cold calling

How to Cold Call Like a Pro in 2024, According to The Experts

lemlist team
LAST UPDATED
May 28, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

What is cold calling?

Cold calling is a proactive sales tactic where you contact a person by phone without prior notice to sell a product or service.

Cold calls are often used to reach new prospects and generate sales leads.

This tactic is very effective when selling high-value offers to high-value prospects.

There’s no ‘one way’ in cold calling, but there are proven formulas to break the ice and improve conversion rates.

How to cold call like a Pro?

We asked the Pros of cold calling. They shared their top-shelf cold-calling tips to help you close more deals in 2024.

Below, we wrapped up the best cold calling tips from renowned experts so you can start closing more deals now. Let's get to it.

1. Morgan Ingram: Your Go-To Pro Cold Calling Rules

Morgan Ingram unpacked his cornerstone tactics in our chat.

Here’s a snapshot of his wisdom:

✔️“Do You Have A Moment To Chat?”

It’s always a great practice to ask people if they have time to engage with you before you get chatty.

It shows respect and consideration - vital for building that initial connection.

✔️Have A Clear Value Proposition

Lead with a crisp value proposition and engage with thought-provoking questions to ignite the conversation.

Stimulate your prospect’s mind right off the bat.

When they pause to consider your words, the conversation naturally deepens.

Be precise: Why them? How can you help them reach their goals?

Make it count.

✔️Employ The 3 Second Rule

Talking too fast gets you nowhere.

Pause for three seconds after they speak.

It shows you’re listening and helps you process and respond better.

It’s a small tweak, but it makes a world of difference in your communication.

✔️Plan The Next Touch-point

If they show interest, end with a CTA.

Ask them whether they’re keen on a discovery call.

If they answer ‘yes’, arrange it immediately.

Here’s an example:

Hi [First Name], thanks for taking my call, do you have a moment to chat?
I’ve helped thousands of sales reps, like yourself, to get comfortable with cold calling to close more deals.
Can you imagine yourself being more confident and what that would mean for your conversion rates?
Hey, since we can both benefit, lets pick this up next week to dig a little deeper - would that suit you?
That's great! I’ll quickly send a calendar invite your way , can you please accept it while we're on the call?

2. The Right Time to Call

If you call your prospect when they’re pressed for time and distracted, your chances of success dwindle.

Try to uncover the times where your prospect is likely relaxed, available and receptive.

Here’s how:

✔️Research their working hours (+ meetings.)

If they work from 8 am to 4 pm with regular meetings from 9 to 11 am, aim to call them before or after these hours to maximize your chances of connecting.

✔️Track call responses.

Uncover when your prospects are more likely to answer the phone—whether it's in the morning or later in the day.

This data can provide insights into the best times to reach out.

✔️Analyze purchase patterns.

Examine the activity records of prospects who have already made purchases from you.

It might reveal patterns in the times they engaged positively or were more receptive to calls.

✔️Check their social media activity.

Observe when your prospects are active on social media platforms.

Their online activity can offer clues about their availability and engagement times, helping you align your calling hours.

3. Scott Leese: Visualize The Perfect Cold Call

According to Scott Leese, 6x Startup Sales Leader, it’s crucial to have a sales script by your side.

Before a meeting, he suggests visualizing the perfect sales conversation, writing it down and keeping it in front of you during the call.

This will help you steer the conversation in the right direction and reel it back in when it goes adrift.

4. Milovan Milosevic: Use Humorous Into-lines

Milovan, VP of revenue operations at Shyft, kicks off conversations with a touch of self-reference humor.

He prefers to start the conversation with a joke at his expense.

It looks something like this:

Hey [First Name], it's [Your Name] here, the guy with that fine radio voice that unfortunately operates in a wrong decade.

This approach, according to Milovan, helps people relax, recall him better, and sets off the conversation on a positive note.

5. Ena, lemlist sales expert: The “I Called You Six Months Ago” tactic

The "I called you six months ago" strategy is a brilliant cold calling ice-breaker crafted by our very own seasoned sales expert, Ena.

Here's how it goes:

Hi [First Name], it's [Your Name] from [Company Name].
We chatted six months ago about enhancing your sales meetings through cold outreach, and you suggested I get in touch again after this time.
So, here I am to check in and see where things stand now.

What makes this strategy effective?

Most people won't recall a cold call from six months back, and that's precisely what you leverage.

Even if they don't remember the conversation, the mention of a callback in six months might invoke a sense of "obligation" or "empathy," fostering a connection with you.

6. Anthony Iannarino: How To Get More Meetings

Anthony’s top priority in cold calling?

Snagging a discovery call, also known as an executive briefing.

His secret sauce?

Lead with value.

Skip long intros about yourself or your company.

Briefly introduce, state your company, and dive straight into the value you offer.

Eliminate risk by signaling benefit, whether or not there are follow-up steps.

Here's an example:

Hi [First Name], it's [Your Name] from [Your Company].
I'm calling you today to ask for a 20-minute executive briefing where I’ll share four trends that I believe will make the biggest impact in your industry in the next 12 months.
Listen, this is an executive briefing - I’m not going to pitch you.
No matter the next steps, you’ll walk away with value - no strings attached.
What does [exact day] look like for you?

As for the CTA (Call to Action) types, preferences vary.

Guillaime, CEO of lemlist, swears by specific, binary CTAs, like "Are you available on Wednesday, 2 PM EST?"

Meanwhile, Anthony prefers open-ended CTAs such as, "What does Thursday look like for you?"

The latter leaves room for flexibility; if they decline Thursday, you pivot by asking, "What’s better for you?"

Others opt for an alternative choice approach—offer two clear options like Wednesday at 2 PM or Friday at 11 AM—for a mix of constraint and flexibility.

Experiment to find your sweet spot.

7. Tony J. Hughes: Qualify Your Lead With 3 Questions

Dealing with multiple decision-makers in big corporate sales can be challenging.

Tony J. Hughes has the perfect questions to tackle these situations with speed and efficacy.

Question #1

Hey, do you mind if I ask you what's happened inside the organization that's caused you to look at this now?

➡️ To understand the specific trigger or catalyst leading to the current interest or need for change within the organization.

Question #2

Ok, so. If the business wants to invest in this area, you know with us or with somebody else, what improved results the organization is expecting?
And also, what are your expectations in terms of how this investment will influence you and your role?

➡️ To explore the desired outcomes and how they align with the individual's responsibilities and objectives.

Question #3

Where do you see the risks in getting this done successfully?

➡️ To identify potential hurdles or challenges the organization might face in implementing the proposed solution.

How does it differ from what other sales managers do?

A lot of people focus on qualification frameworks, but the reality is that no buyer wants to be qualified by a seller.

This two-way info sharing strategy helps to determine the likelihood of winning the deal.

If the person you are dealing with doesn't give you access to other people in the organization or any information back (after these questions) - then they are probably not going to buy.

That's how you can easily test whether it's worth the time investment.

8. Pat Cavanaugh: Address Their Resistance

Very often, your prospects will try to find excuses and say something to politely shut you down.

What do you do then?

The answer lies in one (or two), simple sentences.

All I’m asking for is 10 minutes of your time.
Believe me, when I say, I would not be willing to waste your or my time if I don’t know for a fact that I could help you!

Or, you can say something like this:

All I’m asking for is 10 minutes of your time.
I’ll even bring the stopwatch in so you can track my time.

Why it works?

  • It highlights that you respect their time.
  • It promises value.
  • It injects a bit of humor to lighten the tone and engage your prospect.

By combining respect, confidence, and humor you can dismantle resistance and secure that follow-up call.

9. Utilize Voicemail

If your call goes unanswered, leverage the power of voicemail to break through the barrier.
Many people don't answer unknown numbers, making voicemails a valuable channel to reach prospects.

To make an impact, aim for a compelling opening line and personalize it as far as you can.

Do’s and Don'ts of effective voicemails:

  • Keep it concise, under 20 seconds.
  • Use a friendly, energetic tone, and inject urgency to prompt swift callbacks.
  • Personalize by using the prospect's and your name for a more tailored approach.
  • Avoid directly selling or appearing desperate with promotions or exclusive deals.
  • If necessary, leave multiple voicemails if the prospect doesn't answer.

Remember, the goal is to schedule another call, not to sell straight away.

A sample voicemail could be:

Hi Jack, [Your Name] from [Your Company]. Noticed [Company Name] and thought I could assist with [specific value proposition].
Let's discuss - call me back at [Your Number].

No callback yet? Follow up with a gentle reminder:

Hi [First Name], I previously left a message about [specific problem].
Keen to help you achieve [desired outcome], just like [similar company].
Can we chat for 15 minutes next Wednesday at 10 am?

10. Integrate Social Selling

To boost your cold calling success, integrate social selling into your strategy.

Start by using LinkedIn for targeted research; this personalizes your approach, as 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who don't use social media.

Engage with prospects on social platforms before calling.

A simple like or comment can warm them up, making them more receptive to your call.

Remember, sales reps who embrace social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their sales quota.

Post-cold call, continue the conversation on social media.

This multi-channel approach keeps you at the forefront of their mind.

Lastly, stay alert to social media for trigger events like company announcements or personal achievements, providing timely reasons to reach out.

Final Words

That’s it for today’s cold calling tips.

Remember to always meet your prospects where they are and trade value before you pitch.

If you read all the way to here - you’ll definitely benefit from our cold email ebook!

It’s a powerful reference for sales people invested in an omni-channel outreach strategy.

10/10 recommend!

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CRM
Summary
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Backbone of customer-centric interactions and operations.
Goal
To centralize and streamline core business processes in a company.
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Focus
Internal operations and processes across departments (finance, accounting, inventory, supply chain, HR, and sales).
All interactions with leads and customers.
Manages
Internal business data like financial data, inventory levels, production details, supply chain, HR info.
All customer data like contact info, purchase history, communication history, customer preferences and more.
Users
Finance, accounting, operations, supply chain, and HR departments.
Customer-facing teams like sales, marketing, and customer service.
Benefits
Streamlines operations, improves data accuracy, enhances decision-making, boosts collaboration, increases productivity.
Improves customer relationships, increases sales, strengthens customer service, personalizes marketing campaigns, provides insights.
Price
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Rating
Feature
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Org-wide alignment
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Business: €14/month
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Smart Contact Management
Feature-rich and flexible
Reported bugs
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Rich
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7-day trial
Premium: $13.99/month
Teams: $17.99/month
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Customizable Interface
Customizable for teamwork
Pricey for personal use
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square-xmark
Standard: $24/member
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Integrated Calling
Integrated Calling
Too sales-oriented & pricey
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Rich
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Professional: $329/user/month
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Business Card Scanning
Business Card Scanning
Mobile only
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4.45
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160+ app integrations
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Rich
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SMART Breakdown
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Outcomes
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