RepVue

Outbound Cold Calling: Tips and Examples to Boost Your Success

RepVue Editorial Team
RepVue Editorial TeamFeb 7, 2024

If you’re in sales, you know that outbound cold calling can be one of the most challenging yet effective ways to generate leads. (And if you’re an SDR or BDR, it’s probably a huge part of your day-to-day.) But making cold calls can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re new to sales. The good news is that with the right strategy and approach, you can master the art of outbound cold calling and achieve your sales goals.

We have some tips and examples to help you improve your outbound cold calling game. We’ll cover everything from preparing for your call to handling objections and booking the next meeting! Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting out, you’ll find valuable insights that can help you succeed in your next cold calling campaign. 

Understanding Cold Calling

Defining Cold Calling

Cold calling is a sales technique in which a sales representative makes unsolicited calls to potential customers who have not shown any direct or active interest in the product or service being offered. These calls are typically made without any prior appointment or introduction. The purpose of cold calling is to assess the needs of a potential customer and introduce the product or service you offer to meet that need.

Benefits of Cold Calling

Cold calling has been around for close to 150 years for a reason.It allows you to reach out to a large number of prospects quickly and efficiently. Cold calling is a cost-effective way to generate leads and increase sales. It does not require a large budget and can be done by any business, regardless of its size.

Preparation Strategies

Before you start making outbound cold calls, it’s important to prepare yourself or your team for success. Preparation can make the difference between a successful call and a missed opportunity. Here are some preparation strategies to help you get started:

Researching Your Prospect

Researching your prospect is an important step in preparing for a cold call. You want to make sure you have a good understanding of their business, their potential pain points, and their likely needs. This will help you tailor your pitch and make a connection with them. You can research your prospect by:

  • Checking out their website and social media profiles
  • Reading their blog posts and articles
  • Looking up their company on review sites like Yelp, TrustRadius, G2 and RepVue
  • Searching for news articles about their company or industry

Crafting Your Script

Crafting a cold calling script is essential to ensure that you’re communicating your value proposition effectively. A good script should be concise, clear, and engaging. It should also be tailored to your prospect’s needs and pain points. Here are some tips for crafting a successful cold calling script:

  • Start with a strong opening that grabs your prospect’s attention
  • Introduce yourself and your company
  • Ask open-ended questions to engage your prospect
  • Highlight the benefits of your product or service
  • Provide social proof by sharing success stories or testimonials

Setting Goals

Setting goals is an important step in preparing for a cold call. You want to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve from the call. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you’re making the most of your time. Here are some goals you might consider setting:

  • Schedule a follow-up call or meeting
  • Schedule a product demo or trial
  • Qualify the lead and move them through the sales funnel

By researching your prospect, crafting your script, and setting goals, you’ll be well-prepared to make successful outbound cold calls.

Do you know your worth as an SDR? Compare salaries here.

Effective Communication Techniques

When it comes to outbound cold calling, effective communication techniques are crucial to build a connection with the prospect and increase the chances of a successful outcome. There are three important communication techniques that can help you achieve your goals: building rapport, active listening, and voice and tone

Building Rapport

Building rapport is the foundation of any successful communication. It helps establish trust and makes the prospect feel comfortable. To build rapport, start by introducing yourself and your company in a friendly and professional manner. Use the prospect’s name and try to find common ground by asking questions about their business or interests. Show genuine interest in what they have to say and actively listen to their responses.

Depending on your personality, you may find that some unconventional techniques can be helpful in building rapport. Some sales reps have found success starting with a comment that shows some empathy with the person you’re talking to, such as “I know that you weren’t expecting this call” or “Yes — this is a cold call — do you have 30 seconds to hear what I have to say?” 

Approaches like this are unusual, and sometimes can be more effective in building rapport than taking the “traditional” approach of saying “Hi, this is Joe from Acme Co, how are you doing today?

Active Listening

Active listening is an essential communication skill that allows you to understand the prospect’s needs and concerns. To actively listen, focus on what the prospect is saying and avoid interrupting them. Use open-ended questions to encourage them to share more information and clarify any misunderstandings. Paraphrase their responses to show that you understand their perspective and use their words to build rapport.

Voice and Tone

Your voice and tone can have a significant impact on the success of your outbound cold calling efforts. Use a friendly and professional tone of voice to build rapport and convey confidence. Speak clearly and at an appropriate pace, and avoid using filler words such as “um” and “uh.” Use pauses to emphasize important points and allow the prospect to respond.

You may find that when someone answers your call, they immediately take on an antagonistic tone. In that case, consider trying to diffuse the tension by calling it out. You could say something like, “I’m getting the vibe that you enjoy getting cold calls as much as I like making them.”

In summary, effective communication techniques are essential for successful outbound cold calling. Building rapport, active listening, and using the right voice and tone can help you establish a connection with the prospect and increase your chances of success.

Cold Calling Examples

Cold calling can be intimidating, but with the right approach and preparation, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some scripted examples for opening lines, rebuttals and responses, and closing techniques to help you make the most of your cold calls.

Opening Lines

Your opening line is crucial in catching the prospect’s attention. Here are some examples to help you get started:

  • “Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m calling from [Your Company]. I noticed that your company [something relevant you found in your research].”
  • “Hi, I’m [Your Name] and I’m calling from [Your Company]. I wanted to reach out because we’ve helped other companies in your industry [insert relevant statistic or success story].”

Remember to keep your tone friendly and professional. Be confident and concise in your delivery.

As mentioned above, you may find that some unconventional opening lines can be effective.

Don’t be afraid to try a little bit of humor. Consider trying something like “This is a cold call… want to roll the dice?”, or “Mind if I share why I’m calling, and then you can decide if you want to hang up?”

You can even try to leverage the name of someone else that that person may (or may not) know.

Rebuttals and Responses

Prospects may have objections or questions during the call. Here are some examples of how to respond:

  • Objection: “I’m not interested.”
    • Response: “I understand. May I ask what you’re currently using for [product/service]?”
  • Objection: “I don’t have time for this.”
    • Response: “I completely understand. I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Can we schedule a brief call for later this week?”
  • Objection: “We’re happy with our current provider.”
    • Response: “I appreciate that. May I ask what you like about your current provider? We may be able to offer something that complements their services.”

Remember to actively listen to the prospect’s concerns and tailor your responses accordingly.

If a prospect tells you that they’ll get back to you or asks if you can send them some more information, you may be tempted to see that as a positive outcome — but it’s not. That’s usually a rejection couched in softer terms. There are several different ways to respond. This might be another chance to try some humor.

Closing Techniques

Closing the call is just as important as the opening. The key thing to remember here is what makes for a successful call. What’s the outcome on which you’re measured? Most of the time it’s either qualifying (or disqualifying) the prospect as a lead, and/or setting up a follow-up call. Make sure to close the call with that objective in mind. 

If the goal is to schedule a follow up call or demo, consider this approach: 

“Given that you mentioned that you’re trying to [drive a certain outcome that you discussed on the call], do you think it would make sense to schedule 30 minutes sometime next week to see if we could help you do that?”

If you get a positive response, ask if there’s anyone else who would be involved in the decision who should attend as well. This is a great way to learn more about the organization and to start to build out an understanding of what it will take to potentially get to a sale.

Always remember to thank the prospect for their time and leave the conversation on a positive note.

Check out Sales Development Rep (SDR) job openings

Analyzing and Improving

Tracking Performance

Tracking your performance is essential to know what works and what doesn’t. You need to track the number of calls you make, the number of appointments you set, and/or the number of sales you close — depending on the objectives of your calls. You can use a spreadsheet or a CRM tool to track your performance. This will help you identify the areas where you need to improve.

Here are some metrics you should track:

  • Calls made: This is the number of calls you make in a day or a week. You need to track this metric to know how many calls you make on average.
  • Appointments set: This is the number of appointments you set in a day or a week. You need to track this metric to know how many appointments you set on average.
  • Sales closed: This is the number of sales you close in a day or a week. You need to track this metric to know how many sales you close on average.

Tracking your performance will help you set targets for yourself and improve your performance. You can set targets for the number of calls you make, the number of appointments you set, and the number of sales you close.

Learning and Improving

Rejection is a part of outbound cold calling. You will face rejection, but you should not let it discourage you. You need to learn from rejection and improve your approach.

Here are some tips to learn from rejection:

  • Listen to the customer: Listen to the customer’s objections and try to understand their point of view. This will help you improve your approach and overcome objections.
  • Ask for feedback: Ask the customer for feedback on your approach. This will help you understand what you need to improve.
  • Analyze your approach: Analyze your approach and identify the areas where you need to improve. You can ask a colleague or a mentor to help you analyze your approach.

Learning from rejection will help you improve your approach and increase your chances of success. You need to stay positive and focus on improving your approach.

One of the best parts of cold calling is that even if a call goes badly, you can always try again with the next number. One thing that most people who are successful in cold calling have in common is a willingness to adjust their approach over time based on what’s working best for them. 

At some companies, your calls may be recorded. If this is the case, you can go back and listen to your calls with the goal of learning from those that go well, as well as those that go poorly. 

If your calls are not recorded, you should still review the CRM notes from your calls to see what trends you can learn from. Take detailed notes on things like your opening line, or other approaches that you are experimenting with. 

Don’t Get Discouraged. Keep at It!

Don’t be discouraged if a few calls go poorly. You’ll probably need to try something at least 50 times in order to have enough data to draw a conclusion as to what’s effective and what’s not. 

What do successful calls have in common? What opening line is most likely to lead to a successful conversation? What time of day leads to the best pick up rate? What role tends to be most receptive to your solution? What type of company tends to be most likely to have the problem that you’re looking to solve.

If you are diligent about taking notes and capturing data like this, you are well on your way to mastering the art of cold calling and improving over time.

Anonymously rate a company to get full access to RepVue's sales org data
  • Salary & compensation data
  • % Team to achieve quota
  • Product market fit scores
  • Leadership scores
Explore Companies

Want to join the RepVue community?

RepVue is the world's leading sales org ratings platform. Take 2 minutes to anonymously rate your current or former sales organization to get free access to all our data!