How to Cold Call Like a Pro (With Scripts+FAQs)

 His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy

There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti

He’s nervous……. 

– Eminem

Just Eminem echoing the truth of cold callers. This kind of reputation for cold calling precedes it. But knowing how to cold call effectively helps ease nerves and map out a successful cold calling strategy.

From the uncertainty of reaching prospects to not being able to convince the decision-maker, there are some variables in the cold calling process that are not in your control. But by preparing yourself with the know-how to brave through every stage of a cold call, you can breeze through your calls efficiently.

Like sales great, James Muir says in his prospecting secret, “uncertainty creates paralysis, and clarity around activities makes every goal easier.” So we removed the uncertainty by laying out every second of a cold call so that reps could achieve their goals faster.

In this blog, we show you how to navigate the cold calling waters. Before we get to the juicy bits, pro tip: when you prepare to cold call, brace your mind for rejection, keep it unsheathed like a drunk frat kid at a college party. 

What Is Cold Calling?

Cold Calling is the act of making unsolicited phone calls to individuals to win their business. 

It’s the simple act of picking up your phone to call potential buyers and pitching them your offerings. What makes it difficult is how time has changed how people now view it.

More and more people have come to despise cold calls because they are getting spammier in nature. They hate when you barge in to make a sale even before you get to know them and their businesses.

So, here’s the hard truth: Don’t sell your product. Don’t sell a meeting. In fact, don’t sell at all. Learn what their problems are. Learn how they’re trying to solve it. Getting a meeting booked, or selling your solution are final steps in the cold calling processes that you can do on earning their trust. 

To build a relationship first, you must come off as a genuine helper. To do that, we’ve provided you with a skeleton of what you should be doing from start to finish.

What Is the Difference Between Cold Calling and Warm Calling?

An image stating differences between cold calling and warm calling

The major significant difference between cold calling and warm calling is your prospect’s awareness of your brand. 

You make a cold call if your prospect has no idea about your brand or business and hasn’t shown an interest in your product or service. 

On the other hand, a call becomes warm if the prospect is aware of your brand and has expressed interest in your product or service in some way, like when they filled up a lead generation form or interacted with your ads or website. 

Pre-Cold Call Ritual:

An image containing a checklist of pre-cold call rituals.

Before kicking off your B2B cold calling campaigns, here is what you should do. 

1. Know Your Prospect

Research to find out which gym your prospect goes to. Maybe not the gym, but do learn if they can buy your product. 

Scour LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and their company website to know more about their business, like their size, value proposition, stakeholders, needs, and requirements. 

To get an idea about their buying intent, technological spending, and revenue, use tools like Buildwith or 6Sense

2. Create Objection Handling Battle Cards

Just like the flashcards we used to use to study for exams, create objection handling cards that help you dismantle objections even before they arise. 

It can contain all the information you need to position yourself as a better option in front of your prospect like answers to objections and concerns, competitor details, etc.

To create a well-rounded sales objection battlecard:

  • Listen to the objections your prospects come up with during sales calls
  • Brainstorm with your team members to uncover new objections that might crop up
  • Analyze unsuccessful cold calls and try to pinpoint the reason

Then, section the different objections, plan and list down different responses for each objection.

Pro Tip: You can section the objections by common themes that you’ve discovered from your research, common personality types, or different roles.

Here’s an objection handling battlecard created by a buyer intelligence platform,, that’s based on different personality types. 

A table containing a personality-driven objection handling battle card.


3. Prepare for Rejections

You can’t convert every prospect you call. The sooner you understand this, the quicker you can save yourself from unwanted heartbreak. 

Of the 100 calls you make, 70 may  go through. Out of that 70, only 40 might care to give you their time, and the other 30 might outrightly deny your request. And, at the end of the day, only 10 might agree to a meeting. That’s an achievement in itself. 

SDRs have to practice professional detachment to not be drained emotionally with all the rejections. In sports, too, players simply move on to the next play. Move on to the next prospect. Start dialing. 

4. Use a Tool to Auto-drop Voicemails

A majority of Americans refrain from taking calls from unknown numbers. Many of your prospects might not attend your cold calls for this reason. While giving up on them isn’t an option, manually leaving a voicemail to every one of them is also close to impossible. The best possible solution, in this case, is to use a tool to drop voicemails automatically. 

Most cold calling tools or sales engagement software come with automatic voicemail drop feature. With a pre-recorded voicemail, you don’t have to worry about learning your voicemail script by heart or sounding unenthusiastic.

5. Have a Cold Calling Script if It Helps

Create a script based off of successful SDRs’ conversations. And follow it to the tee or keep it simply for reference, your call. But it’s recommended for reps who are starting out. 

Keeping a sales script for reference boosts your confidence and saves you from making rookie mistakes like going blank midway or forgetting the main message, especially during your first call.

Once you gain experience, learn to improvise cold calling scripts to suit your messaging.

Looking for cold calling tips and techniques you can use before, during and after a cold call? Check here.

A 4-Step Cold Calling Framework

Image containing a 4-step framework to cold calling.

STEP 1: How Do I Start the Call?

This is your first chance to get your foot in the door and the hardest. In the first few seconds of your cold call, there is only one goal: get the prospect hooked. Here’s how:

An image stating, how to start a cold call.

Perfect Your Tone

Before you decide on what to say, perfect your tone of voice. Whispering into their ears will make you sound underconfident and rob you of your chance to build trust with prospects. But it doesn’t mean you should scream out loud to get their attention and trust. Instead, find the perfect tone of voice, maintain a consistent pace and cheerful disposition to get their attention.

Pro Tip #1: Record yourself and see how you sound. Can you picture yourself having a conversation with someone who sounds like you? If your answer is yes, that’s the tone of voice you should stick to.

Who Is This?

Now that we have set the right tone let’s zero in on the right things to say. The first few seconds of your call are crucial as whatever you say during this time decides whether they stay or not. The first thing you should do when a prospect attends your call is to introduce yourself. 

Grant Cardone, the sales expert says, the best way to introduce yourself is to start with your name and organization/founder. But if your founder isn’t some super-famous guy like Cardone himself, it is sensible to stick to an introduction like this:

Hello, this is Jim from Xenox.”

Use The Power Of Pattern Interrupt

Catch them off guard by using the power of pattern interrupt. Pattern interrupt is a neuro-linguistic technique you can use to get your prospects to listen to you. In simple words, just like its name, it interrupts the usual pattern your mind is accustomed to and takes you on a journey that you are not used to. 

An image containing 4 pattern interrupts for cold calls.

As a salesperson, you can use different ways of pattern interrupt to get your prospects stay on call. They are:

  1. Wake Them Up

This is one of the most effective pattern interruption methods our SDRs swear by.  If you plan to use this method, you should let your prospect know they’re on a cold call right from the beginning. 

Here’s an opening line you can use that sales training organization, ExP shared:

“This is a cold call. Do you want to hang up?”

Why it works? 

People are skeptical of phone calls from random numbers. They feel they are just minutes away from getting scammed whenever they get a call from an unknown phone number. So, when you let them know they’re on a cold call, you eliminate half of their fear by being honest. Also, the realization that they’ve the power to decide whether to continue the conversation or not also puts them at ease.

  1. Shake Their Reality

This technique is a double-edged sword as it can either work in your favor or piss your prospect off. It isn’t suitable for every industry and personality. So be cautious and research before you try your luck with it. To use this method, shake your prospects’ reality by discussing a worst-case scenario concerning them.

Here’s an example:

“What happens if you lose all your prospect data today?”

Why it works?

When you talk about their worst nightmare, they sharpen their ears involuntarily. It makes them think about a way to stop this from becoming a reality, and that’s exactly where you pitch in (in a non-salesy way).

#ProTip 2: If you want to play it safe and reduce the impact of your pattern interrupt by a notch or two, focus on your prospect’s pain points instead of their worst-case scenario. For example, if you are selling an event check-in app, you can talk about the problems attendees commonly face during manual check-ins like standing in long queues etc.

  1. Mind Reader

The first thought that comes to your mind when you get a call from an unknown number is, “Who is this, and why is this person calling me?” Acknowledging this very thought itself is pattern interrupt.

Here’s what you should tell them:

“Can I tell you why I called you today”?

Why it works?

You don’t test your prospect’s patience by making them wonder who you are and why you called. Instead, you begin by answering this very question.

  1. Who’s In Control

You and your competitors are fighting for one thing while cold calling- your potential customer’s time. The success of your cold call depends mostly on how much time your prospect gives you. And one of the cleverest ways to get your prospect’s time is by letting them know how much of their time you need. If you are planning to use this technique, 

Here’s what you should tell them:

“If you give me 3 minutes and you aren’t interested, you will never get a call from me again”.

Why it works?

The fact that you only require 3 minutes of their time and you won’t bug them if they are uninterested after this time makes your prospect feel at ease and in control.

Common Objections You’ll Face When Opening a Call

  • I’ll Call You Back

Response: Most of the time when people say they’ll call back, they never do. Is this the case here? If yes, you can tell me frankly.

  • I Am Busy Right Now

Response: Sure, I can call you back. But while we’re on the line, when’s the best time to call you back? (Find a suitable time and send them a calendar invite right after you end the call).

STEP 2: “the reason I’m calling is”

An image containing tips to provide a reason for the cold call.

You’ve hooked your prospect with your introduction, and now it’s time to hold their attention. Here’s how to explain why you’re calling. Once you’ve won their time, don’t jump into the sale right away. Coax your prospect into thinking that you’re a reliable solution, one question at a time. 

1. First, Find The Perfect Segue

You can’t just tell them that you’ve a product or service that they might be interested in unless you want the effort you took till this point to go down the drain. 

Instead, show them you know them. This is where all the research you did initially comes into use. 

These are some of the points from where you can start the conversation:

  • Industry related questions
  • Pain Points
  • Competitors
  • Social media posts
  • Professional life
  • Touchpoints like emails

I noticed your review on G2 about using XYZ. A lot of people I spoke to told me that they had trouble integrating XYZ with their CRM. How happy are you with the current vendor?

2. “Why Should I Trust You?”

Your potential buyer now has an idea about what you do. And the next obvious question they’ve is, “But why should I trust you?”. 

So, give them a reason to trust you. Give them social proof – show them you’ve experience working with similar brands. 

Talk about the pain points you’ve addressed and the success stories of your customers. 

This also answers the “will it work for me” question and builds their curiosity to stay longer in the call to know more.

We recently onboarded 2-3 teams who were using XYZ, they said that {solved their problems} or {achieved metric/hit target}.

Pro tip #3: Don’t hesitate to sprinkle social proof at various points during the cold call. You can use it at the start or use it at a later point like when you are trying to know them better and gauge their sales-readiness.

So, using a suitable segue and social proof, here’s how you could phrase your cold call conversation.

Most businesses in the “prospect’s industry” use outdated software to do “specific tasks”. (Segue) 

We help companies like yours automate these ‘tasks’ seamlessly. Recently, we helped a “brand similar to prospect’s” automate tasks” and they saw a 13% increase in their “revenue/productivity”. (Social Proof)

The reason I am calling is that I would like to know how you are handling these tasks.(Reason)

Common Objections You’ll Face While Stating the Reason for Your Call

We are not concentrating on ‘X’ right now. We have ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ to deal with as of now.

Response: I understand that Y and Z are more important to you. Some of our customers who initially neglected X found that they experienced {Pain point A} and {Pain point B}. However, these were resolved once they started focusing on X. So, don’t you think it is important you focus on X right away?

We already use a tool

Response: How satisfied are you with the current tool? Can you rate it on a scale of 5?

STEP 3: Check if They Are Sales-ready

An image containing tips to check the sales-readiness of the prospect.

A prospect that perfectly fits your ICP(Ideal Customer Profile) might still waste your time and effort if they aren’t sales-ready. So, your main aim during any part of a cold call is to qualify your prospects at the earliest. They may or may not have a problem at hand, but even if they do, you have to find out if it’s one they want to solve. 

Here are four things you should learn at this stage:

  • What is a business problem they’re suffering?
  • Do they want to solve the problem? 
  • Is solving this problem a priority right now?
  • Does the benefit of solving this problem outweigh the cost?

There are plenty of sales methodologies you can select from to gauge the sales readiness of your prospect. You can browse through more of them here. 

We have used communications-focused sales methodology, the SPIN technique, to unveil the prospects’ workflows, what optimizations they are missing out on, whether they have the budget, etc.

Suppose a prospect is manually doing a specific task that you can help them automate, then these are some of the SPIN questions you can ask to let them discover the need for your product:

Situation Questions:

  1. Are you manually doing a “task” at the moment? Do you know how to handle “a future problem”?
  2. Are you using a tool for {process}?/Are you automating {process}?
  3. What drove you to choose {solution} for {problem}? Can you share how you came about choosing {solution} for {problem}?

Problem Questions:

  1. How does your team feel about the current {tool/strategy/process}?
  2. What happens if your current process for {X} fails?
  3. How successful are you at running your {process}? How long does it take to do {tasks involved in the process}?

Implication Questions:

  1. That sounds like a lot of lost opportunity cost. How much do you reckon you could have saved had you opted for a {tool/solution}?
  2. How much do you think {running process the old way/problem} has cost your company?
  3. Would your {target audience} be happier if they could avoid {problem}?

Need Pay Off Questions:

  1. Would solving {problem} help you achieve your goals?
  2. How would it help if {problem} is solved in {X} way?
  3. If you can optimize/improve {process} by doing X, would you?

At this stage, you’ve discovered any of the following bits of crucial information. 

  • They have a problem that they want to solve
  • The cost of the benefit outweigh the solution 
  • They are sales-ready
  • It’s not the right time to engage with them 
  • They’re straight-up, not interested in solving the problem, not today, not next week, not next year, not ever.

These open-ended questions qualify the prospects because the sooner they’re out of the pipeline, the better it is for your sales team, as they can focus on selling to the right prospects. 

Common Objections You’ll Face While Gauging Their Sales Readiness

Send me more information about the product or service through email

Here’s what you should say according to Paul S. Goldner’s Red-Hot Cold Call Selling:

Response: I’d be happy to send you the information by email, but we have a lot of different information to send. I’d actually love to ask you a few questions so I can send you relevant  information that is personalized to your use case.

We have an in-house team to do this

Response: Yes, I am aware . Many organizations like yours use our services as a supplement to the services offered by their in-house team. They have found that outsourcing is the best way to reduce total costs. I would like to give you a walkthrough of how we do it. Are you free for a call tomorrow at 4 pm?

STEP 4: Move Them Along to the Next Step

An image containing tip to move the prospect along the next step.

The next move can be anything, from booking a meeting to scheduling another follow-up call to sending a follow-up email. You can decide the next move depending on how sales-ready your prospects are. 

If you think your prospect is well-aware of the problem and is ready to stop it at all costs, a demo call is the next apt move for them. 

“Can we schedule a demo call to walk you through how “your product/service” can help you solve “prospect’s problem”? Is 2 pm tomorrow okay for you?”

If they are aware of their problem but fidgeting with the idea of solving it, offer to do a presentation to analyze their problems and come up with a solution.

Cold calling expert, Patrick Dang, gives the following script to say in such situations:

“Based on our conversation, my team will create a presentation about your problems and possible ways in which we can help you. After the presentation, you are free to raise questions, and if you think we aren’t the right fit after this, you are free to go your way. Does that sound okay to you?”

Remember at all steps that you’re trying to help them out and not selling. If you’ve set your mind to ‘selling’, the tone of your voice could reflect it and the prospect will smell that. 

So pro tip, change your mindset and your tone of voice to “helping people” so you don’t sound like the person knocking at doors in the morning to sell encyclopedias. 

Common Objections You’ll Face While Closing

I’ll get back to you after discussing with my team

Response: Instead of that, is it possible for your team to attend the presentation? This way, they’ll also be able to raise their questions.

Can you call me again next quarter?

Response: Sure, I’ll do that, appreciate your time. But in the meanwhile, could you let me know who manages {Key Goal} at your company. Would love to get a quick chat to understand their top priorities for the next quarter.

Interested in exploring how to handle every objection that comes your way? Check here.

Sample Cold Calling Script

FIRST STEP: How do I start the call?

Hey, I am Jim from Xenox.

I was there at your annual summit last year and I noticed attendees had issues with delays in check-ins, finding out where they wanted to go and understanding their event agenda. I believe I have a perfect solution to help increase attendee satisfaction and reduce this kind of chaos.  

If you have a minute I can discuss it with you.

SECOND STEP: “the reason I’m calling is”

In the event last year, you had manual check-ins at the door which caused queuing, you were giving out pamphlets that people kept losing and so, you needed to position event staff at each door to guide these participants– all this would have been quite chaotic, right?

I think I can help make check-ins easier, and navigate the event less confusing, and can also help concentrate your manpower toward high-priority tasks.

I have exactly 3 questions to ask in under 2 minutes and I can put together a presentation that’ll solve your problems for you. Can we proceed?


THIRD STEP: Check if they’re sales-ready (We’re using the SPIN technique here)

Are you planning to manually check in your event attendees this time or would be okay with an online 2-second per attendee check-in? (Situation Question)

How long does it take for you to check-in each attendee? I believe you’ll note them down manually and hand out IDs. So give me a rough estimate? (Problem Question)

What percentage of your manpower would be involved in check-ins and guiding attendees?

FOURTH STEP: Move them along the next step

Depending on your prospect’s sales readiness, move them to the next logical step. In this example, the prospect is problem aware but skeptical of the solution. So the next logical step would be to create a presentation for them.

Great! Thank you for your answers and for your time. 

I believe that we can make a big difference in your event this year through our digital solutions. Let me show that to you by putting together a bespoke presentation on how we’d do it.

Can we set up a 30-minute call sometime next Monday to go over it? You can then take a call on it. 

Awesome! What time would work for you?

In A Nutshell

Bruce Lee once said that you should fear the guy who practices his kick 1000 times. Practicing an effective cold-calling strategy will help you get better at navigating murky conversations, and reap steep benefits.

In summary, cut the cold call down into four steps, start the call with a strong opener, state the reason for your call, gauge your prospect’s sales readiness and move them along to the next step. But remember at all times: this cold call isn’t your product’s commercial, it is your prospect’s reality show.

You Asked, We Answered: Here are top 10 cold calling FAQs

When Is the Best Time to Cold Call?

The best time to cold call is between 4 pm and 5 pm and the second best time is between 11 am and 12 pm, says CallHippo. However, it is interesting to note that the cold calls made between 4 pm and 5 pm are 71% more successful in securing meetings than those made between 11 am and 12 pm.

How Many Cold Calls Should a Sales Professional Make per Day?

Ideally, salespeople can aim for at least 60 cold calls per day. But in reality, only 30 cold calls are made per day, according to a recent report by ringDNA.

How Long Should a Successful Cold Call Last?

The average length of a successful cold call is 14.3 minutes, as per the Sales Prospecting Performance Report 2020. According to the report, sales reps have higher chances of setting a demo as the call reaches 14 minutes, and after the 14th minute, chances go down exponentially.

What Is the Success Rate of Cold Calling?

The estimated success rate of cold calling is 6.3%, reports from Insidesales reveal.

How Many Times Should You Cold Call a Prospect Before You Give Up?

Cold callers should try calling prospects at least 7 times before giving up on them, says Suzanne Palling, Founder of Sales Management Software. However, they should also ensure they don’t spend much time on one prospect and learn to walk away when they don’t see any opportunity.

Can You Cold Call on Weekends?

There’s no right answer to this. While some say cold calling during weekends is unprofessional, David Martirosian and Jonathan Miller, hosts of the BigTimeCloser Podcast, feel differently. According to them, cold calling on a Saturday morning by 10 AM yields the best results as prospects would be more relaxed during this time.

What Are the Best Opening Lines While Cold Calling?

A recent study by Gong found that opening a cold call with “How have you been?” increases the success rate of the call by 6.6x. On the other hand, starting with “did I catch you at a bad time” decreases the success rate by 60%.

Should You Leave a Voicemail While Cold Calling?

The answer to the question of leaving a voicemail or not depends on the type of cold calling campaign you run. If you are going to give them a call again the next day, it is better to avoid leaving a voicemail. If you aren’t, you should leave a voicemail that compels the receiver to call back.

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while leaving voicemails:

1. Tone of voice
2. End with a CTA
3. Enunciate well, 
4. Speak slowly, 
5. A/B test your voicemail scripts
6. End voicemail with contact info. Mention contact info twice in the voicemail

Is It Okay To Have Silent Periods During Cold Calls?

Yes, it is normal to have silent periods during cold calls. Almost 8 to 10% of successful cold calls are silent periods. Hence, instead of considering silence as something that works against you during a cold call, use silence to pause at the right places and amplify your points to convince prospects better.

Is Cold Calling Better Than Cold Emailing?

Despite the popular claim that cold calling is dead, cold calling is still more effective than cold emailing with a success rate of 6.3%. Meanwhile, even if cold emailing is more comfortable owing to its scalability, the conversion rate of cold emails is just 0.5%.

1 Comment

  1. This is a great checklist and here’s some additional tips I have learned over the years:
    1. Practice makes perfect. You will be hopeless and fail until you internalise your script which will take atleast 50 calls.
    2. Yes always use a script but only for the start and the end of each call. The bit in the middle should be full of questions that you need answers to.
    3. Never practice on prospects. Build a list of people you have no chance of selling to and practice on them. This helps remove your emotional attachment to the outcome.

    Success is not booking appintments or making sales because you have no control over that. Success is simply making the calls that you planned to do in the best way posssible.

    Happy selling