Cold Sales Calls Can Be Productive

Sales reps tend to make common mistakes when leaving voicemails. Do your voicemails inspire others to call back? Or, are you committing common voicemail mistakes that keep your phone from ringing? asks the report from Jessica Helinski.



According to sales professional Jeff Hoffman in a HubSpot article, he shares some common mistakes:

  • One mistake is leaving the “just following up” voicemail. These too-casual calls don’t give the recipient a reason to call back, says Hoffman. Closing with phrases like “get back to me when you can” or “just wanted to follow up” doesn’t clearly define a purpose for the call. Instead, Hoffman suggests ending the voicemail with a call to action… ask a question before ending with your phone number,” enticing the other person to call back (and in a timely manner).
  • Another mistake is rambling. “When leaving a voicemail, be conscious of the time spent doing so. In general, the sweet spot for voicemails is 25 to 40 seconds. As Hoffman explains, “under 25 seconds looks like you dialed and hung up. Over 40 seconds looks too long.”
  • And, always leave a voicemail; don’t let concerns over mistakes stop you. As Hoffman writes, “If you don’t leave a voicemail, you’ve set the precedent your messages aren’t important to listen or respond to.”

In parallel, Jessica Helinski, a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers, says that even if you’re a seasoned sales vet looking for ways to make your cold calls a little more productive, a recent article on might have some tips that even you haven’t tried.

She points out that Deborah Sweeney, CEO of, shares techniques that can help create an authentic first impression. By making a strong initial connection, you build rapport and set the pace for a sale.

One technique from Sweeney titled, “180 seconds” lasts for three minutes and follows a particular formula:

  • Minute 1 – Use this time to introduce yourself and start with a bit of small talk. If you share a common contact, now is the time to mention it.
  • Minutes 2 and 3 – To ensure the call is short and succinct, use the second and third minutes to make the pitch. To not waste time, personalize the pitch to the prospect and his or her business. Be sure to answer “what’s in it for me?”

This cold-call technique can be successful because it is informative but also to-the-point. “Building a rapport doesn’t mean talking a prospect’s ear off about how great you are,” Sweeney explains. “It means understanding that their time is valuable and respecting that they took the time to hear what you have to say. Get to the point and leave a lasting impression.”

While a cold call rarely results in a sale, with Sweeney’s tips, it can establish you as a valuable resource. This, in turn, can greatly boost the chances of a future sale, concludes the report.

More from Helinski at SalesFuel



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