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How to make a Proper Cold Call from Scratch: Part Two


Guest articles > How to make a Proper Cold Call from Scratch: Part Two


by: Luke McLeod


So you’ve now got a decent list of desirable companies and contacts you want to do business with. Great! Let’s get our hands dirty and pick up the phone! Wait…. Just a couple more quick things we need to do before that happens.

Grab yourself a piece of paper and rule it into 3 horizontal sections. In the top left hand corner of the top section, write “TRUST”. This is what you want to gain and be thinking of first when you make your call. So how does one gain trust with someone who they have never met… within 15 seconds? Respected Commonality. Ever been to a dinner party/function and talking to someone you have never met before and throughout conversation you might mention someone who is a friend, client, business partner etc and the other person has gone “Oh, you know Greg too?”, as soon as that happens (assuming the voice inflection goes UP not DOWN. Down would mean Loathing Commonality) the level of trust the person has in you instantly sky rockets. Why? Because we humans, like most species, are very territorial, just like from the movie “Meet the Parents”, we all have a circle of trust. If you know someone who is in the circle of trust of the person you want to speak to, then that gives you a pass into their circle too. However, the pass doesn’t last long you have to get it stamped to stay in! More on this later.

You want to make sure that when you do make the call the person who will get you into the circle, is actually in their circle. Give your contact a call and simply ask them “I am thinking of contacting Greg at X Company to see if he’d be interested in what we’re doing around A and B. Would he be the right person to speak to?” You see this is where most people get it wrong. They call their contact and ask them “Who at X Company is the right person to speak to?” this is lazy, puts all the pressure on them and makes them feel uncomfortable. Know who you want to speak and if they say “Yes, Greg is the person you want to speak to”, then that’s great. If he isn’t they will tell who is the right person to speak to is.

Now that you have confirmation that you know someone in their circle of trust and that they are the right person to speak to. Write your contact’s name in the top box where trust is written along with how you know them. E.g. do business together, play soccer etc. That is all that needs to go in the top box.

In the middle box write REASON in top left-hand corner. The reason is your stamp. Stamp to stay in the circle and ride the ferris-wheel. A safe rule to go by when choosing a reason to put in your middle section is using the 3 R Rules. Relevance, Results & Revenue.

Write those 3 words in the REASON box along with an explanation of each word:

  1. Relevance – This could an industry trend that is currently in the media a lot.
  2. Results – An actual result you have achieved relating to the relevance.
  3. Revenue – And the amount of $$ you have either made or saved from the result.

In the last section top left corner, write TIME. This is quite self explanatory, all that needs to be organised is a time to meet that suits both of you. Note how I said both of you. Don’t sacrifice your worth by agreeing to any time they suggest. Write 2 times you can meet them in your last section (this is before you make the call) and lead into this section by taking responsibility and suggest those 2 alternative times that you can go and meet them (I generally go for either quite early times (8am) or quite late times (4pm onwards) Why? Because what are they usually doing between those times? Working! And what impression do want to give them of what you are doing between those times? Working!)

If neither of those times suit, then ask them for a time that suits them. If you have something scheduled at the same time of their suggestion, be honest and let them know you can’t make that time because of another commitment. Then ask for their next availability till you agree on a time suitable for the both of you.

Lastly, confirm your contact details and theirs (emails, best contact number & address) and finish with “I’ll see you next/on agreed day at agreed time. (Yes, see you then) Great. Bye for now”. And you’re done.

Let’s now look at a live example of what I have just explained.

Introduce yourself confidently and clearly;

“Hi Greg, Terry Smith here. Business Development Manager at X Company.”

“I spoke with/caught up with “insert the mutual contact here’ last week, we’re currently doing some work with them around (straight into section 2) A & B Reason and are achieving Results which have lead to increasing in Revenue and thought you might be interested in meeting to see if there’s any common ground?”

If you gain an agreement, go straight into section 3.

“Great. Well next week is a right-off for me, however the following week I can come and meet you at either time 1 or time 2, do either of those times work for you?”

And then just confirm a time, details and Bye.

We always tend to over complicate things. Keep it simple like the above and I bet you’ll be surprise at the result. One last thing. Be genuine and honest. Lying or over exaggerating will only get you so far and you will end-up falling on your face and become banned from all circles everywhere. Most people, especially senior executives, are smart people!! So don’t try and pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. You wouldn’t want it done to you, so why do it to anyone else.


Luke McLeod writes, a blog dedicated to offering the very best in 'Top Shelf' advice. The blog has been in operation for close a year now and is getting some good attention.

Contributor: Luke McLeod

Published here on: 23-Sep-11

Classification: Sales


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