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  • Writer's pictureJon Manley

The 3 Most Common Cold Calling Challenges and How to Eliminate Them

I stopped counting after making 100,000 cold calls.

Out of those 100,000 cold calls I made during the first 2 years of my career, only 1/10th of 1% bought from me.

1/10th of 1% bought from me.

Fair to say I was not a natural cold-calling prodigy.

That was 14 years ago.

This year, I’ve made more money than I made in the first 33 years I was alive.


How did I do that?

I owe all of my success to cold calling.

Salespeople run into 3 main challenges with cold calling.

  1. Not enough calls.

  2. Not calling with a customer benefiting plan

  3. Not following up correctly.

I am going to share my knowledge and experience in maximizing your success and efficiency while cold calling and building your sales territory. That way there will come a day, 14 years from now when you can also share the tools and processes that helped you earn more than you did in the first 33 years of your life.

Problem 1. Not enough calls.

Whenever a salesperson comes to me for advice on cold calling, my first question is always,

“How many calls a day are you making?”

and their answer is almost universally,

Company metrics do not matter to anyone except your manager.

The minimum effort will always provide minimum results. Company metrics are designed to give the lowest achievers an easy target to shoot for, not to help you maximize your potential or success.

Do not allow yourself to be caught by the metrics activity trap.

When I joined technology sales in 2006, I was coming from being a telemarketer, where I was paid minimum wage (back then it was $7.25 an hour) to make about 300 phone calls each day.

If I could make 300 phone calls a day for $7.25 an hour, I could certainly make 300 calls a day for the chance to build my own sales territory.

The company average was 17 phone calls a day, and the company’s success metric was 50 calls, and 3 hours of talk time.

I didn’t care about either, the only thing that matters is making as many calls as you possibly can.

That eliminates problem 1.

Problem 2: Not calling with a customer benefiting plan.

What do I mean by that?

Have you ever received one of those spam sales calls that just oozes insincerity?

“I’m calling because your vehicle’s insurance is going to expire.”


“Hi, if I could have 27-seconds of your time, I can pitch you on buying something from me.”

I don’t want you skipping over this question. Take a minute to write them down, because these 3 reasons should define your purpose.

If you are brand new to sales, ask the most successful salesperson in the company the same question, and then tailor them for you.

That eliminates problem 2.

Problem 3: Not following up correctly.

If your goal is to call and “touch base”, then your call is an unwanted interruption.

If your goal is to call with useful information, and insightful questions; your call transforms into a valuable conversation, that will ultimately grow your partnership, and find you additional opportunities to sell.

That eliminates problem 3.

Take the time to think about each of these 3 problems and write out and study your solution to each.

  1. Not enough calls.

  2. Not calling with a customer benefiting plan

  3. Not following up correctly.

Cold calling is a lot of work. It’s exhausting, you will get hung up on, and most calls will not give you an immediate reward.

Over time though, effective cold-calling will build a sales territory that will pay you dividends for the rest of your life.

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