If you are in business in any capacity, you’ve made cold calls. If you’ve had to call anyone out of the phone book for any service whatsoever, you’ve made a cold call.

So why are cold calls so HARD for people to make? How come people DRED making cold calls and how come there are sales classes and books dedicated directly to Cold Calling?

I’ve been in a training class all week to learn the new company’s policies and procedures. Part of what we’re doing also is learning about sales. This part for me is the easy part but for many in the class, it’s the most intimidating. One of the women shared with me that she is extremely uncomfortable talking with people she doesn’t know.


Seriously, getting a script and following by that is a good thing to do, as LONG as you aren’t READING and don’t sound like a telemarketer. That is why people hang up on people, because they sound like a telemarketer.

Here is a cold call that insures that you’ll be hung up on:

Jim: “Who is the Director of Marketing”
Receptionist: “May I ask who is calling?”
Jim: “This is Jim”
Receptionist: “Jim who?”
Jim: Jim Smith
Receptionist: And what company are you with?
Jim: XYZ Company
Receptionist: “May I ask what this is in reference to?”
Jim: “It’s a confidential matter.” Or “it’s a time sensitive matter”

Possible hang up here or:
Receptionist: “Well he’s not in, you’ll have to leave a message”
Jim – hangs up

It’s not so hard people!! Don’t make it so hard. First of all, why are you hiding? If you truly have great information and a wonderful service, people are going to recognize that. If you DON’T have a valuable service and professional product, then get out of the business until you find one!

I also know that people discriminate if your voice sounds different from theirs. If you have an accent of ANY kind, then you better be one of the most FRIENDLY people on the planet, because people are going to discriminate against you. If you are a New Yorker calling the south, people are going to think you are an outsider. If you are a southerner calling New York, then you BETTER speak fast. If you are African American and have your cultural accent, then you BETTER speak CLEARLY and professionally. If you are of foreign decent, then speak SLOWLY and call with a SMILE on your face.

I do have a word for people with accents. If you are working on a phone job, then you would do best to work to minimize your accent. My husband is from Brooklyn and we worked for a LONG time to temper his thick accent. There were certain words that were distinctly New York, such as “Yesterday”. He pronounced that as “Yes-Ta-Day” Another one was “Dollar”. He pronounced it as “Dolla”

Additionally, if you have a foreign name, it’s going to be natural for people to avoid developing a relationship with you because they are going to forget your name. If you have a foreign name AND an accent, the average response to you is going to be much worse than if you have a typical American name.

I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, I’m just stating a fact. You are going to have to be 10x better than your average competitor. Because cold calling is about establishing relationships and it’s much easier to establish a relationship with someone more like yourself.

Here is a good typical cold call:

Jim:“Good morning! This is Jim! Who am I speaking with please?
Receptionist- “this is Sue, may I help you?”
Jim: Hi Sue! Yes, I’m looking for the Director of Marketing.. could you please tell me who that is?”
Receptionist ‘That is Randy Rawls” May I connect you?
Jim: “Great. Thanks Sue. Have a great day”
Receptionist- “You too!”

People want to help people.. IF they are nice people. If they sense that someone is a waste of time, then they are going to screen your calls and NEVER help you. If you aren’t nice or pleasant to the “gatekeeper” then you’ll have problems down the road.

There is a difference of opinion in this of course. There are some people who make phone calls who try to “trick” the gatekeepers or just try to get around them. I think the majority of them are smart and just doing their job when they get phone numbers instead of connecting the calls.

My best advice is that they can help more than they can do anything else, and that making them your advocate is the smartest thing you can do.

Cold calling is nothing more than meeting new individuals to see which companies are the best match for what you are selling. People are on the other end of the phone and so the same things apply when meeting friends. People want to be liked. People want to help. People want to be good to other people. People like hearing their name.

Cold calling can be fun if you let it. Just remember that when people solicit you at home, you may not always be the nicest; so do your best to understand others when you are on the other side. Be as warm and friendly as possible. Relay a sense of confidence, that you have a product or service that can really help.

Then, when you get the client on the phone, do it all over again.

Then make another call, and do it again. And again, and again and again.

For some of us, the cold calling never ends.