14-step checklist for cold calling

What if you have a handy playbook to follow every time you dial a number to reach your prospect? With our blog, you can have your own cold calling checklist that lets you be well prepared and ready for any curve ball thrown at you.

cold calling checklist

Cold calling might be a traditionally old process, but it still serves as an essential method to generate interest amongst the prospects. A study states that around 6-7 calls need to be made to win the sale. To make the follow-up calls leading to the win, the initial call must impress the prospect, allow you to gauge the prospect's interest, and highlight your value proposition.

Prior to sending an email, we can go through the template ‘n’ number of times before hitting send. Similarly, we can follow the same process before making a cold call - by going over a list of tasks to complete before or during the call to make it successful.

Here’s a quick checklist to follow before you pick up the phone to dial.


  1. ❑ Assess your leads and prioritize them - Check if your company and your prospects match in terms of the business plan, industry, etc., and decide if both of you are a good fit for each other. Divide your leads based on the priority level by assigning them tags such as high/medium/low priority, so that you know the order in which you’ve to make the call.  
  2. ❑ Conduct your research - Learn more about your prospect by researching about them in order to strike a conversation and accurately position your product. Go through their social media profiles, website, and customer review sites to check their pain points. Do check if they’re the right person to reach out to or not.
  3. ❑ Reason for the call - Know the reason for the call before diving into the meeting. Have a clear vision of what you’d like to achieve after the call so that you can work towards it while talking to the prospect. Is it to set up the next meeting? Or your prospect wanting a free trial? It could be anything.
  4. ❑ Be ready with a script - Prepare a few voicemail scripts so that you don’t falter when you reach the prospect’s voicemail. Using the voicemail option, you can lead them to the next action, like asking them to check their email for further details.
  5. ❑ Relax and rejuvenate - Take a deep breath before you go into the call and visualize how you’d like the entire call to pan out. Prepare for the call mentally so that you’re ready to deal with any situation during the call. Listen to popping music, munch on snacks, or do anything that’ll calm you down.


6. ❑ Permission-based opener - Consent to pitch is very important before you go ahead. Your prospect might be busy to take a sudden call and mostly in no mood to hear a random pitch. You must ask them if they’re free for a call during your opening pitch. If they say no, do ask them for a better time and set up a call for that time. Break the noise with something quirky, like the below example.

Eg: “Hi Anna, this is Julie from Outplay, and I’m sure you hate getting cold calls just as much as I dread having to make them! Do you mind if I take 20 seconds? I’ll tell you why I called.”

7. ❑ Pitch in time - Deliver your opening pitch within 15-20 seconds. Keep it short and crisp - introduce yourself, company statement/mission, etc - all in those few seconds to hook the receiver.

Eg: "I’m sure you and your team would have faced the issue of falling behind on your targets. To help you with just that, I wanted to introduce Outplay to you - a sales engagement platform that’ll help you get more meetings booked every month.”

The reason for calling them needs to be clear and you can highlight something that’ll be of use to them.

8. ❑ Ask open-ended questions - Ask questions to hear more from them and understand them better. Build the conversation with the help of a few questions.

You can ask questions like “How much time do you spend while following up with leads?” or “How do you think changing this area could help you?”

You can also ask questions about your product. Questions that would allow you to talk about how your product would solve an issue. Like, “Do you think your SDRs spend too much time manually sending emails?” This would allow you to pinpoint their problems.

9. ❑ Quick overview - Give them a brief overview of your product. Keep these lines handy so that you are rightly conveying the meaning of your product in just a few lines without confusing the prospect.

10. ❑ Are they interested - Ask if this interests them or if there’s something that they’d like to learn more about. Once they give a positive response, you have your chance to ask when they’d be free for a follow-up call.

Something like -

"If you’re interested, we can conduct a demo session of our product. Would sometime this week work for you?"

11. ❑ Provide more details - After the call, in an email, send them your name, contact number, calendar link, website link, case studies, or articles. You can also touch upon important pointers that were discussed in the call and include those in the mail as well.

Suggested Reading: 12 skills every SDR needs to crush their quotas


12. ❑ Listen, analyze and repeat - You can always go through your call recording to review the call and analyze what could have been done differently. Jot down what lines you thought were impactful and use them for any future calls.

13. ❑ Stay connected - Connect with them on social media like LinkedIn/Twitter so that you have another platform apart from phone or email where you can reach out. to them. You can also use this to build a better rapport with them.

14. ❑ Contact before your call - Touch base with them right before the next meeting in order to jog their memory. Highlight whatever was discussed previously and the agenda for the upcoming call.