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An Ultimate Guide To A Successful Cold Call

Our star SDR Team Lead Charlotte Rudigier is here to share the best actionable tips on conducting a cold call, and you don’t want to miss them! 


If you’ve never had fun cold calling, it’s your sign to try this cold calling checklist in action.


So buckle up and prepare to be amazed and inspired!


The Art of Cold Calling


Indeed, cold calling is fun.


But you need to figure out which approach you feel comfortable with and train over and over until it becomes natural. Keep in mind that the goal of a cold call is to:


  • Lower the zone of resistance


  • Find a pain


  • Book a meeting


I’m happy to share with you a methodology that I hope will inspire you and help you drive success.


The Cold Call Structure 


There are essentially 14 important steps in conducting a successful cold call and you don’t want to miss any of them:

  1.   Introduction + Pause

  2.   Permission-based opener

  3.   Observation

  4.   Leverage insight into one of your company’s use cases

  5.   Confirmation

  6.   Ask open-ended questions

  7.   Negative impact of the status quo

  8.   Your solution

  9.   Positive impact of using your solution

  10. Confirm value

  11. Quick summary

  12. Book your meeting live

  13. Send a Tolstoy video in your meeting invitation

  14. Pre-send reminder emails to avoid no-show


Now, let’s dig in.


1.    Introduction


Introduce yourself, say hello and PAUSE. By saying hello back to you, your interlocutor is already engaging in the conversation.


 2.    Permission-based opener


Be transparent and empathic. By mentioning that you do not know the person or that it is a cold call, you lower the zone of resistance of your interlocutor who will trust you more and be more willing to listen.




“I know I’m calling you out of the blue”  


“I know you did not expect my call”


"We’ve actually never spoken before”


“I probably caught you in between your next meeting”


“I know there is no good time for a cold call so I can keep it super brief”


Then ask permission: 


“Do you have a minute for me to tell you why I’m calling? And then you can let me know if you’d like to keep chatting?”  


“I’m calling you to see if it makes sense for you to talk further on improving the sales performance of <company/your team>.”  


“<Name>, this is a cold call, so you are more than welcome to hang up, though I've called today with good reason...is now the worst time in the world to speak?”


3.     Observation


Use “I noticed” statements. Show that you did your research, and you are calling for a good reason. You want to personalize your approach to build up a relationship.




“Great. I noticed that you’re doubling down the growth of your team and that’s really exciting.” 


“Great. I see you’re looking to hire a lot of sales talent.” 


“Thanks. I see you’re running a sales team of <number>.” 


“Awesome, I read on your Linkedin that you <insert information>.”


“I see a lot of companies in <industry> like yours have big expansion plans.” 


4.    Leverage insight on one of your company’s use cases


Talk about a pain/statement that a similar persona has. Use strong words such as frustrated, pain, struggle…




  •    Revenue Gap / Forecasting


“All the sales leaders I talk to have the same headache: they all complain about their revenue gap because they keep losing opportunities/ because of a weak strategy/ because they do not have enough visibility on the deals, and do you know why? Because the information is missing in the CRM.”


  •     Onboarding


“I talk to sales leaders every day and they often complain that:


-      Their onboarding process is too long and inefficient.


-      It’s challenging to align the sales reps on the same methodology/process.”


  •     Performance & coaching


“Most sales leaders I speak with tell me they:


-      lack insights in what their top reps are doing differently compared to the rest of the team


-      They would like to have more time to coach their sales reps”


5.    Ask for confirmation


You need to make sure your prospect can relate to the pain you are talking about. If not, ask customer-centric questions to understand what his/her biggest challenge is.




“Do you also face these challenges?”


“Does this situation feel familiar?”


“Is it something you have been experiencing as well?” 


6.     Ask open ended questions


Once you identify a pain, you want to dig into the subject and extract metrics that will help you build a strong case.


7.    Highlight the negative impact of the status quo


Once your use case is solid, you need to ask your prospect how this pain is affecting their business/productivity/revenue. By formulating it, your prospect will be more aware of the situation and will be craving to hear your solution.   


8.    Propose your solution


Use the information previously gathered to present a hyper-customized solution. Use the power of imagination for a stronger impact.




“Imagine a tool, which could help you do….”


9.    Highlight to positive impact of using your solution


In response to the negative impact previously highlighted, you now demonstrate concretely the positive outcome they will get if they chose your solution.


10. Confirm the value


This is the mandatory question that will optimize your chance to book a meeting.




“From what I’m saying now, do you think this can be valuable for your team?”


“Now that you listened to me, do you think this could help.”


11. Quick summary


You want to summarize in a sentence the identified pain(s) and your solution to it. Make it clear, concise, and impactful.


12. Book your meeting live


Remember you promised to be brief, so if the use case is clear and the prospect sounds curious to investigate further, go for it! Make sure you agree on the timing on the phone to avoid back and forth communication and ultimately no-shows. 


Send your invitation live and ask if he/she received the invitation.




“I know you are busy, and I do not want to abuse your time. But I see a strong use case here and I believe it’s worth investigating further. Would you be open to extending this conversation to a 20-30 min call this week to investigate further?”


13. Send a Tolstoy video in your meeting invitation


In your meeting invitation, you send an interactive video to ask a few questions to help you prepare the discovery call. 


14. Pre-send reminder emails to avoid no-show


Send one reminder 24h before and one 10 minutes before the meeting. You can add your calendar in case he/she needs to reschedule. Seeing if he/she opened the emails will help you anticipate and reduce your no-show rate.


Extra winning tips :


  •     Do not forget that before selling a product/service, you are selling yourself. So be human, friendly, chill and SMILE. Your prospect cannot see you but he can hear your vibe.


  •     Speak slowly, pause and use the end tone.


  •     Mention your prospect’s first name in the conversation. He/she will feel valued and listened.


  •     Always end your last sentence with a question. Avoid pitching! You want the conversation to be interactive. The more the prospect talks, the better the outcome of your cold call will be.


  •     Only ask one question at a time.


  •     Ask customer-centric questions to avoid interrogation.


  •     Be empathetic and transparent. Always label emotions to lower the zone of resistance.


  •     Always have paper and pen next to you to write down key elements you want to explore further. This will help you develop your active listening skills and perform better.

Written by

Charlotte Rudigier

SDR Team Lead at Unique