Cold calling to sell is one of the hardest and most aggravating ways to make a living, if you do it the way most people teach. I’ve had two salespeople cold call me that knew how to make it work. Here is what they did.

Selling by referral is easier than cold calling, advertising to sell is even easier. So why in the world would I advise you to cold call for new business? Here is a truth that most salespeople never think about. In your town, there are between ten and a hundred people today, that really want to buy what you have. I mean they are looking for you at the same time you are looking for them. Your goal in cold calling is to find those people. You are not calling people to try to convince them to let you see them, you are calling to find the people who are already anxious to buy.

So now speed comes into play. You want to get through as many calls as you can in an hour. These calls will become effortless, because you don’t care about the outcome. You are not selling, you are sorting. So you are polite, friendly, and get to the point right away.

The best cold calling pitch I ever heard was from a man selling long distance service. This is about 10 years ago. He called and said “I can give you long distance nationwide for three cents a minute. Do you want to hear more?”. No long greeting, no fake small talk, just that opening line. I sais “Yes”. And he proceeded to make a sale. The promise he made turned out to not be real, but it doesn’t matter. He had the sale. Had he told me the truth, I would still be with him today, I’m sure.

For years I was going to buy more life insurance. I got married, and wanted to bu a million dollar life insurance policy. I told my wife that I would buy from the first guy that called me. Nobody called, not for a few years. One day I decided to buy online. I was filling out the application what a man walked into my store and said that he was with an insurance company that was well known, and he asked who I had my life insurance with. I said “YOU!”. It may have been the biggest sale in his career.

You want to be there when they are ready to buy.

You can also keep calling them until they are ready to buy. A fast phone call from you may well get a “Not now” from the prospect. But if the prospect gets a short call from you every six months, eventually he will ask you a question, or invite you in. After all, you now have a relationship of sorts.

Making these sort of rapid fire cold calls may get you an appointment every hour or two. Maybe only one appointment after four hours of calling. But this appointment will be with a high quality prospect who is prepared to buy.

One point you need to know. You should make these calls yourself. You’ll be the voice they hear. You’ll be able to decide, right there, if you wan to see them or not. If you are the one making the call, and you have called six times to get the appointment, it will be you they have the relationship with. Don’t farm this out.

You need to make these calls as fast as you can. If you only make three or four calls in an hour, you will never make this work, and time will drag for you. Try to knock out twenty five contacts an hour.

You’ll still want to get referrals from your customers, see past customers and other methods. But cold calling like this will get you new customers, new sources of fresh referrals, and more money.

Small Business Marketing and Local Advertising expert Claude Whitacre is author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. You can purchase the book for $19.95 at You can also download your Free copy of the complete book at

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