One of the most common mistakes is trying to sell the product when cold calling. It is actually an understandable mistake because if you have a product that you need to sell when you end up on a cold call with a prospect, your natural instinct is to try to sell the product at that exact moment. But that is a flawed approach for these reasons:

  • Not enough time: A cold call will typically only be a few minutes, and that is not enough time to sell your product properly in most cases.
    \Not in buying mode: It is very unlikely that the product is thinking about buying your product at the exact time, creating a mismatch between what you are trying to do and where the prospect is mentally at.
  • Not the next step: If you reach a prospect on a cold call, the next step in the process is most likely not a purchase.

For those reasons, I recommend you consider a more counter-intuitive approach where you try to minimize how much you try to sell the product when cold calling.


Example Cold Call

In this video, we provide an example of a salesperson who is trying to sell the product on a cold call. He basically lists out and explains what he sells and then tries to close the prospect. And technically, he does not try to take the order, but he tries to validate a need or interest in the product being sold.

After his attempt to close, he gets an objection that falls into the category of “I am not interested,” and this is a difficult objection to try to overcome on a short cold call because it is very difficult to change someone from not interested to interested.


Sell the Next Step

For this salesperson and most B2B sales situations, the next step in the sales process is simply talking more, either in the form of an appointment, meeting, or longer conversation. What you can do is resist the natural instinct to sell the product when cold calling and shift more toward selling the meeting.

For the salesperson in this example, instead of asking if the prospect is interested in the service that he sells, he could focus more on trying to sell the prospect on talking more.


Ask Good Questions

Although, the transition to selling the meeting is easier and more successful when you improve your ability to find a reason to talk more. And the best way to find a reason to talk more is to ask good questions to learn what is going on with the prospect.

The salesperson in this example could replace his long description of what he sells with questions to learn what the prospect is doing in the area where he has something to offer. If the questions are designed correctly, they can help identify if the prospect needs the service being sold, and when that is achieved, there is a reason to talk more.


Improves Objection Handling

The really powerful thing about not trying to sell the product when cold calling is that “I am not interested in buying your product” is actually not a valid objection when closing for talking more. If you are not selling the product, it is less relevant that the prospect is not interested in purchasing because you are not trying to sell anything.


We hope this tip of don’t sell the product when cold calling helps you to improve your sales results!