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Feature: Make the Call


Regardless of profession, most people at some point in their lives will face the onerous task of having to make a cold call. Here Julia Green, Sales Director,, offers some tips to help the call go smoothly.

Get Past the Gatekeeper
Remember that the receptionist is your friend. Be polite and friendly and try to illicit as much information – names, e-mail, direct lines - as you can from them. If you’re on first name terms with the gatekeeper, your half way to getting in touch with the right person.

Prepare an opening statement
Have a few lines prepared that let people know exactly why you are calling. Don’t read down the line like an android, but if you have prepared something to say beforehand it will give you time to compose your thoughts.

Be Confident
If you sound nervous the person you are calling isn’t likely to take what you have to say that seriously. Whether you are speaking to the MD of a multi-national or the receptionist always remember to try and sound as confident as possible in everything that you say.

Be Yourself
Everyone has a persona they like to project when doing business, this is only natural. But if you normally speak with a strong Glaswegian accent, don’t start calling people up pretending to speak like Prince Charles, it just doesn’t work. If you are relaxed and natural on the phone, you will appear more confident (point 3) and able to the person you are calling.

Know Your Product
It pays to understand whatever it is you are selling, this way you can understand how your product will be of benefit to a client, as well as be able to better overcome any concerns clients may have.

Know Your Target
Before you pick up the phone make sure you are targeting the right person or department. No one likes being badgered with sales calls that don’t have anything to do with them. Once you know who you are targeting try to find out as much as you can about the company and how they operate before making the call.

Be Polite
By all means punch your desk in frustration and swear at the top of your voice at a prospective client when you have put the phone down, but try not to do it during the phone call itself. You never know when a closed door is going to spring open, so it pays not to burn bridges unnecessarily.

Be Persistent
Cold calling is a tough business and those who succeed at it all have one thing in common – they are persistent. It can take as many as five phone calls to get a sale, but many people give up after two. Keep trying and you will get somewhere, even if it is only on first name terms with the receptionist. (Point 1).

Have A Sense of Humour
Cold calling involves dealing with people and a sense of humour can go a long way. If you’ve had a bad call, laugh it off and get on to the next one. Enjoy what you do and keep that phone pressed to your ear and you will be successful.

Follow Up
Follow up your phone calls with a well-worded e-mail reminder detailing the benefits of your product. If someone asks you to call back, find out a convenient time so that you aren’t hounding someone unnecessarily.


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