5 pro tips to maximize your cold call sales pitch

Your sales pitch could be the biggest factor in hitting your quota this quarter.

Or it could be your biggest obstacle.

Sometimes it seems easier to stick with a cold call sales pitch that you’re used to, rather than attempt something new.

But when you get stuck in a rut with your pitch, prospects can feel that. 

Those first few seconds on the phone are precious, and you need to use every trick in the book just to get people to keep listening.

So how can you optimize your cold calls and get better conversion rates?

Let’s discuss 5 specific ways that are proven to work. 

1. Specify how much time you need from the get-go

Don’t ask how people are. Don’t ask them if they have time to talk, or if you caught them in the middle of something.

Especially in B2B sales, it’s best just to assume that your prospect is busy. In fact, from the moment you introduce yourself, they’re probably thinking about how to get off the phone with you.

To put the prospect at ease, tell them exactly how much time you need. 

For example, after introducing yourself and your company, you could say something like this:

If you have 30 seconds right now, I’d love to tell you how our customers are saving 15 hours a week in project management tasks using our software. Then you can tell me if this sounds like a good fit for your business.

This gives the prospect a specific amount of time they need to dedicate, and an opportunity to get out of the conversation once that time is up.

In most cases, having the opportunity to say no at the end will be enough to convince prospects to hear your pitch.

Just remember: Don’t go over the time limit you set for yourself!

2. Sell them on the next step, not the product

What do you want prospects to do after your cold call?

Chances are, you’re not planning on closing the deal from this call. You’ll probably want to set up a meeting, perhaps get stakeholders involved, or do a demo of your product.

So remember, the goal of your cold call is not to sell the product: It’s to sell the next step.

What are the benefits of attending a sales meeting with your company? For example:

  • Are you giving away some proprietary secrets that are platform-agnostic?
  • Do customers who attend a product demo have faster onboarding with your product later?
  • Will it be easier for a product champion to get buy-in if he gets stakeholders involved in the next meeting?

Find a specific benefit that is not related to closing the deal, and use that to sell the value of the next step.

3. Ask the right questions to test fit

On a cold call, you’re not sure this prospect is right for your product and they’re not sure if your product is right for their needs.

Both you and your prospect need to test fit. And the best way to do that is to ask questions.

Start by matching your prospect to your ideal customer profile. Ask questions that point to specific identifiers, and share with them why they, in particular, will see even more benefit from your product.

Open-ended questions especially will help you get a clearer understanding of the prospect’s needs, thus allowing you to adapt your pitch and prove to your prospect that your solution is the best for their individual circumstances and needs. 

Ask questions that begin with:

  • Tell me more about…
  • Walk me through…
  • What’s your process like for…?
  • Talk to me about…

These questions imply a longer answer and allow the prospect to open up about their current struggles.

4. Listen well so you can respond well

The best questions in the world are absolutely useless to you if you aren’t listening to the answers.

If you want to listen well, give 100% of your attention to the conversation. Start calling inside your CRM, and don’t leave any other windows open. Closeout of Facebook and LinkedIn. Set your status in Slack to ‘Do Not Disturb’. Silence any other notifications on the devices you have around you.

When you give your full attention to the prospect, you’ll be much more likely to hear what they say and respond well.

Another psychological hack you can use to prove how well you’ve listened is repeating back what prospects say to you. But doing the inner work of bringing your full presence into the conversation is fundamentally what will help you lead the conversation more effectively.

For example, if you ask about their main challenges, and the prospect talks for a couple of minutes about a lack of motivation on the team, you can respond with something like this:

So what I’m hearing is that your main challenge is keeping your team motivated, does that sound right?

This tells the prospect that you get them, and helps build trust.

5. Be an expert advisor

Your sales pitch is more than an effort to sell something. When you approach your work as providing genuine help to people and businesses who need it, you’ll become more than a salesperson: You’ll become an expert advisor.

You know your product, you know what it can do, and you know what will best help this prospect. As you talk to them, you’ll probably see other needs that can’t be fixed solely with what you’re selling. Or maybe you’ll realize that your product just isn’t the solution they need.

In that case, being an expert advisor may not seem like the best course for a sale: But it is always the best way to build trust.

So, be honest. Tell your prospect what your product can do for them, and what it can’t. Help them find workable solutions with Zapier integrations or other automation. If you’re selling a customer relationship management tool for example, but be upfront about the realistic CRM implementation timeline. Or, if necessary, tell them straight that this product isn’t the right solution for them.

You never know: The person you talk to today at a company that wasn’t a good fit may be working at another company tomorrow. If you were straight with them during the sales process, they’ll be more likely to come back to you when they need a solution. 

Your sales pitch is better with tips from the experts

A good sales pitch is persuasive.

A better sales pitch is personalized to the prospect.

The best sales pitch is all that, plus it includes ideas you swiped from the pros.

If you want to learn how to build a sales pitch that’s adapted to customer profiles, define specific steps to build a sales pitch script, and see examples of cold-call pitches you can watch to up your skills, check out the Ultimate Sales Pitch Guide. This is 8 chapters packed with information on how to prepare, craft, and deliver your best sales pitch (plus it’s free)!