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7 Surprising Cold Calling Techniques Powering Top Performers

3 min readJanuary 14, 2020

Cold calls can be one of the most difficult parts of sales, but there are some reps that excel at it. We took a look at the cold calling techniques used by the top sales performers to see what they did.

They cold call when answer rates are highest

A Revenue.io analysis of over 130 million sales calls made through conversationAI found that the optimal time for sales call connection rates is between 10 and 11:30 AM in each respective time zone. That means that reps have the highest likelihood of having a conversation with leads or prospects is in the late morning.

A cold call technique that top sales performers use is calling at the time that their prospect will pick up. This grants them the maximum number of possible conversations and enables them to either qualify or disqualify leads quicker, which allows them to focus on prospecting those that are most likely to convert.

They thoroughly explain their product at the beginning of the call

Data shows that the cold call technique used by top sales reps is to actually speak for a longer period of time during the beginning of the call. Calls that result in a demo set contain early sales rep monologues that, on average, are 20 seconds longer than calls without demos set. On successful cold calls, high performing sales reps first begin with introductions, then deliver monologues that average 67 seconds in length. Unsuccessful cold calls contain opening monologues that average 47 seconds in length.

Keep in mind that top sales reps don’t just talk to talk. During their extra talk time, they deliver well researched and personalized statements to build rapport with their leads and deliver customized value statements that cater to pain points that their prospects face.

Top sales reps listen far more

Just because sales reps talk more doesn’t mean they listen less. One cold calling technique that top sales reps use is to listen a lot (this is a key component of our winning cold call framework). After their extended pitch during the opening, reps give their prospect an extended period of time to speak their minds.

High performing reps capture the information gained from prospects an incorporate it into their notes or Salesforce records so they can use it to increase their chances of closing the deal.

They ask a lot of questions

An essential cold call technique is questioning. As previously mentioned, information gained during a cold call increases the chances of a close later in the sales pipeline. It also can help the sales rep on the initial cold call as well.

By asking the right questions with this cold call technique, top reps can adjust their cold call strategy to increase the likelihood of another conversation. They use information gained during the call to address specific issues or highlight products and features that the prospect will be interested in.

They mirror their prospects

The best reps make themselves familiar and relatable to their prospects. One cold call technique they use to do this is mirroring. Mirroring is a psychological behavior in which one individual adopts the speech patterns, body language, gestures, or attitude of another. Mostly, it happens unconsciously in social situations, but sales reps can use it to their advantage.

On a cold call, adapt your language, tone of voice, and pattern of speaking to mirror your prospects. They will find you more relatable and familiar, increasing the chance of a demo set.

They don’t stick to the script

Call scripts are super important, but if to heavily relied on can make calls sound, well… scripted. Call scripts are important to ensure the right questions are asked, information is gathered, and messages are conveyed. However, reps should not spend their entire cold call reading from a script.

Instead of a script, the best cold callers have a general outline that they follow that assures they check all the boxes, but it still allows them to have the flexibility they need to mirror prospects, address issues, or answer questions properly.

They seek to provide value

Let’s be honest… cold calls are an interruption for the recipient. They distract them from their day and are almost always unprepared to talk. The best cold callers negate this by providing the maximum amount of value to the recipients of their cold calls. In exchange for their time, the prospect receives some sort of helpful information, a way to solve their problems, or something that piques their interest.