Your Next Step How to Take the CHILL Out of Cold Calls (Part 6)


By Jack Warkenthien, CEO of NextStep Solutions

As we round the final turn in our recent journey on the topic of cold calling, you probably realize by now that as unproductive as most cold calling efforts are, they’re here to stay and we are always going to make them.  Since that’s the case, I’m going to share a few thoughts with you that will hopefully make you more efficient and effective in your cold calling activities:

  • Everyone has their preferred method of communication.

For some, it is email, for others, they may like the framework of LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media outlets.  For most, their favorite option most likely includes the use of their Smart Phone which now gives them two options:  text or voicemail.  For maximum effectiveness, call first and leave a message, if you cannot engage in a dialogue.

  • Embrace pre-call planning research.  

Separate yourself from the other smilin’ and dialin’ sales reps out there by doing your homework before you pick up the phone.   We teach a 3 by 3 approach to knowing more about your candidates.  That means you should be able to learn three things about them and their company in three minutes of surfing.  I like to start with Google and follow that up with LinkedIn to know more.

  • Most cold calls crash and burn within the first ten seconds. 

Why?  Because you sound like you’re trying to sell something!  Have a strong purpose for your call and a compelling message if you have a chance to share it.

Your reason for the call should always fall into one of four buckets:


This is where you share something that’s especially relevant to the other party.


You may want to invite them to an upcoming Lunch & Learn to educate them on what’s new with your firm.


You congratulate them on being quoted on the news, recognized by a philanthropic organization, etc.


You have something in common and you thought of them when your favorite team made a trade.

  • Remember the main reason you’re making the phone call at all

The ONLY thing you’re selling on the phone is the NEXT conversation!  That may be a face-to-face appointment, a conference call with a third party, or even a phone appointment at a later time.  If you try to sell more than that, you’re missing the point about why you need more friends than prospects.

  • Know the difference between a Stall and an Objection.

The one dynamic that is pervasive in every cold call campaign is their race to get you off the phone as fast as possible and short of hanging up on you.  For instance, when they say, “Send me more information”, that’s a blow off.  Defend your position and ask, “Specifically, what information do you need?”  Now, they’re forced to explain themselves.  Or when they say, “Let me think about it and get back with you”.  You ask, “What do you need to think about and when’s a convenient day/time you’d like me to call you back?”

Everyone’s Favorite Radio Stations

For those of you who know me, you know I came to Houston ten years ago to host the live, daily, business talk radio show, “Where Wall Street Meets Main Street” on the BizRadio Network.  If you listened, I “drove” you to work every morning and tried to help you make sense out of what was happening on Wall Street and how it impacted us on Main Street.  As good a show as it was (speaking objectively), my listeners already had a favorite FM station:  WII/FM or “What’s in it, for me?”  If you can’t help your Candidates tune into their favorite station while you’re on the phone with them, they’re going to tune you out right away.  Always keep that in mind.  Oh, and while we’re at it, they also have a favorite AM station:  MMFG/AM or “Make me feel good about myself”  Every time you connect on a call, find a way to make your Candidate feel good by inspiring them, complimenting them, or finding something in common.

I hope this Six-Part series has given you food for thought and helps you take the CHILL out of your next Cold Call.  If these don’t work, there’s always our Houston weather!  Good luck and continued success to you! 

Jack Warkenthien, CEO, NextStep Solutions, can be contacted by email at or call him at 832-344-6998.  You can also visit his website at


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