Art Of Cold Calling

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Making a phone callThe Art Of Cold Calling – It’s time for SMILE & DIAL R.I.P!

The modern day buyer can see straight through your false enthusiasm and approach……’s time to lose the smile and dial!

If you sell IT services, software or anything in this area, then you, more than any other sales person, understands the real advancement of the typical prospective customer.

Today’s modern buyer is a sophisticated and savvy individual who knows how to use all of the technology at his or her fingertips. Today’s modern buyer is a well oiled machine; a smart and cagy prospect that has heard all of the BS before—and they don’t buy it—pun intended.

To successfully approach today’s IT buyer, first you must get rid of the typical sales-pitch-money mouth-smile-and-dial approach. That big over-enthusiastic smile, that pep-rally attitude that projects the old-school idea that if you are excited and jumping up and down, than this will make them do the same is ridiculous and today’s buyer resents such an approach.

You can’t use old school sales tactics on new school buyers!

First, you need get rid of the “Have I got a deal for you pitch-man smile and attitude” and be a real person; a professional. Then it’s time to get to get DTE. By the DTE I mean: get Down To Earth!!

I don’t know why it is that makes most people who sell technology think that they have to try sound like a “white-paper!” For some reason, most people who sell IT seem to want to “prove” that they are indeed technologically aware and intelligent. The result, they talk like they are writing a technical paper or giving a speech for the Noble Prize.

You have to get down to earth. Speak like you NORMALLY speak. As you are making calls, cold calls or to set appointments; you have to learn to talk naturally. You must learn to speak in your normal jargon, tone and pace. Now, I know that sounds simple, but it’s not.

You see, once you are making a call, a business call; your body and mind takes on a different posture. Once you know that there is money involved and you may receive a “less than enthusiastic or friendly reception,” you take on a different tone and attitude. Commercialism and expectations now alter your natural communication skills. Now, a simple “hello,” becomes a performance and you are not longer really YOU. You are acting.

This act helps the IT sales person preempt a possible negative response by beginning with what they believe is a more professional and high-level and technically astute opening. The often subconscious idea is to let the prospect know, in an instant, that you are indeed a technically savvy pro — a peer, someone who has been there.

So the call begins with a false projection of what you, the sales person thinks the prospect needs to hear.

Big mistake.

Calm down! Be yourself and get down to earth. Don’t force your knowledge and brains on the customer. Just be YOU. Be you with your stutters, mistakes and broken chains of thought. Be you with words that make sense — simple and plain common sense.

In a world where all of your competitors are making hundreds of cold calls to the very same buyers that you want to reach using the very same techniques that have been taught over decades surely you want to stand out?

Having trained thousands of IT sales people over the years here is a typical opening that they make:

(Imagine a high tempo, energetic and polished performance!)

Sales Person:
“Yes, Mr. Prospect, Stewart Gram here with ABC Software. ABC offers some of the most sophisticated enterprise-wide, multi-image, spider-enabled, SEO optimization and directory enhancement technology on the market.”

Ok. You could say that. Or how about getting down to earth…

Sales Person:
“Yes, ah, Mr. Prospect, Stewart Gram with ABC Software. How are you? {RESPONSE} Ah yes Stewart, ABC offers a web site trafficking software that will help you earn a lot more money.”

Of course, neither of those are exact examples as you know what you do.

But the bottom line is that if you sell IT — get real. Become normal and unrehearsed. You may have to actually practice at sounding unpracticed. But, if you sell IT, lose the smile and dial!

The Art Of Cold Calling has changed…


Step 1:
Tone down the enthusiasm until you’ve built rapport

Step 2:
Don’t be perfect – include stutters, stammers, “erms” etc

Step 3:
Use words that you’d use to a friend

Step 4:
Reflect back a like attitude and pace of speech

Step 5:
Sound human! Your competitors all sound the same remember

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 12 August, 2008

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