Sales prospecting: mistakes to avoid in cold calling

Telephoning is still one of the most effective sales prospecting strategies in 2021. However, some companies still have difficulty reaching their objectives with this method. It could be that the flaws are in the calling process itself. In order to get appointments and make sales, here are the most common mistakes to avoid in cold calling:

  • Forgetting to inquire
  • Avoiding humor
  • Selling from the start
  • Not being interested in your prospect
  • Getting stuck on a script


Forgetting to inquire

Generating leads and then starting to make calls is the first mistake that could lead you straight to failure! Before launching into your sales prospecting, remember to first learn about your prospect. Social networks are at your disposal, providing you with all the information you need. For B2B prospecting, we recommend the professional social network LinkedIn. On this platform you will find information such as the prospect’s profession, his seniority in his company, his interests, etc.

Sales prospecting

Knowing more about your potential client will allow you to direct the dialogue in a way that will increase the chances of conversion. You will even have time to prepare persuasive arguments in order to get an appointment.


Avoiding humor in your sales prospecting strategy

The term “cold calling” literally implies a serious and cold exchange. However, in business prospecting, it is recommended to bring a small dose of humor at the beginning of the conversation. The goal is to simply lighten the atmosphere so that the prospect feels comfortable and more relaxed.

Since a sales team does not necessarily have a talent for comedy, you can use a book or a dictionary of funny expressions. Your previous research on the prospect may give you some insight into their personality or even things that might make them laugh.


Selling from the start

One of the flaws in business prospecting is the desire to sell at all costs. Since this is a cold call, the caller doesn’t know exactly who you are and what you want as well. It is therefore essential to introduce yourself and clearly state the reason for your call instead of immediately touting your product.

In principle, the goal of a cold call is above all to get an appointment, especially during the first call. Therefore, this initial exchange should be oriented towards the reasons why your prospect might need your product or service. The objective is to help the caller determine his or her problem, and then present you as a solution to it.

You can consult our article dedicated to the cold call to better understand how this type of prospecting works.


Not being interested in your prospect

Be careful, to gain your prospect’s attention, you should not only talk about yourself. Direct your discussion towards your interlocutor. Showing a little interest by asking a question like “how are you? “can be to your advantage. It is a way to hold the attention of your interlocutor and to eventually start a discussion.


Indeed, such a question could lead him/her to talk and perhaps open up about his/her personal worries. Of course, this approach would be outside the context of your sales prospecting, but you will find it easier to direct the discussion towards the reason for your call. It will even come naturally. Some statistics show that the longer the call, the more likely it is to result in an appointment.


Stick to a script

Before starting your cold calling campaign, you must prepare a script to follow during the phone calls. However, by remaining fixed on this document, you can lose credibility. Thus, it is recommended to retain only the essential ideas and the key words as guidelines. As for the rest, forget the ready-made sentences!

Develop and vary your words based on these elements. In general, the words that engage the confidence of the interlocutor during a commercial prospecting are: “please”, “efficient”, “do you agree? “These expressions should be used with effective and creative sales pitches.


Things to remember in sales prospecting

In order to succeed in your telephone prospecting, always start by learning about your prospects through social networks such as LinkedIn. Avoid stifling your caller, get interested in them instead of making a series of sales pitches. Besides, a first exchange with a prospect should not consist in selling, but rather in arousing his interest in your product. One last tip: following a script is recommended, but at some point, you have to be creative and stop depending on it.

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