Don’t Give Up on Cold Calls

Publisher Channel Content by

The Cold Calling Tips for Small Businesses

Nearly everyone I know balks at cold calling, at least initially.  We know we’re going to face a higher rate of rejection than if we were pitching to folks predisposed to want our product, and no one enjoys feeling like a failure.  But here’s the thing:  If you need new customers, then you need to train yourself to cold call effectively.

And here’s a secret little bonus:  cold calling may end up being more effective that you thought it might because so few people do it.  If you can make yourself stand out from the crowd, you’ve already got an advantage.  So get your call list, find yourself a quiet space, and pick up the telephone.  You’re about to round up new clients with these winning techniques.

Cold Calling Tips

1. Do Your Homework

One thing I’ve found useful is to determine how many of my customers currently get cold calls.  As it turns out, not many of my competitors make them, so I know there are opportunities out there.  Whether you take a look at geographical areas you’re currently underserving or simply look for a larger share of the area you’re in, start making your list of folks who need your services.

2. Be Ready to Leave a Voicemail

Odds are slim that anyone you call will actually answer, so have your introduction ready to go.  You want to sound warm, authentic, and enthusiastic.  Your goal in your first call isn’t to cash a check.  It’s to start a relationship.

3. Don’t Ask for a Call Back

If your prospect feels like you’re trying to push them, they’re unlikely to actually call you back.  It’s far more effective to leave your name and number and let your prospective clients know when you plan to call them back.  Persistence is key to cold calls, so you’re not finished once you’ve reached out the first time!

4. Leave Your Personal Number

Not only is it actually more productive to move to a single stream for your phone calls, but it also sends the important message that your prospect’s business matters to you personally.

5. Call After Hours

Especially if you have a long list of prospects, you may be able to speed up the voicemail-leaving process if the extensions or mobile numbers you’re calling go automatically to voicemail after business hours.

6. Follow Up via Social Media

One of my favorite strategies is to leave a voicemail and then head to Facebook or Twitter and send a quick message letting my prospects know I’ve reached out by phone.  I get increasing numbers of folks who respond via social media, as it feels less sales-y, and it’s handled at their convenience.

7. Don’t Give Up

Now don’t go into restraining order territory.  There is certainly a point at which it’s clear your prospect isn’t interested.  One thing I love to do is – after a few unreturned calls – to ask my prospect to call me back if they’re not interested.  Sometimes all I need is fifteen seconds of their time to get them to understand just how much I can help them.

Most importantly, don’t fear the cold call.  It may feel awkward at first, but it’s definitely a skill that improves with practice.

Phone in Ice Photo via Shutterstock


Mike Michalowicz Mike Michalowicz is a globally recognized entrepreneurial advocate and is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Mike can be seen as a segment host on MSNBC where he leads business makeovers, and frequently on news channels as a small business expert. He is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur and American Express Open Forum.

3 Reactions
  1. Many people avoid cold calling not because it is hard but just because it doesn’t feel good to get rejected. Most will give up when they are rejected from the onset.

  2. Mike: I am not in favor of cold calling. It could be my experience as a former purchaser and a certified networker, working according to the principles of referral marketing. But I must say, that your post has intrigued me a bit, so I will look into some of your tips! 😉

    • Reading those words make me want to puke. Pick up the phone and call a client! Use fear as a motivator dude.
      And while you’re at it, you need to read one of Grant Cardone’s books so you can build self confidence in cold calling.

Register Today!
No, Thank You