Cold calling gets results. Simple. Picking up the phone and speaking to someone with the intention of helping solve a problem for them is a straightforward, quick and effective way of meeting yours and their goals. 

I’ve been working with Ermine Amies of Sandler Training recently to improve my skills in this area and the results have been clear to see. Ermine and her colleagues at Sandler work with you on the psychology of “speaking to strangers”. We’re not supposed to. Our Mums told us not to from an early age. Once you get over this sub-conscious thought, then all strangers can become potential prospects.

I have to make it easy for myself though and to do this, I use technology :




Step 1 : Gather your data.

You could just buy a list. It’s instant data and it could work for your business. When I’m cold calling, I’m doing it to invite business owners to 4Networking meetings in the Norfolk and Suffolk area. Once my prospect attends a few meetings, it’s a lot easier for them to understand the benefits of having a fully working CRM.

So, to gather data, I just use the internet. I start with Freeindex in the area I wish to grow a meeting and use their sector segmentation to focus on the businesses that 4N will work for and who our members really need for their own businesses. To get the data into my CRM, I use a Google Chrome Extension for Zoho CRM. It’s a brilliant tool. You just highlight the contact details in Freeindex or the business website and it automatically adds a Lead or a Contact to Zoho. No more Copy and Paste!

Once in the CRM, I can begin my prospecting.

Step 2 : Find a name

Your call is going to be a lot easier if you know who you’re asking to speak to and why. It’s usually really simple to find the right person. Most websites will have an “About Us” section which will detail the team. Handy hint : Top left hand corner if you want the decision maker.

If there are no people listed on the website, then head on over to LinkedIn and search for the company name. You’ll find a list of the employees in there and usually the title of the person you want to speak to. Add this data to Zoho CRM and build up your lead record to make the call start as smoothly as possible.

You can also make some Notes against their record from the website or LinkedIn profile to give you a reference point during the conversation.

If they’re not listed on LinkedIn and you really want to speak to them, then run a Company Check and you’ll be able to identify the directors of the business. A little treasure hunting goes a long way in making your prospect calls more effective.

Step 3 : Dial the number

This is where the game ends for some. That inbuilt head trash or fear kicks in. No-one is going to get hurt in this scenario. Aim to solve problems for someone rather than sell and you’ll have a better experience. Also learn that “No” means “No” and move on. We’re all busy people.

I make this very easy. Remember that Lead I captured. Well it’s now in Zoho CRM. Dialling from there is a breeze as it’s integrated with my IP Telephony service from RingCentral – I posted a blog on how much I like this technology recently. Take a look. Clicking to dial is just so instant and removes that hunting around for a number or misdialling.


Step 4 : Making the call

Firstly, I never leave a message. No-one ever returns them, so what’s the point? What they do though is ringback the number that called but didn’t leave a message. As long as I stored their details in Zoho CRM, as soon as they do this, I’m ready. I know who they are and why I called them in the first place.

If you do get through to your prospect, be yourself. Yourself down the pub or in any normal social situation. This is where you need to practice and do what works for you. Sandler Training provides highly relevant courses on how to conduct calls that really get results if you feel this area is a weakness for you or your team.

My aim is to invite the prospect along to a 4Networking meeting if I think it will work for them. It’s a really easy sell and very easy to identify early if it’s not going to work for someone and we can both end the call early.


Step 5 : Know your end result

There’s no point in making the call if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve at the end of it. It has to be really really really simple too. This is why I don’t cold call to sell Zoho CRM solutions. It takes time, relationship and trust. I build this up at networking meetings instead. So, I use cold calling to invite people to networking meetings.

Have a simple offering for your cold calls. Attend a webinar, join our mailing list, book an appointment.

Step 6 : Track everything

If someone’s not interested today, that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in what you’re offering in the future. Making Notes in Zoho CRM against the record about your conversation is a really easy way to remind you what you discussed and what their current situation is. If they’re not interested in any way, then mark that too. Don’t waste time and move on.

Track and log the phone call and create a follow-up task to call them again at a time you’ve agreed. Again, this is explored in more detail with Sandler Training.

Once you’ve achieved the result you set out to do (book appointment, attend a meeting etc.), then Convert the Lead and start building a prosperous business relationship.

Good luck with your treasure hunting. If you have any questions about any of the technologies that can help improve your cold calling experience, then just get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Zoho CRM

When customers engage across email, social media, and in person, you should, too. With Zoho CRM, you can. Bring all your conversations into one place, and make the most of your interactions at a moment's notice. Zoho CRM: Ready for multichannel, ready for you.

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