cold calling

What is Cold Calling? Meaning, How It Works, and Everything You Need to Know About It

Liucija Adomaite
LAST UPDATED
April 24, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

Cold Calling has a reputation for being a tough nut to crack.

Its conversion rate is around 2%, and it typically takes a rep 18 or more dials to reach a tech prospect with cold calling.

Despite that, cold calling is actually very effective with prospects. 75% of prospects have attended an event or scheduled a meeting based on a cold email or call.

Moreover, 82% of buyers say that they accept meetings with salespeople who contact them via cold calls.

If you’re in sales, your challenge is to make a cold call that boosts conversions and lands sales.

In this article, we will define cold calling, answer all the most common questions about cold calling practices, and explain how to do it to increase conversions and close deals.

What is Cold Calling?

Cold calling definition is simple—it 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.

They prove highly effective in presenting high-value propositions to premium prospects.

Cold calling shares similarities with cold emailing and social selling in generating fresh sales leads.

A cold call is a great way to reach many prospects directly and push them into making decisions.

What Makes a Cold Call Effective?

An effective cold call is not a random one. For it to be effective, it should have a highly personalized approach.

Effective cold calls target prospects identified as being receptive to the product or service you offer.

Effective cold callers research their prospects' demographics and the market to target likely interested consumers.

For example, a software company specializing in productivity tools might cold call individuals who:

  • Demonstrate their interest in productivity tools and tips on LinkedIn and other social media channels
  • Frequently participate in online forums dedicated to workplace efficiency
  • Subscribe to newsletters about business operations.

What is a Successful Cold Call?

The success of cold calling relies on essential KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that track how effective your cold call was:

  • Call Volume: The number of total calls you made.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of calls that lead to sales or appointments.
  • Call Duration: The average length of calls that indicate engagement.
  • Lead Generation: The number of new prospects.

Key Features of an Effective Cold Call

If you want your cold call to land sales, it should include these main features:

✔️ Personalization: Begin with a personalized approach, conduct detailed research on the prospect's business, and ensure your call is relevant.

✔️ Bring Value: Present a clear value proposition and ask your prospect open-ended questions to understand their challenges and needs.

✔️ Active Listening: Show you're listening by customizing your responses. You aim to foster dialogue with the prospect and provide them with a solution.

✔️ Build Relationship: Focus on building relationships and providing value rather than selling.

✔️ Follow-Up: End with a mutually agreed upon next step and send a concise follow-up email summarizing the conversation.

✔️ Positivity: A friendly attitude can get you a long way. No matter what happens, always remain positive.

Our cold calling tips with also help you get the desired results.

How to Cold Call?

To make your cold calling work, you must ensure your cold call is structured and well-planned.

There are five structured approaches, known as frameworks, to conversing with prospects when called calling.

  1. The FAB framework emphasizes Features, Advantages, and Benefits. It highlights the direct value offered by the service or product you're trying to sell. Use this framework when you're sure there's existing interest in the product, like chasing down competitor clients.
  2. The OPEN framework focuses on Observing, Probing, Empathizing, and Notifying. It leverages on a more conversational approach.
  3. The SCRIPT framework guides through Situation, Complication, Resolution, Implementation, Persuasion, and Transaction. It provides a comprehensive sales structure.
  4. The VALUE framework emphasizes Validating, Asking, Listening, Understanding, and Executing. It's a customer-centric approach.
  5. The PITCH framework focuses on problem identification, intriguing building, trust establishment, clarity of communication, and smooth handoff. This one is great for a seamless conversation flow.

Choosing the proper framework depends on the specific context, target audience, and offered product or service.

No matter which approach you employ, the focus of the cold call should be building relationships with your prospects.

Is Cold Calling legal?

Cold calling isn't illegal, but it's crucial to follow the rules:

  1. Always respect 'Do Not Call registries' and adhere to GDPR and privacy laws.
  2. Transparency is critical—share your identity and the reason for your call immediately.
  3. Offer your prospects easy opt-out choices.
  4. Keep records of prospects' consent.

Cold Calling Regulations

Since 2003, Americans have been able to opt out of receiving most telemarketing calls by putting their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. The Registry now has more than 221 million telephone numbers on it.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations forbid telemarketers from calling cell phones without the consent of their users.

Introducing a national Do Not Call registry erected barriers for landline consumers.

However, the registry only applies to households—not businesses.

As a result, sales professionals can still cold-call businesses, which is still considered an acceptable sales tactic.

The Cold Calling Check-list

Before cold calling, make sure you tick all the boxes:

Is your audience receptive to calls?

Do you have the tools and team to cold call?

Can you articulate your pitch over the phone?

Does your pitch inform, educate, and bring value to your prospect?

Does direct communication benefit your sales process?

Are you compliant with legal standards?

Can it integrate with your sales strategies?

Is your cold call personalized to your prospect?

Key Takeaways

Despite its challenges, cold calling is highly effective.

75% of prospects have engaged with an event or meeting based on a cold contact. 82% of buyers are open to meetings from cold calls.

Successful cold calling should focus on building relationships with your prospects. To do so, you must employ a personalized approach and target prospects likely to be interested in the offered product or service.

It's useful to employ these cold calling tips to make sure your cold call is effective and reaches your goal.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for cold calling include call volume, conversion rate, call duration, and lead generation.

Successful cold calls should be personalized, offer clear value, encourage open-ended conversations, focus on building relationships, include follow-ups, and maintain positivity.

Cold calling is legal, but adherence to Do Not Call registries and privacy laws is essential.

Before cold calling make sure you:

  • Ensure audience receptivity.
  • Prepare the value-packed pitch and legal compliance.
  • Ensure it integrates with your broader sales strategy.
Liucija Adomaite
Liucija Adomaite is a viral content writer and organic traffic expert on a mission to help turn ambitious businesses into big names.
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