Some people would argue that cold calling is no longer effective. But many firms, including Fortune 500 organizations and startups, continue to use it to generate profitable sales.

Let’s learn more about cold calling meaning, the process, and its techniques to successfully reach prospects.

What Is Cold Calling Meaning?

Cold calling is the act of approaching a potential customer who has never spoken to a salesman before. Cold calling is one of the oldest and most popular methods of telemarketing used by salespeople.

In contrast, warm calling involves approaching a client who has already shown an interest in the business or its products.

Cold calling vs. Warm calling

Of course, the majority of companies who still practice cold calling nowadays don't follow the original definition. Warm calling is more frequently used by businesses since scammers are more frequently related to unknown numbers.

Cold-call salespeople who succeed must be persistent and prepared to experience repeated rejection. They should thoroughly prepare by doing market and prospect demographic research in order to succeed. As a result, occupations that depend primarily on cold calling frequently see significant turnover rates.

Cold Call Examples

Brokers in the finance sector make cold calls to potential clients. In the movie "Boiler Room," a group of stockbrokers is squeezed into small cubicles and called names from paper lists in an effort to pitch them on esoteric stocks. In the movie, cold calling is portrayed as a game of numbers. Rejections outnumber acceptances to the brokers by a large margin. Cold calling is rarely a strategy used by those who land big transactions.

Some companies have a reputation for performing door-to-door sales. College students work mostly as canvassers for the instructional book publisher Southwestern Advantage in residential areas. Similar to this, Kirby Company sends its salespeople door-to-door to offer homes high-end vacuum cleaners.

Cold Calling Process


While a comprehensive client profile is not necessary, you should be aware of the basics. Find your prospect on social media and look through internal emails to see if they've ever communicated with your business. If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, consider similar possibilities and their problems. When you start the conversation, you should have more to give than just your product.

Follow up

Send that follow-up email even if your prospect didn't register or accept an appointment. You can never predict what might occur.

Keep track of records

While implementing a cold-calling campaign, you should answer the following questions:

Who did you call? 

When did you call them? 

Did they pick up? 

Did you leave a message? 

Did you send a follow-up email? 

What are the results after the call or email?

>>> Read more: 8 Essential Call Center Metrics For Customer Experience and Agent Productivity

Cold Calling Techniques

Use a call script

Even for sales professionals with a lot of expertise, cold calling can be difficult. You may become agitated and tense, which could cause you to stumble or talk too quickly. That is not a good thing when you need to close deals, therefore having a script would be beneficial.

One of the finest methods for cold calling is using a script because it has so many advantages. A well-written screenplay will help you to organize your ideas and improve your method.

Because the entire team is informed whenever a salesperson deviates from the script and finds a better solution, it may also be simpler to develop the sales team's selling abilities.

Accept rejection

It's not embarrassing to be rejected. It is essential to sales. Everyone who works in sales has, in actuality, experienced rejection.

You may encounter rude people occasionally, which can be demoralizing, but you must allow your fear of being rejected to hold you back. Just keep in mind not to take anything personally.

Ask gently why they rejected your offer if someone does so so you may figure out where you went wrong. It might not always be your fault; on occasion, they might have declined for other reasons, such as the cost of the item or a lack of need.

Use effective voice techniques

The right voice use is one of the top cold call sales methods. Your voice tone, in addition to your words, will determine whether or not your cold call is successful. The prospect would determine whether or not to trust you based on the tone of your voice. As a result, you should bear the following in mind:

Maintain the appropriate volume to sound confident 

Usually, the prospect picks up on your volume first. If you speak too softly, it will be obvious that you lack confidence, and the other person may mistake you for being frightened or nervous. It would be quite disappointing for your sales call. Conversely, shouting into the phone is also unacceptable. You'll come across as hostile as a result. It shouldn't be unpleasant to hear you speak.

There's a sweet spot that you should aim for between being overly loud and too shy. Just make sure you speak a little louder than normal so the prospect can hear you. The prospect will perceive you as a self-assured expert in your field.

Keep a proper pace 

Slow speech can give the impression that you are uncertain about what you are saying and may not be interested in the prospect. Conversely, speaking at a fast pace won't help you either. Just maintain a moderate pace that falls somewhere between the two extremes. Keep it slightly above average to make yourself seem knowledgeable and assured.

Use confident body language 

Sit up straight, raise your head above the floor, and smile when making cold calls. The prospect can sense the vibrations from your voice even though they cannot see you. You'll feel more energized and sound more assured as a result.

Ask open-ended questions

One of the greatest and most effective cold-calling tactics is to use questions that start with "how," "what," "who," or "when" to maximize your chances of receiving a response from the prospect.

How would you feel about utilizing a new platform for cold outreach, for instance? Would you like to try out a new cold outreach platform? instead of

To understand as much as you can about the potential customer, including their requirements and expectations, you must get them to talk. Increase your chances of having a conversation throughout the call by posing questions like the one above.

Leave a voicemail

Consider leaving a voicemail if you are unable to contact the potential customer. Make sure it lasts 20 to 30 seconds. Consider developing trust instead of the response. 

Starting the voicemail by introducing yourself and giving your connecting statement. Finally, make an effort to pique the prospect's interest so they will want to learn more from you. To make it sound more convincing, try using social proof and statistics.

Pros & Cons Of Cold Calling


  • Informative:  A salesman can answer inquiries and provide information without wasting the prospects' time on product research in contrast to a cold email, which can only provide limited information.
  • Personalized: A human voice on the other end of the phone line has the capacity to humanize the pitch in a way that cold emails cannot. Similar to direct mail, a cold email is simple to discard.
  • Easy to follow up: Making a second call provides you the opportunity to provide an even more individualized experience, establish a business connection, and ideally close a sale (or, at least, come closer to making it). Prospects frequently want time to think things over, so having several conversations and encounters might be beneficial.


  • Get rejections easily: Despite some advice, you must be ready to encounter numerous rejections, including getting disconnected and having your phone number blacklisted. You have to decide if you think it's worthwhile investing the time with such a low success rate.
  • Most prospects don't like cold calling. It hinders the efficacy of lawful cold calling because scammers and spammers regularly utilize it as a tactic of fraud.

Final Thoughts

Although cold calling is no longer a common marketing tactic, it is still regularly employed. Patience and preparation for what you will say when the other end of the phone is picked up are the keys to its success. Don't let the lack of favorable feedback deter you; there is at least one diamond in every hundred calls you make.

You only have one shot to get it right when cold phoning. Make those scripts and put in lots of practice. Discover as much as you can about your prospects and show them that you have done your research on them and their business.