Defrosting the Cold Call: 3 tips for Sales Professionals

Defrosting the Cold Call

Defrosting the cold call can be challenging. Do you feel chills before making cold calls? When I first started my sales career, it wouldn’t have mattered if I wore a winter jacket in the middle of summer – I still would have shuddered at the prospect of picking up the phone and speaking to a complete stranger! The good news is that if I could learn how to “defrost the cold call,” you can too!

Defrosting the Cold Call Tip #1: Prepare thoroughly

In my previous post “3 Tips for Getting Past Gatekeepers,” I mentioned that one of the keys is thorough preparation. The same principle applies in literally every step of the sales process, and it certainly applies to cold calling. Of all preparations however, the bulk is mental. My suggested first step is changing your terminology from “cold calls,” to “introductory calls.” If a personal assistant asks “Is he/she expecting your call?” your answer should be “No, this is an introductory call!”

The next action steps are to 1. Do your research, and 2. Write your script. Make sure you know about the person and company you are calling on, and that you have thoroughly rehearsed what you are going to say. Like professional actors and public speakers, don’t let yourself sound like an amateur by calling unprepared!

Defrosting the Cold Call Tip #2: Make it about them, not you

The primary reason cold calling feels wrong for most is that they feel like they are trying to “get something” out of someone else. It helps to remember that not all self-interest is bad, and that your goal is to give something of value. Not only will you feel better about making the call, but you will sound better too!

Defrosting the Cold Call Tip #3: Sell more by selling less

STOP using pressure tactics! Just… Stop! Manipulative phrases and high-pressure tactics are a thing of the past have never been effective for building lasting business relationships. You will only cause the person to feel cornered, triggering their fight/flight response (i.e. speaking rudely to you or hanging up abruptly). Instead, use phrases such as “I don’t know if this is right for you,” or “you can decide for yourself” to assure your prospect that you’re not here to pressure them. Giving and acknowledging their freedom to choose will build your credibility and differentiate you from other more desperate salespeople.


We can defrost our cold calls by preparing thoroughly, changing the focus from us to the prospect, and by depressurising our approach. If you follow these steps you will feel better about making the calls, and your prospects will be more receptive to what you have to say. I don’t know if this approach is right for you, but I’ll let you decide for yourself!

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