few months.​

Why should you cold call?

Because if they haven't heard of you they cannot buy from you.

7 cold-calling myths busted

  1. I don't have the mindset - When you were 5 you'd talk to anyone. You don't need to learn a 'mindset', it's in you. Just remove the years of 'learned fear'.

  2. I will get rejected - No, they are just 'protecting' themselves.

  3. It's too much talking - Most calls won't be answered. And when they do, it will mostly be very short exchanges

  4. It annoys people - Not if you are relaxed, helpful and it's easy for them to 'opt out'.

  5. They're not interested - So what, I'm not interested in groceries, but I buy them.

  6. Most won't buy - So what, do you buy pizza every time you see an ad for it?

  7. B2C businesses can't call B2B - Yes they can, here's 3 examples.

  • 1) A Cafe calls local businesses to provide catering.

  • 2) Fashion store invites local businesses to Fashion Shows.

  • 3) Surf Shop calls HR departments to sell Surf Lessons as Team Building Days.

6 reasons to cold-call

  1. If they’re not aware of you, they cannot buy from you. Simple truths are sometimes the most beautiful. If someone has not heard of you there is a 0% chance they can buy from you, not 3 or 2 or 1% ... 0%! If you tell someone about your business there is a chance they can buy. And the more you help / remind them, the more of a chance they buy. Cold-calling then emailing, is even better.

  2. It proves you want their business. The truth is, there are a lot of businesses that don't REALLY care if you buy from them or not.

  3. It attracts new customers. And you constantly need new customers to replace customers that leave, because of… a) new procurement practices that your customers adopt b) digital disruption c) offshoring d) new government regulations

  4. You’ll Stand Out, because your competitors won’t do it.

  5. Once you’ve conquered cold-calling, all phone conversations are easier.

  6. If you don’t cold-call and the customer calls you, it’s because they’re in research phase (meaning, you’re 1 of many on their list). If you cold-call now, they don't need a list.

How to Cold-call

Commit to calling multiple times before you start.

Cold-calling is not a linear process; there's many twists and turns.

You are always seeking a reason to call again.

  • Have a Pen and Pad. Write and record everything.

  • Target, so you know there's a fair chance they'll be interested.

  • Start Strong. Speaking slowly, clearly and courteously at all times.

  • Never sell, just help.

  • Only engage if they want to engage.

  • Email helpful information they can review in their own time.

  • Never annoy or fluster.

  • If communication becomes difficult, (for any reason) move to politely terminate to call another day.

  • Reinforce. Example - “Thanks Danielle, you’ll receive an email from in a few minutes, have a good day.”

  • Stay top-of-mind with follow-up (because it takes 6-12 'touches' for them to buy) Your focus now is to HELP them. Follow-up by sending information, entertainment or inspiration. Aim for short, relevant, interesting and rare.

  • Finally, you're not negotiating an International Peace Deal between 2 countries, this is Sales and Marketing. Release yourself from the burden of expectations, be curious and enjoy it. Trust takes time.

  • For more, see Step 4. at

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