"I hate cold calling." Have you heard that line a thousand times or more in your sales career? How about the promise to "never make another cold call again"? Let's not forget the ever popular "cold calling is dead".

Lately it seems there are tons of books, articles, blogs and tirades about the death of the cold call. However there are still lots of industries where they work and lots of sales people who are very successful because they pick up the phone and dial.

Why are some sales people great at cold calling, while others would rather get a root canal than pick up the phone? The simple reason has to do with the fear of rejection. Most people who hate cold calling feel personally rejected when their call ends in "failure".

Sales people who are good at cold calling and successful at starting conversations with prospects get that way because they first identify targeted prospects who they know "can, will or may" become customers. They don't waste time with suspects who do not fit their target profile.

By targeting people you know have the potential to become customers you can start a conversation based on what you can do to help them solve a problem or fill a need. Your rejection rate will drop and you will begin more meaningful discussions with other business people.

The second important focus of your call must be on the reason the prospect would want to do business with you in the first place.

We recently ran a phone lead generation program for a client and 21% of the people contacted wanted more information. Why? Because our calls were focused on how the product was helping businesses gain a competitive advantage. Of course our target market was interested in learning more. If they could gain a competitive advantage in a tight marketplace, 10 minutes on the phone was a small price to pay.

The key is to have a very specific plan at all stages of your calling process.
Target your market, create quantifiable benefits, create scripts or at least call templates to keep you focused on what is important to the prospect.

Finally, please don't start your call with "hi how are you today". Nothing screams sales call worse than that over used introduction. A quick "I hope you can help me" can work wonders in your prospecting.

Source: Robert Weese link