Building Trust when Making Cold Calls


Telephone (Photo credit: plenty.r.)

People in direct sales feel that when they are calling someone, they are doing a cold call.  But if you have met this person and they have expressed an interest in your product, or they have asked to be put on your email list, they are a warm lead.  A cold lead is someone you have never spoken to or is not aware of you.   But it is possible to turn a cold lead into a hot lead and here are some ideas to help you.

Build a Relationship

Likely you are calling these leads as you want them to purchase something from you.  But right now, they do not know you and therefore do not trust you.  You need to change this.  Start out by sounding sincere and telling them what you can do for them and engage them in conversation.  Listen for tidbits that you could use to help the conversation move along.  For instance, they might mention that they were out buying hockey equipment earlier for little Bobby.  Later on in the conversation, it may be appropriate to say something like if they were to sell 3 units; chances are it would be enough to cover some of Bobby’s hockey expenses.  This helps to build trust.


When cold calling, you have to adapt to any situation you find yourself in.  You may start out with a script, but remember it is just a guideline.  After the first few calls, you may find it is not working well and you can adapt it.  Chances are you will always be changing and finding ways to make the script better.  If the call gets off track, or you get lost, you can always go back to your script to get back to where you want to.

Tone of Voice

Make your tone of voice match the person you are calling.  If they speak fast, then you should speak fast.  If they are quiet, lower your volume as well.  Make sure you are smiling when you speak to them no matter how silly you feel as people can sense a smile through the telephone.  Laugh when the situation calls for it; it adds to the trust and makes you seem more genuine.

Handling Rejection

A lot of people are not going to be interested in what you are calling them for.  Do not take it personally, it is nothing you have done wrong, it is just the product.  For instance, you may be selling baby products but the person you are calling is a single male in his 20’s.  He likely has absolutely no reason to use the product.  But you could turn it around and ask if he knows anyone that might be looking for what you are offering.

Cold calling is not for everybody and it is not necessarily going to be a successful method of marketing for you and your business. Depending on what you are selling, you may have success but without building trust, you will not accomplish much.

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