Cold call selling overview: when, when not, how, why

Cold call sales overview

Cold call sales involve dropping in on prospects without an appointment, either with the objective of going for a sale, or of collecting research for a later call-back. (Or, phoning people more or less at random is another form of sales cold-calling.)

 The fact is, cold-calls are usually not a good use of your time when selling. You can waste a lot of productive time waiting in reception areas for an opening to see the Decision Maker.

Besides, your willingness to wait and wait for an opening might be interpreted by the DM (Decision Maker, with budget, authority, etc. to make the decision to buy)as an indication that you don't have anything better to do with your time.


 But there are certain situations in which cold-calling IS appropriate.

 1. Cold-calling IS appropriate for follow-up calls on existing customers, when you drop by to make sure all is going well with your product.

 2. Cold-calling may be a productive use of time if you find yourself with time to spare between other appointments. For example, if you’re already in an area and have some free time before your next appointment, then a good use of that time is to make some cold call sales stops in order to prospect for new leads.

 Cold-calling is ideal for seeing what other opportunities may exist in that part of your sales turf. Think about it: is there a building that might, just might, have prospects . . . but you’ve never found out much about that place? Then that building is worth a cold-call when you’re between appointments in the area.

Cold calling as a research tool: info to be looking for


In some cases, you may just get lucky and stumble upon a qualified Decision Maker who is interested in meeting right then. If so, seize the opportunity.

Cold calling: when you CAN use it to make the sale

 What if the prospect is interested but doesn't have the time just then? Strike while interest is high: say you understand about time, then immediately ask to set up an appointment for another day. You can always build that later day's schedule around this call.

Cold call sales: model script to adapt

3. Cold-calling can be useful as a tool for conducting some kinds of preliminary research and scouting for prospects. In order to quickly survey potential for your product or service among the tenants of an office building or industrial park, the best way may be to quickly "sweep" from office to office, gathering information.

 Again, here are the links to the specific how-to pages:

Prospecting for leads and other info via cold calling


When and if you use cold calling as a sales method


Checklist: Cold calling

The content in this post has been adapted from my books, How to Sell Face to Face: Survival Guide, and  Selling 101.    They are available in various e-book and paper editions; see below:

Survival Guide: Order paperback edition via Amazon

Survival Guide: Order e-book as Amazon Kindle (Amazon offers free apps that enable you to read it on your PC, Apple I-pad, I-pod, Blackberry, and others)

Survival Guide:  Order e-book via Kobo, usable on various kinds of e-readers

Selling 101 (third edition):  Order e-book as Amazon Kindle   (Amazon offers free apps that enable you to read it on your PC, Apple I-pad, I-pod, Blackberry, and others)

Order as e-book via Smashwords, available in various formats including PDF, E-pub