What Is Cold Calling? (Definition And Tips For Success)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Cold calling is a telemarketing strategy that generates sales and return customers from prospective leads. Cold calling can be an effective strategy when you pair it with other marketing methods that help gain new customers. While cold calling can be challenging at times, there are several ways to develop your techniques and increase your chances of converting cold leads to warm leads. In this article, we examine what cold calling means, explore several advantages of this marketing method and list 10 tips to help you increase your cold calling success.

What is cold calling?

The answer to the question, ‘What is cold calling?' is that it is the process of contacting a potential lead or customer who has never heard of or had any previous contact with the solicitor who is making the call. Cold calling involves trying to persuade an individual or a company to buy a product or use a service. Sales professionals call potential customers on a list that meet certain criteria to increase the chances of a sale.

Calling potential customers is a way of cold calling, but it is similar to other sales methods like door to door sales or network marketing. In some cases, cold calling can be beneficial, particularly if you are calling a prospect who came to you through a referral. Cold calling in conjunction with other marketing strategies, can be a powerful tool. Warm calling is the solicitation of a customer who has expressed an interest in the firm or product in the past.

Related: What Is Telemarketing? (Skills And Salary Of A Telemarketer)

Advantages of using cold calling as a strategy

Including a cold calling strategy in your marketing strategy presents a number of advantages. When combined with an email marketing strategy, you can, for example, use lead email addresses to solicit subscriptions to an online publication. Cold calling can also help you generate warm leads, or prospects who are interested in your products or services. Creating a list of warm leads can help you increase your revenue over an extended period of time. There are several additional benefits to using cold calling as a marketing strategy:

  • You can communicate directly with a potential lead to introduce your business, products or services.

  • You can help your prospects identify their exact problems or immediate needs and personalise solutions to meet their needs.

  • You can gain your prospects' attention by demonstrating your knowledge about the company and its core values.

  • You can establish a human connection and evaluate the prospect's personality, sense of humour and other characteristics during the call, which you can not always do over email. This can help you start a business relationship.

Disadvantages of cold calling

Consumers respond to cold calling in a variety of ways, including acceptance, call terminations or hang-ups and even verbal attacks. Cold calling has become less desirable as technology progresses. Email, SMS and social media marketing through websites are among the newer, more successful prospecting tactics available. These new tactics are typically more efficient and effective at generating new leads than cold calling. A considerable portion of the population prefers texting to calling and ignores incoming calls from unknown numbers. Multiple rejections can affect a salesperson's mindset, making it more difficult to maintain a friendly demeanour while making calls.

Robo-dialling is the most recent advancement in cold calling, in which algorithms dial and produce pre-recorded messages. Government laws have hampered cold callers' efforts to reach out to potential clients in bulk such as the National Do Not Call Registry. Scam artists frequently use cold calling for exploitation of individuals, which reduces the efficiency of legitimate cold calling. Many countries have laws that limit and regulate how, when and to whom businesses can make cold calls. Government bodies that deal with telecommunication laws in their respective countries are frequently in charge of enforcing these rules and regulations.

Related: Types Of Jobs In Social Media Marketing And Their Duties

Tips for increasing cold calling success

Individuals may sometimes view cold calling from a negative perspective. But when you develop your communication and interpersonal skills, you can increase the chances of cold calling success. Consider the following 10 tips to help you increase your cold calling success:

1. Develop your communication techniques

Improving your ability to communicate verbally with others can be an effective first step towards improving your cold calling success. You can work on your tone to make your voice sound more friendly, or learn to read brief pauses in phone conversations. Try to communicate the information in a way that would pique the interest of the customer by informing them how it benefits them.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

2. Improve your interpersonal skills

By practising empathy, you can improve your interpersonal skills and connect with your prospects. Improving your interpersonal skills can also help you gain confidence in approaching strangers. Salespeople who engage in cold calling benefit from perseverance and a willingness to endure rejection. Making a practice call with a colleague may help you understand what aspects you can focus on to improve your interpersonal skills.

3. Research your prospects before calling

To improve your cold calling skills, one of the most important things to remember is to learn everything you can about your prospects. You can achieve this by looking into demographic data such as age, occupation, location and other factors. These can assist you in determining the best target market for your products and services.

4. Ask questions

You can ask your leads questions to gain a better understanding of their concerns or requirements. You can then discuss how your services or a specific product can help based on your prospect's responses. Be empathetic and try to understand the requirements of customers to better communicate about your service.

5. Help the prospect identify their problems

By assisting your prospects in identifying their problems or concerns, you can advance one step closer to discussing how your products or services can help create a solution. Customers are more likely to return to businesses that can help them solve a specific problem or meet a specific need. A prospect may not realise they have a problem or a need until you assist them in identifying it. You can usually figure out what a customer wants by asking them relevant questions.

6. Improve your sales pitch

You can also work on your pitch or how you approach converting a cold lead into a warm lead. Your sales pitch may not always help you close a deal, but ‌can pique a prospect's interest in learning more about how your products or services can help them. You can achieve this goal by developing a natural and personalised pitch.

7. Discuss creative solutions

You can create opportunities to develop creative solutions that can help your prospects as you improve your ability to help them understand and realise their needs and concerns. For example, if you work in finance, you might contact leads to invite them to your financial planning seminar, which could be the ideal solution for a prospective customer who is having trouble budgeting. As the prospect learns how your financial services can assist them in achieving financial stability, this could lead to a new financial client.

8. Call prospects at the right time

Another tip for improving your cold calling results is to call your leads‌. The conversion rates are highest during the early morning hours of working days. For example, if you are cold calling a list of leads in the marketing industry, Mondays or Tuesdays during early morning hours of the workday might be good options. Business professionals' schedules get busier as the day goes on, so scheduling your calls at the right time can help you reach out to your prospect the first time you call.

9. Focus on your objective

Another useful cold calling tip is to keep your end goal in mind while you are on the phone. If your company provides a specific service, for example, your primary goal might be to set up appointments for informational meetings rather than to acquire new customers. This is a crucial distinction to make because the goal of your call can influence how you conduct your conversation with your prospects.

10. Follow up with your prospects

It can also be effective to follow up with potential customers who you have spoken to that have expressed interest in learning more about what you are offering. When you do follow up with prospects, you might discuss the previous call you had with them and the ways your services or products can help fulfil their immediate needs. Following up can also renew interest in cold leads that may have expressed interest at one point and it can lead to further contact in the future.

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