How to Make Cold Calling a Little Warmer

cold calling strategy

This Simple Cold-Calling Strategy is a Must for any Franchise Professional

Whether you are calling a prospect, a client, a coworker, or anyone who is not expecting your call, there is one cold calling strategy you must use. It does not matter who you are calling. If you are not doing this, you are making the call ineffective. Notice I did not say bad. I did not say wrong. I said, ‘ineffective;’ terribly ineffective as a matter of fact. Best you do not ignore this suggestion. It is one of the staples of being a great communicator. And yet, so many folks do not do this simple, easy strategy when making cold calls. 

When we make a phone call, even with an invite, often we are an interruption. But if you use this handy, and especially important, strategy on every call, you will never go wrong. Whether it’s a short call to say “Hi” or the all-important call to do business, or whatever, this is something that cannot/should not be left out. 

So, after all this buildup, what is it? Always ask if it’s a good time to talk — yes, even if the call was scheduled. And how we ask this question is as important as asking it, especially on any cold calls. What are cold calls? A cold call does not always mean a sales call, but it can be a major inconvenience regardless. Calling someone when they aren’t expecting it is not a standard operating procedure in business these days of texting and emails. In business, calls are usually planned. And trust me, a call can be an interruption, even with an invite. With scheduled calls, we still need to be considerate enough to ask, “Is this still a good time to talk for you?” Remember, stuff happens. People have deadlines, get stuck in meetings, have family emergencies and the list goes on.

Cold Calling 101

Consideration is high on the “I like this person” list. 

In my business, asking this question is a condition of employment, and not asking it is grounds for termination. It goes with every phone call. And yes, even internally! Which most folks forget about. And even when my husband (and business partner), Dick, calls me from his car, he never forgets to ask, “Do you have a few minutes, Nancy?” Consideration is high on the “I like this person” list. 

Not asking if this is a “good (or bad) time to talk” at the start of the conversation is thoughtless. It speaks volumes of positivity and rapport-building possibilities when you ask if this is a good time to talk. I promise you, you will rate a 10+ for asking. 

Don’t be afraid if the person you called says, “Yes, you caught me at a very bad time.” Believe it or not — that is a great opportunity to choose another time to call back. How? Fairly easy. All you need to do is take the reins of the call and simply say, “Thanks for letting me know. When would be a better time to talk?”  

Try not to let the call end without getting another time to talk. You have the person on the phone and if it is not a good time for them, quickly offer them another day and or time. 

Those that do not ask for time to talk on the call are normally afraid they will not get a second chance. Trust me, you have more of a chance for a next time call by asking, than if you do not ask. If you are not asking the person you are calling, “Is this (still) a good time to talk?” at the start of your call, you risk a lot, including their frustration and more.

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Nancy Friedman is Founder and Chairman of the The Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. A former franchisor, she is expert on customer service and is a frequent keynote speaker talking about customer services best practices. Her real-world, hands-on tips, ideas, skills, and techniques help both franchisors and franchisees take their businesses to the next level.
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