7 Cold Calling Mistakes That Might Be Weighing You Down

Have you ever received a call from a salesperson that’s so bad, you want to firebomb their office and then tickle the ears of their dog? We assume the answer is yes, so we bring you this blog. In short, the process of cold calling needs to change. 

But first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Does cold calling even work? Is it archaic? 

The average cold calling success rate is between 1 to 3%.

Given the data, cold calling is difficult. However, it isn’t just your calling etiquette. Your cold call list also plays a significant role in success.

Nobody likes cold calling. It’s a necessary evil when selling your product or service to other companies. Unfortunately, it’s also an essential skill for salespeople and telemarketers. While cold calling is easy to learn, it is hard to master. But these cold calling tips can do the work for you!

Image of Simple Techniques to cold call successfully


Have you ever wondered why cold calling works for some people? Let’s see for ourselves. Here is a breakdown of the science and art behind a successful call. We have listed down a couple of things you should avoid to make your calls a great success.

Table of Contents

  1. Lagging on research
  2. Being too professional
  3. Not having a plan
  4. Losing your cool
  5. Not using a script
  6. Having a poor follow-up strategy
  7. Not repeating your name

1. Lagging on Research

Cold calling, or telemarketing, for sales is all about preparation. You cannot expect to pick up the phone and start pitching strangers on whatever it is you’re trying to sell. Doing so will probably get you hung up on pretty quickly. 

Image of Brian Tracy's quote


You need to know the answers to all objections before you even dial the person’s number. You should be able to recite them in your sleep. You can only do this is by preparing and doing your research on the person you are calling.

To start with, you need to research the company and the person you are speaking with. You want to know what their current challenges are, what their goals are, what their budget is, who the decision-makers are and who the influencers are. This information is key to knowing what you can and cannot say and how to respond when they ask questions.

For example, if you know that the decision maker’s boss is traveling to Europe next week, you have a good shot of getting them on board with your idea. However, if they’re going to be out of town next week, you’ll want to find out when they will be back so you can schedule a follow-up call at that time. It may take a little longer, but it will end up being worth it because you’ll be more likely to get approved.

2. Being Too Professional

Sounding like a robot. When you read your script aloud, does it sound like a robot? Break it up into smaller chunks and practice until you can say it without sounding robotic.

It’s all about being relatable and connecting with the person on the other end of the phone. The more comfortable you are, the better your chances of getting them to listen to you.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when cold calling is being too professional. We are talking about going straight into their pitch without even asking how their day is or simply saying, “Hi, how are you doing today?” Even if the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t respond, you’ve built a rapport and have made them feel good about you. Once you have their attention, introduce yourself (even if they already know who you are) and ask them how their day is going.

There’s a reason why we build relationships before getting straight to business – it makes people more likely to buy from us! And this isn’t just with cold calls. It works for warm calls as well! So, for example, when you meet a new client for the first time, we want them to like us, we need to be friendly and energetic.

Pssst… Here’s a pro tip. 👇

Pro tip for cold calling


A genuine connection with your customers can be the difference between disappointing sales and making huge profits. It all comes down to how well you build a relationship before getting into the business.

3. Not Having a Plan

Before making any sales call, it is essential to have a plan. It isn’t just about researching the person or preparing a script. You can take a couple of steps ahead to make cold calling more efficient. For instance, you can schedule a strategy that covers all customer touchpoints.

image of a quote of Kendra Lee


Ask yourself the following questions and formulate answers in various aspects to convince your prospect.

  • What is the purpose of your phone call? 
  • Are you trying to determine if they require your product or service? 
  • Are you trying to set up an appointment? 
  • Are you trying to secure a sale right on the phone? 

Regardless of your objective, it is essential to know precisely what you say and how you say it.

4. Losing Your Cool

When you start your call and realize that the person on the other end doesn’t seem interested in what you have to say, most people panic, the worst thing you can do is start talking faster, louder, and with more urgency. 

This will only push your prospect away and make it less likely that they’ll want to talk to you. So instead, take a deep breath, slow down, and try to stay calm as much as possible when things aren’t going your way. You can impart things to make your call a success even when it goes downhill.

The worst thing a salesperson can do at this point is panic and start talking fast. That’s like waving a red cape in front of a bull. The more you try to convince the prospect that you’re worth talking to and that it’s worth their time, the less likely it is that they’ll be willing to listen at all.

Instead, take a deep breath and stay relaxed as much as possible when bad things happen during your calls. Try to bring yourself back into focus and develop a new strategy for how you’re going to handle this potential sale. Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this in the first place — because cold calling is challenging, but it has its rewards too.

The best way to prepare a salesperson for such complex situations is to impart cold calling training.

5. Not Using a Script

Many people think that using a script for cold calls is for robots — that it’s something only sales robots use. The truth is that everybody uses scripts — doctors, lawyers, car mechanics, and so on. You using a cold calling script is to make sure you cover all your bases and don’t forget anything. Remembering everything you want to say in a cold call can be challenging. 

There’s a reason you have the script to help you avoid the pitfalls of a cold call. So if you’re making one, use the script!

Don’t just give up on people when they say “no.” Instead, ask yourself what’s holding that person back. What could you have done better? How could your pitch have been more persuasive? Then, fix those things and try again.

A script will help you present your message in different ways. This is because other people respond better to different notices and presentations.

6. Having a Poor Follow-up Strategy

Image of Don't forget to follow up


The biggest mistake you can make in the cold calling process is letting your leads slip through the cracks. This is often because of poor follow-up practices. You may have a great script and an extensive list, but if you don’t stay on top of your leads, you’re going to miss out on many opportunities.

The key to successful cold calling is persistence. This may seem like an odd tip, but many people give up too quickly when things aren’t going their way or if they don’t get the response they expect. 

If you’ve been calling for a while and nothing seems to be working, consider making some changes in your approach or following up through other mediums such as email. An effective follow-up email can do your campaign a lot of good. Furthermore, you can try refining your lead list or changing your pitch.

Very often, a decision-maker will give you a time frame in which they expect to hear from you, such as “I’ll get back to you next week.” If you don’t hear back, try calling again after a few days. If the decision-maker has good intentions, they will take your call. Even if they don’t have time at that point, they may have had enough time to get your contact information and reach out to you later.

If the decision-maker is on vacation, try calling again after a few weeks. Often, people on vacation forget about their work and haven’t taken care of business yet when it comes to following up with customers or vendors.

7. Not Repeating Your Name

It may sound basic, but many people still forget to do this. Once you’ve introduced yourself and gotten the prospect’s attention, repeat your name. 

If you’re making a cold call, it’s likely the person on the other end doesn’t know you. So make sure they hear your name when you introduce yourself. 

After you introduce yourself and get the prospect’s attention, ask them a question immediately. For example, you can ask them something about what they do, how they’re doing today, etc.


Cold calling is a numbers game, and if you’re not willing to dial thousands of numbers, you’ll never be successful. But more importantly, it is a tools game too. The key to getting the most out of your calls is leveraging the right cold calling tools.

It is crucial to have reliable tools at your disposal to be effective with cold calling. In addition to having a solid business phone system with built-in recording capabilities and intelligent features, it is vital to have something that allows you to track who you called and how they responded. 

In the end, remember, your goal is a conversation, not a presentation. This is important because it will change the way you approach your call. You’re not there to sell anything or even give a sales pitch. Instead, you want to get in touch with someone and talk about what they do and how your business could help them. So go out of your way to make it clear that this is about starting a conversation, not finishing one.

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