Categories of Cold Calls

Before you get completely overwhelmed by even the thought of making a cold call, one of the things you need to do is take a few moments to determine what type of cold call suits your service and/or product. The task may be much less intimidating that you think, depending on what you want to accomplish.

Here’s three examples:

1. The easiest of cold calls is one in which you are able to deliver your message whether or not you speak directly with a specific contact. For example, you could be inviting a large number of people to a fundraising event and you have email addresses. You can compose an energetic, detail-filled message that can be left on voicemail and include a promise that more information is on its way to them. Of course – keep the promise and make sure the email is delivered.

2. In the middle-range of difficulty is a cold call that needs to result in a face-to-face meeting. These calls are challenging because to get the meeting you need to highlight benefits very quickly and succinctly in your call and, ideally, get the meeting organized in the one call. My experience is that once these calls get into the “follow up on email” stage, the less likely a meeting will take place. But these calls are simple because once the meeting’s set, you are truly on the path to building a long-term relationship without constant dialing.

3. The most difficult of cold calls are those that involve an educational component – when your product or service is so unique or complex that a detailed conversation needs to take place in order to build your customer base and motivate people to find out more about you. These calls require very specific scripting, almost a choreography, that inspires conversation rather than a simple delivery of information.

Have I captured your interest? What category applies to you and how would you build a script to fit that approach? Want to know more? Write to me about your product or service. I’ll choose a few of you to be my “guinea pigs” for the next few weeks. Using your product or service as my examples, I’ll design your scripts and review possible outcomes here in my blog.

On another note, I’ve had some fun this past week experimenting with Twitter. Now some of you know that I’ve been posting a link to my blog on Twitter for quite some time now, but that’s all I was doing. I wasn’t spending any time on Twitter, and I was only doing the one weekly tweet. Since I learn from doing, I decided it was time to do.

It was a week when I was primarily in the office cold calling on behalf of clients. I left Twitter open on my computer and whenever I had a phone experience that I thought was worth sharing, I challenged myself to do it in 140 characters.

Here’s some examples:

“He’s not in” followed by silence is likely not generating client contact for high-end Toronto real estate brokerage.

Executives who make their receptionists get on the line with me 3 or 4 times with different questions but never take my call – unprofessional?

When a company has one voicemail message for the entire company, no directory to find any staff, what are they saying to their customers?

I must say I had a lot of fun doing it. And I’ve gained a few followers although that number remains quite (quite) modest. What it all means for The Phone Lady I don’t know, but I’ll keep you informed. And you can find me on Twitter @thephoneladyca. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Happy dialing everyone!

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What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.