Cold calls can be intimidating. With solid prep work, however, a cold call can turn into a warm lead.

Before a salesperson ever picks up the phone, it’s time to do some research. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you learn about your prospect’s interests and values. Furthermore, with the help of a marketing automation platform, you can track people’s sentiments about your company, which will help shape the conversation.

Continue your research by consulting your CRM platform and reviewing past correspondence and notes on interactions with this person. Find trigger events that indicate the prospect has a need for a solution you can provide. Look for current customers who are similar to the prospect and see how your company helped them.

During the call, ask questions, avoid using a script, and focus on more than just making a sale. Be prepared to follow-up more than once; after all, 80 per cent of sales happen after the fifth contact attempt. With these tips and the others in the infographic below, your cold calls will be more successful than you thought possible.


How to Ace a Cold Call Every Time

Researching a Lead

  • Social Media Research
    • Social media allows you to find a wide range of data in one place
      • When researching on LinkedIn, take note of which groups your prospect is a part of and the influencers they follow
        • Group memberships can tell you about your prospect's interests and values
      • When researching on Twitter, take note of your prospect’s interactions, mentions, and shares
      • Use a marketing automation platform with features like Marketing Cloud’s Audience Builder to track and measure people’s sentiments about your company
      • Every social site has a function to find mutual connections
        • Use it to identify common connections 
        • This is a great way to build trust and conversation
  • Internal Research
    • Review past correspondences
      • See if there are any old emails or phone calls with the prospect
    • Talk with team members 
      • See if they've had any interactions with your prospect and what their impressions of your prospect's business are
    • Check your CRM—from your office or on the go—for cases and notes from sales and marketing to learn about specific touchpoints
  • Look for Trigger Events
    • Trigger events indicate that the prospect has a need for your solution
    • Common examples of trigger events are:
      • Hiring sprees
      • Investment announcements
      • New office openings 
    • Dig for information using resources like:
      • Google News
      • Twitter
      • Job listings
      • Company blogs
      • Social pages
  • Research Current Customers Similar to the Prospect
    • A prospect will likely ask if you've ever worked with a company like theirs 
    • By researching your current customers beforehand, you can prepare quick, confident answers to your prospect’s questions
    • Look for companies that are similar in:
      • Size
      • Industry
      • Location
    • Look for case studies and testimonials to see what worked for similar prospects in the past and have them prepared

    Conducting a Cold Call 

  • Ask Questions
    • During the call, rather than immediately try to sell your product or service, ask lots of questions
    • Learn about your prospect's business needs
      • This will help tailor your pitch
  • Skip the Script
    • It’s difficult to establish trust if you’re just another salesperson reading a script
    • By defining your target audience, you should be able to address their specific wants and needs rather than rely on a rehearsed script
  • Focus on more than just making a sale
    • The purpose of a cold call is to engage the prospect in conversation about their needs and determine next steps
      • You’re not there to sell anything right from the start
      • You’re want to plant the seeds for future sales
    • The initial call should focus on:
      • Engaging the prospect in conversion 
      • Identifying their needs by asking questions
        • The answers to these questions can help determine the steps you need to take to make that sale in the future
  • Follow-Up
    • 80% of sales happen after the fifth contact attempt
    • Don’t expect to make a sale after just one phone call
    • To follow-up without appearing too pushy:
      • Send an email thanking your prospect for their time and sharing an article that they may enjoy
      • Make sure to set up another appointment before concluding the first cold call 
      • Always be persistent, polite, and professional
  • Keep Track
    • Keep careful records of 
      • Who you called
      • When you called them 
      • How many of those calls resulted in appointments
    • Measuring your progress will keep you organized and give you a sense of accomplishment
    • Even if the call doesn’t result in a sale, having more information about the company or person can be useful for a follow-up call
    • Ensure collaboration between your sales team members with a CRM that helps keep information updated and available to everyone who needs it


  • Doing a little bit of research and work before making a cold call can go a long way. Consider implementing some of these tips into your cold call routine.