The Top 6 Mistakes You're Making When You Cold Call
- Business Tips

The Top 6 Mistakes You’re Making When You Cold Call

Cold calling is one of the most widely used marketing strategies amongst small businesses. Yet, as much as it is widely used, it is also widely detested. This is because cold calling can be very hit-or-miss. The problem with cold calling is that they are always “cold” by nature, and business owners don’t often know what to say once they get someone on the phone. Due to this unpredictability, many business owners don’t even like to call their customers because they might end up saying something wrong or using a poor-stimulation technique.

Because of this, business owners avoid cold calling and look for other ways to market their companies. In this article, we’ll present six mistakes you are probably making when you make calls—and what strategies can help fix them.

The Top 6 Mistakes You’re Making When You Cold Call

1. Not Doing Background Research

Most people don’t like being sold things. For example, if you call a friend and start talking about how great your new product is, it’s unlikely that he or she will be interested in hearing more. Instead, they want to know what the products do and how they can use them.

That’s why background research is essential for successful cold calling. When you’re on the phone with someone, it’s easy to come off as a salesperson if you don’t know what that person needs from your conversation. But by tailoring your message to fit their needs and avoiding being perceived as a salesperson—you can read a great hub for salespeople where you can find step-by-step advice on how to do this right.

2. Not Starting with the Proper Introduction

The best way to begin a cold call is by introducing yourself and making it clear who you are and why you’re calling. For example, start by saying something like: “Hi Jim, this is John Smith from XYZ Company (your company). I wanted to reach out because we have this new product that might be a good fit for your company (your product).” This allows the person on the other end of the phone to understand who you are right away and why they should listen to what you have to say next.

If you don’t know the name of the person who will be answering the phone, try saying something like: “Hi, my name is John Smith from XYZ Company. Is this a good time to talk?” This lets them know you want to talk now without giving too much information. Of course, you can always follow up with an email if they don’t have time right then or if they need more information before deciding on your product/service.

3. Asking for a Decision Too Soon

The most common mistake is asking for a decision too soon. Salespeople often ask for a sale before proving that their product or service will meet the prospect’s needs. This is a big mistake because it puts the ball in your court and forces you to make an impulsive decision. Asking for a decision too soon also makes you appear desperate and needy. The best way to avoid this problem is to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. By listening carefully, you can uncover objections before they become major problems and derail the sale.

4. Trying to Sell in the First Call

When you’re cold calling, your goal is to get an appointment. If you’re not careful, you might spend most of your time trying to sell on the first call. That’s not what a good salesperson does.

Here’s why:

    • You risk “burning out” the prospect. For example, if you try to sell on your first call, the prospect will likely feel pressured and uncomfortable. And if they don’t buy, they’ll be more likely to tell their friends or colleagues not to work with you.
    • It’s hard to know who you’re talking to on cold calls. Even though you might be talking to an assistant or PA (and therefore think they’re someone who can make decisions), it’s possible that they’ve never sold anything before and have no authority whatsoever over purchasing decisions. On the other hand, suppose you get to speak directly with someone in charge of making decisions. In that case, it may well be because they have already been impressed by another salesperson’s skills and abilities — which means that they are unlikely to see any value in yours if you try too hard on your first call!

5. Lack of Confidence

You might be nervous on your first call, but don’t let it show. Your voice should sound confident and upbeat, even if you’re not feeling that way inside. And don’t worry — it’s normal to feel nervous when cold-calling. If you’re having trouble with this, here are five tips for dealing with cold calling anxiety:

    1. Practice beforehand. Practice your pitch before every call so that you know exactly what to say and how to say it without stumbling over words or hesitating too long between sentences.
    2. Practice breathing exercises. Take a few deep breaths before each call, and then breathe normally while speaking into the phone so your voice sounds relaxed and natural rather than strained or forced.
    3. Take time to visualize success before each call. Visualizing yourself making successful calls will help reduce anxiety before each one, making you sound more confident when talking to prospects on the phone.

6. Failing to Follow Up

You’ve done all the hard work, sent out the cold calls, and now you’re waiting for the phone to ring. But, it’s a slow process, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So, you’ve just got to wait until people get back to you. Wrong! Don’t let your lead go cold by not following up.

Following up is important because it shows how serious you are about working with them. Also, if they don’t respond, there’s no way of knowing whether they were interested or not.

You should follow up after two days at the earliest and then once more before giving up on that lead. Then, if you’re still not getting anywhere after those attempts, call another contact on your list instead and save that person for later on down the line when they might be more receptive to talking with you about their business needs or requirements.


By being aware of these mistakes, you can start changing these behaviors and build more success into your cold calls. The more you practice and implement these tips, the better you’ll get at cold calling. You’ll be able to quickly identify what works for you and what doesn’t, which will help you improve even further on your next call.

The Top 6 Mistakes You’re Making When You Cold Call

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