What is cold calling?

For many of us, when we think of cold calling our mind goes to spam calls. We have all gotten a call from someone trying to sell us something or a robot call that has nothing to do with us. Although these calls are annoying, Cold Calling is a very important and useful tool for businesses.

So, what is Cold Calling? Cold calling is a practice in which a salesperson calls a list of potential clients, ideally a good list, and connects with them to build a relationship with decision-makers to sell them their product or service. It is making the initial contact with ideal customers to get them to know your product/service and either sell to them on the spot, set an appointment, or create a connection between your business and their future need, so they reach out when they are ready.

Cold Calling is a difficult, time-consuming, and often expensive practice, but a very successful one when done correctly. Cold Calling is one of the greatest tools a salesperson can possess. A good Cold Caller knows how to connect with the person on the other side of the phone, get past the gatekeeper (such as the assistant), and get through to a decision-maker. Cold Calling is about connecting, finding a need, and filling the need with a product/service. The cold caller is the first impression of a business, so it is important that they are professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and experts in their field.

How does Cold Calling Work?

Cold calling is all about persistence and perseverance. Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact, but 48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect. This is not a one-and-done situation, but a process that requires a lot of time, hard work, and commitment. Calling is the first step in a business connecting with potential clients. Most salespeople are skilled at closing warm leads, but how do they even get them? Cold calling. This practice gets you through the door so the salespeople can close the sale and grow the business. Cold calling equals opportunity.

The three main steps to this sales technique:

  1. The first step of cold calling is to have a good list of numbers/potential clients you can – and start to call. Without a good, fleshed-out list of potential clients, a cold caller will waste their time. A good list has potential clients that fit the characteristics the business is looking for, such as certain locations or certain needs. If the list is good, the cold caller can spend the time doing step number two instead of wasting their time being hung up on or reaching contacts that don’t fit the needs.
  2. The second step is qualifying. A cold caller, once they reach a gatekeeper or decision-maker, must qualify them as a potential client that fits the needs the business can fill. For example, as a roofing company, you would qualify a prospect as a potential client if their roof was a size you work on. These questions will distinguish those prospects that could become potential clients, from those who don’t fit your client’s needs.
  3. The third and last step is to set an appointment. The goal is to sell. You are soliciting the business from a potential client that has had no prior contact with the caller; it is an attempt to convince them to buy your product/service. This process connects you with prospective clients so you can get in front of them and sell your product/service. A cold caller will set an appointment for their company’s salesperson to connect with the prospect to pitch to them. The cold caller’s job is to pass on to the salesperson a warm, qualified lead that fits the requirements and is interested in the company’s business. The cold caller’s job is done once the meeting is set, passing the lead on to the salesperson.

What is cold calling? It is the first step in the sales process. It is the practice of connecting with potential clients, qualifying them, and setting an appointment for your sales team to go and close the sale. It is a key component of a successful business strategy, one that cannot be overlooked.