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Entrepreneurs Recommend Their Top Cold Calling Strategies (That Actually Work)

With so many forms of digital communication available, the traditional cold phone call may seem like a lesser form of gaining a sale or finding a business partnership. Some people may believe that cold calling will only lead to rejection—or worse, mid-call hang-ups. However, there are still ways to effectively cold call about prospective business transactions that will lead to success.

Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council each detail a strategy they have for effective cold calling and why it works so well. Rather than dismissing cold calls as a sales tactic, try these thoughtful and personal approaches out.

1. Avoid Assumptions

Some sales reps assume they know what their prospects want, so they spend call time rattling off whatever they think their prospect wants to hear. The thing is that it doesn’t work well. It should be the other way around. Your prospect will do the research for you if you are skilled enough to have a conversation with them where they’ll tell you. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

2. Customize The Pitch

Make sure that when you do cold call, you know the background of the lead. If they happen to be a bit popular on social media, use keywords they would love to hear. Avoid sellout words that don’t make any sense, and engage them using their language. Customize the pitch instead of using a common sales pitch for everyone. – Daisy Jing, Banish

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The key to cold calling is to have a documented list of common customer objections and responses at your fingertips. Before you start reaching out to people, create a list of common reasons why people decline your partnership or sales opportunity. Now, come up with a counterpoint with supporting data. This handy sheet helps me quickly and accurately answer the person on the other line. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

4. Understand Leads’ Pain Points

The best strategy I’ve found to maximize the success of cold outreach to potential customers is to deeply understand the pain point of the customer and the corollary “aha!” moment of one’s product. By doing so, one can very quickly articulate why and how one’s solution solves a “pants on fire” problem for the customer that makes them immediately want to learn more and use the product. – Akshar Bonu, The Custom Movement

5. Make A Targeted List

Cold calling works best when you dial the right number. So the pressure is on you to build a targeted list before you start making your calls. Your calls will get rejected a lot less if you know whom to call. You’ll also have more conversions because the leads are genuinely interested in your business. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

6. Reference Customers Who Relate To Them

Tell them about a customer who is very similar to them and how you successfully solved their problem. Our company sells learning software to a variety of different industries. If we’re trying to cold call an NFL team, we’ll tell them about how other NFL teams have used our product. If we’re selling to a sales team, we’ll discuss other sales teams. – Andrew Powell, Learn to Win

7. Do Your Research

One strategy that actually works for cold calling is to do your research ahead of time. This means knowing as much as possible about the person you’re trying to reach, including their company, their role and what they care about. You can use this information to have a strong opening that captures their attention and makes them want to hear more. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

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8. Alter The Script

People might shut you down before you even get through 50% of your pitch. If that happens, don’t be disappointed. Try to alter your script instead. Ask more open-ended questions to get them talking. This helps you understand their situation better and offer better solutions based on their problems. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

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