Are you making these Cold Calling Mistakes?

A few weeks back, I showed everybody how to become more comfortable with cold calling. I strongly believe this to be an efficient and effective way to land new clients while introducing yourself to businesses on a more personal level.

Cold calling is not for everybody. If you decide to give it a try, make sure you are doing everything right from the start.

Here are three cold calling mistakes to avoid:

1. Not using a script. If you are new to cold calling, you need a script to help you through any rough spots. You don’t have to read “word for word.” Instead, you want to use this as a point of reference during different parts of your conversation.

2. Giving up after hearing no a few times. Don’t be surprised if you have to make 50+ calls before somebody gives you time to explain what you have to offer. In short, cold calling is a numbers game. If somebody screams at you, move on. If somebody hangs up on you, move on. Keep moving forward until you find somebody who is interested.

3. On again off again marketing. Just like any form of marketing, you need to be consistent. Don’t make five calls today, three calls tomorrow, and no calls for the following few weeks. Set goals for yourself, such as 15 calls per day, and stick with it no matter what it takes.

Have you made these cold calling mistakes in the past? If so, avoid them in the future to better your chance of success.

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Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

4 thoughts on “Are you making these Cold Calling Mistakes?”

  1. Good points, Chris! And I’d add that you NEED to be calling the right people. Seems like a “duh” but more phone prospecting campaigns end up going nowhere because people aren’t calling qualified prospects.

    And for a commercial freelancer (what I am), a qualified prospect, in my experience, is someone in a marketing or communications (or marketing communications!) role in a small- to mid-sized company (maybe 50-200+ employees). Larger is also fine, but then you can get into bureaucracies. But too small isn’t worth it as they typically don’t have the budget for a writer.

    But that 50-200+-employee sweet spot is ideal. They usually have the money but not the in-house resources to get the projects done. And you can find these people through online databases often accessible through your library with a library card (and you likely won’t have to leave the house to get at the info!). Also, the Book of Lists is another good resource…

    Just a few thoughts!


  2. P.S. With Jenn’s blessing, and given the relevance to this conversation, I’d like invite folks to check out my latest product, the recording and transcript of a teleclass I did with Wendy Weiss (a.k.a. The Queen of Cold Calling) a few weeks ago on this very subject. Lot of good material covered in the nearly-70-minute interview. AND a lot of common myths debunked…

  3. A good followup to a solid original, Chris. I’d echo Peter’s comment about the importance of targeting (and used his cold calling techniques successfully early in my own business), with one small addition: If you contact and create partnerships with *successful* solo/small graphic designers or web designers, it can be a rich source of business.

    The most business-savvy designers understand the value of professionally written content, and will pitch their corporate contacts on your behalf. They speak our language. And they also know that you’ll refer design business back to them, too. (At least that’s what I do, since I can’t design worth a lick!)

  4. Many people are afraid to do cold calling because they can’t face rejection, they don’t like calling irate customers and they can’t handle verbal abuse. However after doing this for a time, you get use to it and you become better at doing it.


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