cold calling

Cold Calling: The Ultimate Guide To Use In 2024

lemlist team
LAST UPDATED
May 13, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

One of the most important skills to develop in business is cold calling. Many sales reps are reaching out to new leads to sell their product or service every day.

While cold calling has a bad reputation, it’s one of the most effective sales tactics, as 69% of buyers accept cold calls from new providers.

Cold calling can boost your business, generate leads, and close sales. Use this ultimate cold calling guide to ensure that your cold call is effective, reaches your targets, and lands deals.

What Is Cold Calling?

The simplest cold calling definition is: Calling new prospects to schedule discovery calls or promote your product/service.

In a crowded inbox landscape, emails can easily be missed. That's why, despite misconceptions, cold calling remains one of the best ways to nurture relationships before making a sales pitch.

How To Cold Call: Preparation Phase

1. Find Prospect Phone Numbers

Compiling contact lists is time-consuming & often comes with a cost.

Here are a few ways to get it done:

Use Online Prospect Databases

Online databases can uncover many fitting prospects if you don’t already have specific people in mind.

Tap into databases (like UpLead & ZoomInfo) for easy prospecting and use their advanced filtering mechanisms to find the relevant leads.

It’s the quickest way to siphon the most numbers at a time.

Try Kaspr Chrome Extension

When you pin Kaspr, it overlays an array of options for finding contact details on the right corner of your screen.

You can hook it into your LinkedIn account to uncover the phone numbers of your connections.

In this screenshot, the phone number couldn’t be displayed because;
1) The profile used to search for Guillaume isn’t a connection or
2) Guillaume’s own privacy settings.

This is a nifty tool if you already have a list of fitting prospects in the form of LinkedIn connections.

Of course, you can try this without Kaspr.

Click on the ‘contact info’ option on your lead’s LinkedIn profile.
If you’re connected, you might see their phone number if they set it to public.

Search White Pages

White pages are a goldmine for info and phone numbers.

Each country has its own dedicated white pages site.

Let's say you're chasing leads in the USA—pop their name and city into this site, and bam, you've got the digits.

Unfortunately, this method isn’t always reliable.

Your person might not show up—no workaround there.

Or you could end up swimming in a sea of lookalike results.

In that case - dig deeper!

Use extra details like age or street names to increase your chances of finding them.

Visit Company Sites

This is a less scalable but often effective way to score those numbers.

Head over to their website, scroll down to the footer or navigate to the contact section.

At the very least, you’ll find the main company number.

If you’re lucky, there’ll be departmental numbers too.

From there, you'll need to charm your way past the gatekeeper to get to your prospect.

Offer a value trade, don’t pitch at this point.

Alternatively, try a Boolean Google search.

Type "site:DOMAIN.com" and then "phone number."

You can try this method to find specific individuals too.

"{Name & Surname}" AND "{Position}" AND "{Company Name}" AND "Phone number"

Send An Email To Get A Reply

The prospect's email is easier to get than their direct phone number.

But there’s always a chance they'll have their phone number in their email signature!(insert signature link)

Try emailing outside of office hours—they might have an auto-responder.

This method isn’t scalable or ideal - you can mess up your email deliverability if you abuse this tactic.

Only use it when you’ve exhausted all other options and it’s a really good lead.

3 Ways To Find Email Addresses For Free!

2. Prepare For Your Call

Having a list of numbers is one thing, but being prepared to call is key.

Preparation separates the cold calls that convert from the ones that don’t!

Let’s assume that you already did in-depth lead research and qualification while preparing your prospect list.

What else can you do to make your call more effective?

Try this:

  • Take a look at prospects’ activity once again to personalize your opening line

Have they tweeted something recently?

Published on LinkedIn?

Wrote an in-depth article?

All of it can make your call personal and current - boosting receptivity & cementing a solid connection from the start.

  • Prepare a one-page note-taking template

Taking notes is essential, whether it's a sales demo, cold call, or any other appointment.
They help you keep a reference for easy recall.
The one-page template is all you need.

Why?

  • It's clean and simple
  • Has everything you need
  • Doesn't take too much of your space
  • Keeps everything organized and cleaned

Here's what it looks like:

How To Cold Call: Facing Rejection

Fear of rejection is one of the biggest problems for new cold callers.

Cold calling is stressful at first, but you'll become a confident cold caller with practice.

Remember - rejection is the baseline.

The global average success rate of cold calling is 2%!

Of course, employing the right strategies can dramatically increase your success rates, but know it's a universal struggle.

Tip #1: Think about your goals

In a chat with Morgan Ingram (a leading cold-calling expert), we asked him that same question.
This was his response:

How do you keep yourself motivated? What are your goals? Think about them.
They force you to move forward even when you get thousands of "No's".

With a clear goal, like scheduling 20 meetings per week, you’ll get to swiftly move onto the next step without ruminating.

Tip #2: Leverage The “I don’t have time” Situation

While cold calling, you will probably sometimes hear this frustrating “I don’t have time phrase.”

So, how do we handle this?

We asked Milovan Milosevic, VP of Revenue Operations at Shyft.

In his words, when someone says that they don’t have time to discuss or try your product, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You might not have effectively set up the conversation leading to that conclusion.
  • You might have missed demonstrating the pain associated with the problem your product solves, which could motivate their interest.

Here’s a practical example from Milovan dealing with this type of rejection:

I completely understand. Could you please provide some feedback?
What could I have done better to secure 15 minutes of your time to showcase our product?

You might learn something useful you can use in your next call.

Sometimes, they are ACTUALLY busy.

Try to nail a call-back session so you can call them again when they’re available.

It shows you respect their time and will try to find an arrangement that works for them.

How To Cold Call - 5 Expert Tips

Use proven cold calling tips shared by experts to make sure your cold call is effective.

In short, the top 5 expert tips for cold calling are:

  1. Stand up while talking to infuse energy and confidence into your cold calls.
  2. Maintain a bullet-point list of prospects' data to ensure you cover crucial points during the conversation.
  3. Call similar individuals simultaneously—those with similar job roles and in the same industry—to leverage generalized personalization and common triggers.
  4. Take notes during conversations to recall key details like problems discussed and goals established.
  5. Implement thorough call tracking and metrics in your cold calling sales funnel:
  • Leads: Total number of leads in your pipeline.
  • Calls: Total number of calls planned or made.
  • Reached: Number of successfully contacted leads.
  • Qualified: Leads among the contacted ones that meet qualifying criteria.
  • Closed: Number of leads successfully converted into closed deals.

Bonus - The Sales Cadence We Use At lemlist

Building a sales cadence that works takes time.

The things you should consider while creating your own cadence are:

  • Duration: how long your sales cadence lasts
  • Attempts: how many times do you contact a lead
  • Media: what channels to use to make these contacts
  • The spacing: how long is the break between contacts

Here's what our looks like:

This multichannel sales cadence spans 21 days and involves outreach via LinkedIn, emails, and cold calling, with a total of 5 contact points throughout.

We initiate the cadence with the first touchpoint on LinkedIn.

It's an excellent starting point, given its widespread use in the B2B sphere.

Establishing this connection beforehand helps our prospects feel more familiar and receptive when they encounter our subsequent cold email.

For cold emails, the goal is to get a reply, not sell.

We accomplish this by making the email hyper-personalized.

In other words, more human.

Be that a dynamic text tag, custom image or a dynamic landing page, genuine personalization in cold emails is what makes your reply rate sky-high.

Pro tip: Personalized video thumbnail template!

The primary objective of this template is to drive clicks and transition recipients from their inboxes to a dynamic landing page.
This page should showcase a video and urge them to book a meeting with you (or any other page relevant to your goal.)
To this day, Guillaume has booked over 300 meetings using this template:

Wanna learn how to create a personalized video thumbnail? Check this resource!

The next in line is the cold call.

The cold call occurs when both LinkedIn outreach and cold email attempts haven't yielded a response.

Our preferred tool is Aircall.

We adore it for its user-friendly interface, seamless integration with lemlist, and robust capabilities in both inbound and outbound sales functionalities.

During our cold calls, our primary focus isn't immediate sales; instead, we aim to establish a connection with our prospects.

We often begin with a light-hearted approach, like humorously addressing their lack of response or finding common ground.

Before the call, we extensively research their company, understand their pain points, and pin-point where we fit into their picture.

Our conversation aims to convey a personalized understanding to pique their interest.

At the same time, we try to gauge their level of interest - to ensure we don't waste our time.

If they seem interested, we might delve deeper into the discussion or schedule a discovery call based on their availability, company size, and decision-making process.

If we can't dial them or they miss our call, it's up to our two follow-ups to make it happen.

How you write your follow-up emails will vary depending on your sequence and call-to-action.

We leverage two schools of thought.

1)  Either we try to add more value with every additional follow-up, or

2) we send quick reminders and check if we're emailing the right person in the team.

Short on inspo? Browse our cold email template hub!

This sales cadence lasts 21 days and consists of 5 contacts in total.

Each sales cadence differs based on unique business and product factors.

Once established, it's essential to assess its effectiveness in yielding desired results.

Test and adapt the cadence until you find the best fit for your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Cold Calling Importance: Cold calling is a crucial skill in business, particularly for sales reps aiming to sell products or services and reach new leads.
  • Acceptance Rate: Despite its negative reputation, cold calling is effective, with 69% of buyers open to receiving calls from new providers.
  • Purpose of Cold Calling: The main purpose of cold calling is to schedule discovery calls or promote products/services to new prospects.
  • Finding Phone Numbers: Collecting contact information can be done through online databases like UpLead and ZoomInfo, using tools like the Kaspr Chrome Extension, searching white pages, or visiting company websites.
  • Preparation for Calls: Effective cold calling requires preparation such as researching leads, customizing the approach based on recent activities of the prospect, and preparing a note-taking template.
  • Dealing with Rejection: Handling rejection involves understanding the reasons behind it, offering to reschedule, and maintaining motivation by focusing on goals.
  • Expert Cold Calling Tips: Some tips include standing up during calls to project energy, maintaining a list of key points about the prospect, and using thorough call tracking to monitor progress.
  • Sales Cadence: A structured approach to contact leads over a defined period using various communication channels is crucial for maintaining engagement without being intrusive.
  • Tools and Resources: Utilizing tools like Aircall for integration and functionality in cold calls and employing personalized strategies like custom videos in emails to increase engagement rates.
  • Evaluation and Adaptation: Continuously testing and adapting the sales strategy and cadence based on effectiveness and feedback to find the most successful approach for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an example of cold calling?

Hi, [PROSPECT'S NAME]. I'm [YOUR NAME], from [COMPANY]. I'm calling you because we do a great job at solving [PROBLEM]. Since [PROSPECT'S COMPANY] does [INDUSTRY], I imagine you might be looking for a solution.

Is Cold Calling effective?

Despite its reputation, cold calling is very effective. About 82% of prospects who do not hang up the phone actually book a meeting to follow up on the pitch.

What is the general meaning of cold calling?

Cold calling is a proactive sales tactic where someone contacts another person by phone without prior notice to sell a product or service. Cold calls help you to connect with new prospects and create new sales opportunities.

What is the best day to make a cold call?

Wednesday is the best day of the week to make a cold call, according to data by Chrunchbase.

What is the best time to cold call your prospects?

The best time to cold call prospects is between 4 and 5 PM.

Why is cold calling bad?

Cold calling is not bad. But it can be viewed as unprofessional if you disrupt or put too much pressure on your prospects. To avoid this, use this ultimate cold calling guide that will help you make the most out of your cold call and not get rejected.

Does cold calling pay well?

As of Apr 18, 2024, the average hourly pay for a Cold Calling in the United States is $18.43 an hour, according to Ziprecruiter.

Is cold calling hard?

Cold calling sounds simple, but it's a big skill to master. Only the best sales reps can execute cold calling successfully.

What makes cold calling effective?

An effective cold calling campaign is conducted by a salesperson who has:

  • done their homework on the potential customer
  • used a personalized approach
  • packed value to their offer

These calls are not made at random but are targeted at individuals who are likely to be interested in the product or service offered.

Cold calls vs phone scams

Scammers sometimes imitate cold calls to do telephone scams. It's a big problem for salespeople because it damages trust and cold-calling reputation. Customers who have experienced a call from scammers are more likely to hang up on a stranger.

The main signs of telephone scammers are:

  • Offers That Sound Too Good to Be True
  • Threats and Attempts to Intimidate
  • Exploit your emotions or sense of urgency.
  • Requests for Personal Information or Money
  • Robocalls and Pre-Recorded Messages
  • Impersonation of Authorities or Businesses
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