3 Outside-the-Box Lessons from a Real-Life Cold Call

News flash: cold calling can be demoralizing.

Even when you follow the basic rules for success, you can hit an unlucky streak where you just can’t seem to get through to your prospects or set any appointments.

That’s when you need to dig deep for cold calling inspiration that can get you back on track.

Consider these 3 outside-the-box lessons one of our sales reps learned from a recent cold call:

1. You Can Find Opportunities in Unusual Places

It started when our sales rep was driving through part of his territory on his way back to the office from an appointment.

He noticed a blank billboard next to the highway with a number for businesses to call if they wanted to purchase advertising space.

Inspiration struck. Our sales rep called the number, reached a decision-maker, and told him he’d seen his company’s billboard.

Our rep then asked the prospect whether he’d be interested in knowing about other businesses located near the site of the billboard who might be interested in purchasing advertising space (a search you can easily perform with the BWise prospecting database).

The prospect was intrigued, and agreed to a meeting.

While this kind of spontaneous cold calling success isn’t typical, it demonstrates how breaking out of your cold calling “routine” may shake loose new opportunities.

The lesson: always keep your eyes open and your “target market antennae” tuned for possible opportunities, even in unusual settings.

2. No Call is Life or Death

For our sales rep, this was a chance opportunity--one that fell into his lap unexpectedly.

But precisely because it was unexpected, he didn’t set any expectations as to its success or failure. He took a chance, dialed the number, and hoped for the best--nothing more.

And that take-it-or-leave-it attitude came through on the call, and established a critical degree of trust with our prospect.

Our rep’s approach was essentially to say, “When I saw your billboard, I thought it would be worth asking whether we might be able to help you. If our solution isn’t a good fit for your current needs, I won’t waste any more of your time.”

There was no pressure or agenda--just an honest question from a genuinely interested fellow professional.

The thing is… that approach works, whether you make a spontaneous call on a hunch, or you’re at your desk, methodically working your way through your call list.

The lesson: never treat a cold call as a “must-win” or “make-or-break” opportunity. Successful cold calls focus on your prospect’s challenges and priorities, not your quota.

3. Your Next Call Could Put You on a Roll

Not surprisingly, after the call, our sales rep felt invigorated and ready to make more calls and set more appointments.

And that’s the final lesson: the only way to end an unlucky cold calling streak is with a successful cold call…

...and the only way to make a successful call is by picking up the phone and dialing your next prospect.

{IMAGE CREDIT: Jlhopgood}