How to Achieve Exceptional Results in Cold Calling

First I want to start with a little known medical condition called hyperthymesia. Now there are reportedly only six true known cases of hyperthymesia in world so it’s incredibly rare. What is it? Well it’s a medical condition whereby the person has an autobiographical memory. The individual has the ability to recall specific events from their personal experiences from major incidents to trivial details such as dates when things occurred, the weather on a specific date, what a person wore when you met them once eleven years ago etc.


So where am I going with this? What does this have to do with sales and cold calling?


Well the reason I talk about hyperthymesia is that it’s so rare, yet day-to-day in our sales roles we act as if we have the condition, especially when it comes to cold calling.


man having a phone call in front of a laptop

How many of us undertake a cold call and simply rely on our memory? The answer is most of us! Yes we might have a notepad in front of us or maybe even our CRM system up on the screen to show us our previous interactions with the prospect, but how much is this really helping us?


The truth is that in these circumstances we’re relying heavily on our memory, and unless we suffer from hyperthymesia we may struggle to recall all the information we need on demand.


Cold calling in particular is difficult enough, why make it harder by relying on our memory for recall?


On a cold call when we get through to a decision maker it maybe our one and only chance to have airtime with them and invoke some form of interest, I’ll reiterate, one and only chance. It’s quite pressurised!


So how can we reduce this pressure, how can we make things easier so that we don’t simply rely on our memory and achieve exceptional results in cold calling?


Well at sales icon coaching we encourage all prospective sales icons to adopt the practice of reference literature. Basically reference literature is your cold calling bible, it’s a consolidated list of all of the key things that will be valuable to reference on a cold call.


It’s not a script, it’s simply a document for quick an easy reference that will give you confidence on the phone to build a level of credibility to invoke interest from the prospect.


So when the prospect asks “who do you work with locally to me?” or “what makes your solution different?” or “why should I agree to having a meeting with you?” your reference literature will be there as your bible of insight.


I’m not going to digress everything which should be in your reference literature, if you want this then you’ll have to buy the book Sales icon: Selling in the Shadows but I will give you one treasure on this topic from the book.


Buzz words


Are there any buzz words or statements in your industry that you can mention to entice the customer? By entice I mean a statement you can mention to get them to discuss this topic with you and keep them talking. This sounds confusing so let me use some examples.


Regulations – have there been any regulation changes in your industry that you could mention? Just simply asking how’s is X regulation effecting your business would do the trick. I worked with an IT provider previously when a new regulation in the UK came into force known as the general data protection regulation (GDPR) which governed the way businesses used and protected clients data and enforced a sanction for breaches of the regulation. This would be a buzz word I would have in a list if I was working in IT or HR definitely. So if I was making a call to a prospect or customer I’d see this buzzword and simply ask the question “so John, how is GDPR effecting the business?”


Market challenges or pressures – are there any in your industry that would be worth mentioning? This could be a range of things, for instance let’s say I’m selling machines to automate manufacturing and reduce the need for manufacturing staff. If I came across some information that told me that recruitment in manufacturing staff was at an all-time low for candidate supply then I’d have this as a buzz word. I’d be saying, “John I know the recruitment of manufacturing staff is difficult lately, how’s this been effecting you and the business?” So think about market challenges and pressures, could any of these become a buzz word.


So the take away from this post is to create some form of reference literature for your cold calling. If you can make this an insightful bible then you’ll achieve exceptional results from your cold calling. Buzz words is one topic to be used in your reference literature, there are tons more.


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  1. Loved the article. Takes me back to my first foray into sales, everyone used the same notation style on A4 pads….VF** Very Friendly, personal facts etc, roles responsibilities… Was great to go back to people and perhaps get them o a better day. Equally when people left their notes became a gold mine of deals that we would clean up on. Things tend to get hidden in CRM’s though a combination of the two is a strong match!

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