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Top 12 Rules for Effective Cold Calling


Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned, from an early age, to avoid the word NO – yet it is the one word that most successful salespeople learn to accept. Hence many veteran salespeople and new salespeople alike will go out of their way to AVOID the word NO. No wonder so many are averse to cold-calling. They also might see it as an exercise in futility if they don’t figure out a way to justify the behavior of cold calling.

Here is a list of 12 top rules for effective cold calling.

  1. 70/30 Rule: You talk 30 percent and listen 70 percent because you can’t learn anything when you’re talking. By the way, no salesperson ever “listened their way out of a sale.”
  2. 3 x 9 Rule: Make three new calls by 9:00 a.m. every day and watch your sales increase.
  3. The last call has no bearing on the next call. Forget it and move on.
  4. Accept the fact you’ll hear no’s. Some will, some won’t – so what? So move on.
  5. Maintain a positive attitude (you are a “10” inside and no one can impact that unless you let them.)
  6. Separate your identity /self –worth from your cold-calling role. Calling is just a “role,” and that’s all it is.
  7. Learn from each "no" and each call.
  8. When dialing, stand up. Sitting shrugged over at a desk, making those dreaded calls, impacts your diaphragm and therefore impacts your tonality negatively.
  9. Make your opening count (again, tonality matters). It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.
  10. Get before you give. Make sure you are in the habit of getting information before you give it. Too much giving information also means you’re not listening.
  11. Uncover your prospect’s compelling (emotional) reason why they buy, and I can assure you it’s not the intellectual feature and benefit style you have been taught to pitch. People buy emotionally, and they justify it intellectually.
  12. Don’t sound like a traditional salesperson. No need to explain more here. We all know what that sounds like.


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Scott Bliss

Scott Bliss

President | Maximum Performance Management, LLC Scott's mission is to help sales leaders and other business professionals improve performance as they lead, communicate and sell more effectively and persuasively. Contact him at or 732-255-6672.