We improve our results by keeping our eye on the ultimate goal when making sales telephone calls. It’s sometimes best to have appointment-setting be our primary goal when making true cold calls. It’s easy to lose sight of that goal by getting sidetracked and trying to go beyond that goal to selling something or even trying to gather information.

With those goals being great, having challenges with not getting lured in by the “trying to sell something” temptation is understandable if you’re a true salesperson. Because of limited time to work with, a cold call isn’t the correct place to try accomplishing a tremendous amount. We can improve results by keeping our focus on the main goal which is to move the prospect to an appointment or conversation where we create more time to work with and the ability to accomplish large goals.


What is the First Conversation?

The stage of the sales cycle where the salesperson and the prospect have a first official conversation is the first conversation. This gets confused with the cold call because it is the first time the caller and prospect are speaking, but it isn’t an official conversation until the prospect commits to talking in more detail.

The salesperson will connect with a prospect on a cold call and communicate the purpose of their call as well as the reason it makes sense to talk in more detail in an ideal scenario. The sales cycle progresses to the first conversation once the prospect commits to talking more.

In some cases, it’s best to schedule the first conversation for another day when the prospect is more prepared and available for the discussion from a mental and schedule standpoint by formally blocking out time on their calendar. There are some instances when doing sales telephone calls where the prospect is available and interested in talking more at the actual time of the cold call, in which the first conversation takes place at the same time (technically right after) as the cold call. It depends on the product or service being sold as to whether it’s best to schedule the first conversation at another date or try to do it right away.


Cold Call vs. First Conversation

The difference between a cold call and a first conversation and where one leaves off for the other can be confusing. When performing sales telephone calls, a cold call should only be between two to five minutes. There should be a laser focus on communicating business value, qualifying the prospect, identifying pain, and building some interest during that time.

It’s time to transition to closing to secure the first conversation once you skim the surface in those areas and complete what you need to do in each area. You likely have used most of the time available for cold sales telephone calls, which is why a transition is needed. Then, because of that, you’ll need to get permission from the prospect to continue.

By checking in with the prospect as well as identifying if they have the availability and interest to continue, you can get this permission. You can determine if it’s best to execute the first conversation right then or try scheduling for another day based on the product you sell and the vibe you get from the prospect.


SalesScripter provides a call script tool helping sales telephone calls.