Here Are The Five Most Common Reasons Salespeople Fail at Cold Calling

For salespeople, cold calling is a primary means for filling your pipeline. Yet far too many sales professionals fail at cold calling because they don’t understand that the only way to succeed on a cold call is by first resolving your prospect’s fears and concerns.

Cold calling doesn’t work when you aren’t making enough calls

If you make between 6 and 10 calls a day, you aren’t really prospecting. That isn’t enough calls to give yourself a fair chance at success.

To make cold calling work you need an already researched target list and 60 to 80 faster dials. That number will not only produce appointments, but it will also give you enough reps to get better faster.

Your value prop is weak

If your cold calls aren’t producing results, one of the primary reasons for the failure to obtain appointments is that your sales call value proposition isn’t compelling.

How would you like someone to “stop by,” to introduce myself and my services?” The great benefit your dream client can expect is a chance to listen to you talk about yourself and your company?

You can see why they might pass. To make cold calling work, you have to ask for a meeting where your dream client receives the value.

Asking for big commitments early on causes resistance

If your “ask” is open-ended when it comes to time, you frighten your dream client off. They believe you may wear out your welcome by sitting in front of them for 90 or 120 minutes.

Even asking for an hour can be too much. A smaller commitment, like 20 or 30 minutes instead of an open-ended request, is more palatable. And your dream client can say “yes,” confident that they can bail out if you aren’t creating value.

Cold calling won’t work if you don’t ask for a meeting twice

You should expect a “no” to your request for a meeting on your first attempt. Your dream client says “no” to everyone who calls, not knowing how to tell who is worth meeting and who isn’t.

The first attempt elicits an objection, a test to see if you might be worth meeting. You must ask twice.

You can’t succeed at cold calling without resolving your prospect’s fears or concerns

They might say, “We are already working with someone.” OR “We are happy with the people we work with now.” You will also hear, “Just mail me information,” and “I don’t have time right now.”

None of these objections to a meeting is likely true

In fact, some of your competitors are meeting with people who gave them these objections.

Your prospect’s real concern is that you aren’t going to make a meeting worth their while, that you don’t have any real insight, that you can’t really help them, and that they are going to regret meeting with you.

You have to promise that none of these things are true.


  • Are you making enough calls?
  • Do you have a compelling value proposition for the meeting you are asking for?
  • Is the commitment small enough that it is easy to say yes to?
  • Are you always asking twice?
  • Do you know how to resolve your prospects real concerns?

The Seven Steps to Building Effective Prospecting Sequences guide is a FREE resource that will give you tactics to help take your prospecting campaigns to the next level.

About the author

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is President and Chief Sales officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class regional…

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