Tag Archives: inside sales

What is the Goal of a Cold Call?

The goal of a cold call has been widely argued and for good reason.  It is where salespeople make a crucial mistake in their expectations.  And they do it in 1 of 2 ways:

1. They don’t expect enough

Many salespeople use a cold call to “Say hello” and “Introduce myself” and “Send some information”.  They don’t typically have much of a plan beyond that.  They may do a slight pitch of some kind but there are typically no concrete next steps.   They usually ends up logging a lot of phone time with very little results.

2. They expect too much

Some salespeople expect to go through an entire sales cycle on a cold call.  By the end of the call they have pitched their entire solution and are ready to send over a contract.  I have heard this referred to as “show up and throw up” (or would it be phone up and throw up?)  While this methodology certainly gets a lot of contracts out the door (which take a lot of time to produce) they typically take a long time to come back (like almost never).

Both of these mistakes are frustrating for the salesperson and often result in him or her looking at alternative ways to find business, never to cold call again.

The challenge in cold calling is that no one blocks time out of their day to answer them.  Every cold call by its very definition is unexpected.  It can last 30 seconds or 30 minutes.  The salesperson has no way of knowing because the prospect is in control and can hang up at any time.

So…..knowing the prospect can hang up at any time…..what can a salesperson reasonably expect to get out of a cold call that has value?

More time.

To put it simply, the best thing a salesperson can reasonably expect to get from a cold call is an APPOINTMENT.

An appointment is expected.  An appointment has a time frame.  An appointment gives a salesperson the best opportunity to qualify a prospect for their product or service.  On an appointment the salesperson is in control.

Most salespeople fail, not because they can’t sell, but because they don’t get enough time in front of enough prospective buyers.  When a salesperson ends a cold call with an appointment it means they have gotten permission to spend time in front of a prospective buyer!

What has more value than that?

As always i welcome your comments.  Thank you all for reading!

About Leigh Harris

Sales Trainer

The three magic words in sales.

Like, Trust, Buy!

This phrase is used, or should be, by every successful sales person on the planet.  For many aspects of life, there is a certain order in which things flow.  Grass seeds must be planted before they pop up and make a beautiful lawn.  We learn to walk before we run.  And so it is with sales.  People need to like us before they trust us.  People need to trust us before they will buy from us.   Don’t confuse “like” here the way your best friend likes you; although that may end up being the case.  Like, in the sales context, really means establishing a good business rapport.  You are someone with whom your prospect “likes” speaking with and meeting.

You never trust someone you don’t like.  It’s contrary to human nature.  There’s probably something about that person that just rubs you the wrong way.  Maybe you perceived them as pushy, or they made an inappropriate joke thinking it was funny.  Your perception of them, whether you realized it or not, was that they did not have the same values as you.  There is no like and no rapport here.

On the other hand, if someone does like you, you have a shot at getting them to trust you.  Yes, I said a shot.  Most people make you earn their trust.  Don’t disappoint them.

 To earn trust remember this:

·         Do what you say you’re going to do.  Be dependable.

·         Arrive early.

·         Follow up promptly and when you said you would.

·         Find things that are of value to the other person.

·         Always tell the truth.  Even when it means possibly losing the sale.

·         Understand that from their perspective, purchasing the wrong product could be career-ending for them.

·         Be knowledgeable.

·         Really listen.


The key concept of Like, Trust, Buy, is that it can never go out of this order.  Approach Like, Trust, Buy in this order and you will be a step ahead of 90% of your competition.

Sales Homework – Write down three things that people said they Like about you.  Use those traits as you build your customer relationships.

1. ___________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________

Sales Managers –
Make a list of what you think makes a sales rep trustworthy, and share it with your team.

By: Louie Bernstein