Whether you work in sales, marketing, or are the CEO of your business, we all have stared down cold calls as a dreaded, but vital task to grow our company. Selling to hundreds of customers before at Yelp (and now at Tint), I have done many cold calls that I now get excited about. How? After failing through so many calls, you see things differently and fortunately, learn a process that I’m happy to share with you today on how I close deals over cold calling. Here are 7 tips I live by when I cold call prospective customers.

1) Start Early

Start early, which means hitting the phones easy and making at least 20 calls per hour, 160 calls per day. This also means a whole lot of voicemails and NO rapport building whatsoever.

 2) Build Rapport

Rapport building, which means getting the NDM (none decision maker/gatekeeper) to help you move forward.  Move forward by any means, whether it’s an updated email, the right department number, an extension number, or even the owner’s cell phone number.  The gatekeeper is the person who will give you the key to move forward. She or he can be your company’s brand evangelist; your brand’s champion.  Get them to check out your site, get them to believe in what you are sharing.  Teach, not sell! Educate them about what your company does and how it will help them.

3) Always Ask for Something

My personal motto:  Always get something from a call.  Get names and always ask questions.  Most importantly, always remember the person you are talking to.  Talk to them like you would a friend… and they will help you get all the information you need.  They might even help you close the deal.

4) Know What You are Talking About

Know by heart what you are talking about.  People buy from people they like.  And people believe those who are passionate about what they talk about.  Don’t just memorize a script.  Assume that they have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.  Break it down and keep it simple.  Do not speed up just because the person you are talking to is in a hurry.  Slow down and they’ll follow.  If not, politely let them go and reach out a different time.

5) Expect the HUs and NIs.

If the person you are talking to is not interested, simply, say thank you, and type the notes in your CRM: John NI.  This person might not even be the right person.  Don’t take it personal and simply find another way.  Call at a different time.  Owners are usually in early to open the shop.  Notes are your friend; set a reminder task to call when the owner is in.  If you get a Hang Up, just remember that these businesses get many calls per day and to stand out, just be different.  Use humor and be honest about what you are trying to accomplish, which is to set a demo appt with the right person.

6)  DNC List — Do Not Be Discouraged

The “do not call” list – Easy, let it go and make the note.  Know that you are one step closer to finding someone who genuinely needs your product.

7) Embrace the Process

Love the hunt, work smart and most importantly trust the process. A close means a match.  You are helping your client with their needs & wants, vice versa they are helping your company grow.  So be patient, and listen for clues.  Change your language and match the person you are talking to, it makes the open calls a lot more fun and interesting.

Let me know if this works out for you and if I’m missing anything else that has worked for you in the comments below!


VP of Sales