What I’m about to say will blow your mind, but… cold calling is not dead!

Many still consider cold calling to be a powerful and cost-effective way to generate B2B (or B2C I guess) leads.

Having been around since 1873, you probably think that cold calling isn’t very effective anymore due to the rise of online techniques in lead generation – emails, social networking. I think you’re just not doing it effectively enough.

I’ve put together a list of tips to improve your cold calling lead generation strategy to help you.

1. Have clear cold calling objectives

Before you pick up the phone to call anyone, you usually have a goal in mind. Same with cold calling for lead generation!

Hae a moment to think and plan what you want to achieve through the call – book a meeting, try out a product, watch a video.

Maybe you just want them to continue to the next step of the sales funnel.

The point is to understand what you want to obtain by the end of the conversation and then go from there.

2. Highly targeted lead generation list

Always make your message as relevant to the potential leads as possible. This requires you to build a very targeted list of prospects in the target market, and you can do this in two easy steps:

a. Identify your ideal customer

Cold calling the wrong people will get you nowhere. Get better efficiency, responsiveness, and confidence by figuring out what type of customer you have to focus on.

b.  Use lead generation tools

Depending on your platform, you can find many tools and browser extensions that will help you create lead lists. You can check out We-Connect or SocialPilot if you happen to be using LinkedIn.

3. Research before cold calling

When you have built your list of potential leads, go out into the wider (online) world and do some research about them.

Make the person you contact, feel valued by having some ground knowledge about them. Here are some things you can do:

  • Check CRM: Check if you have any previous contact with a lead and mention it so that you avoid having the same conversation.
  • Check LinkedIn: Social media is very prevalent these days, so try to find your prospect on LinkedIn. Maybe they have some cool articles you can read, or perhaps they have changed their job title and no longer fit your desired profile.
  • Recent events: Check if the lead has had any new life changes, awards or other successes! People love to be congratulated, so this will be something positive to bring into the conversation.

4. Practice practice practice

When you’re making calls, you probably have a script or some form of prompt that you follow to keep ahead of the conversation, and so you don’t sound very robotic.

Try to practice what you’re going to say and think about contingencies, so you don’t panic if something comes up.

Think about the following when you practice:

  • Tone: You should be excited about what you are selling, so show that to the prospect.
  • Pauses: Sometimes, especially with cold calling for lead generation, people don’t listen. Give pauses, so people have time to absorb the information you give them.
  • Mirroring: Having similar mannerisms and way of talking to your potential lead can help you build a better relationship with them.

5. Objections and rejections

It is unlikely that a lead will immediately be converted to a sale. They might have some questions, comments or objections.

Being able to handle this on the fly is impressive, and that will come with practice. However, if you happen to have the same comments, try to adjust your approach so that those comments are addressed in advance.

According to EarthWeb, always listen to the comments, though, as they are a great indicator of how well you are doing with your pitch and will help you in the future even if the first sale falls through.

Cold calling for lead generation, or otherwise, is not easy. You will have to face a fair share of rejections.

The trick to this is simply to not give up. Keep improving your approach, keep practising and always track your progress. Never take a rejection personally.


I hope these tips will help you get those sales! Alternatively have a chat with your colleagues and share your own experiences – you never know you might just learn something new.