How to Avoid These 5 Mistakes on Cold Calls

Snigdha Chaturvedi


Snigdha Chaturvedi


August 15, 2022

How to Avoid These 5 Mistakes on Cold Calls

I think we can safely assume that you’ve landed here because the cold shoulder on cold calls is just going over your head now! Or maybe, the success rate is poles apart from your trial rate. I mean all of us get numbers and when they are failed numbers, the demotivation that comes with it is absolutely disheartening. But here is something you should know. The average success rate for cold calling is somewhere between 1-3 percent. Okay, so that’s one successful call out of 100? Or 30 go-ahead responses post 1000 conversations! Well, I am sure most of you fit into this success rate ratio, but if you are looking to go beyond that number, you’ve landed in the right place. 


So, before I lose your attention, why don’t we go ahead and strike off the 5 biggest cold calling mistakes to avoid: 

Neglecting research

So, before you get into the cold calling spree, you have learned all about your product. You know just what the salient features are, how it’s helping your entire clientele, and how it’s the best thing waiting to happen to your prospect. But, here is the issue. You are so invested in your own product or service, that you forgot to put in your time on:
A- what can be their shot downs? 

B- how EXACTLY( and not superficially) does your product help your client? 

C- You fit them in your schedule, but what about theirs?

All of these are just examples of how we often skimp on enough research and just go ahead with a script- unfortunately, at such times- it is inevitable for your prospect to let go of the call. Always prioritize their product, and then say how you fit into their needs. Secondly, time is always of the essence…, especially for decision makers - so getting a heads-up from a subordinate and striking the arrow just at the right time will help you with better targeting. 

Losing your cool


You are constantly making calls. It’s understandable that you may snap once in a while. But, that happens to be one of the biggest cold-calling mistakes. Take it this way, someone is trying to give you advice. However, you decide that it’s not the best way for you to take it…and then the person just loses his cool because you didn’t listen. Imagine the irritation on your part. That’s exactly how a prospect would react. We are not saying that listen to anything they throw your way…but try to keep calm on all your calls. A prospect does not realize that he is your 100th call for the day. So, give them that benefit of the doubt and apologize before hanging up in case they lose their cool. Some statements to use would be:

“Sorry, I didn’t realize, it wasn’t a good time to talk to you, but I will try to catch you at a better time”.


“Oh, the product does not fit your needs…no worries, all the best with your endeavors”. 

A little politeness goes a long way for sure. 

Avoiding the follow-up process


If you feel that a failed cold call is just a part of your call log, then that’s not how things actually work. For the best sales execs, who wish to up their game, a thorough analysis of every step is crucial. Learn the right lessons and get the correct follow-ups.

That will surely help you to reflect back on the particular mistakes you are making and what is repellent for most clients. Similarly, put down your achievements…what was the sweet spot? Take it as your own pros and cons list if you wish, but it will surely help you a lot. Just like a to-do list, you can inculcate these learnings in your daily calls and keep enhancing your game as your list of cold calling increases. 

Ignoring Bond…James Bond!

No, we are not asking you to become a spy in the next Bond movie. But isn't it amazing how well we remember this particular line? That's exactly what you should be doing too. The idea is that while explaining your product, you forget to reiterate your name. Try doing that. Even during the introduction, once in between, and while cutting the call. This will help your prospect remember the name if he wants to reference it sometime further in the sales funnel. Also, in the worst-case scenario, if they want to come back at a later stage, then they can remember your name and contact you.

Plus, it reflects on confidence on your end. You have an identity and while making a conversation, it’s important that your prospect sees it too. 

Going with the flow


We totally get that you have to respond to unexpected questions and it's good to be spontaneous at times. But if you've been taking it too casually, take a step back and evaluate your calls. It is always better to have proper research in place before going into these cold calls. Keep a script ready with answers to questions that they might ask and a few lines to ensure that you close the cold call on an impactful note. All of these practices will help you compartmentalize the call and get the most out of it.

Summarizing it for you:

When it comes to cold calling, we often tend to prioritize quantity. It’s true, cold calling is a number of games. Hits and misses are all that are needed here. However, you still need to balance out quality absolutely. If your cold calls are failing because of a wrong pitch or repeated mistakes, then it’s time perhaps for a game change. Also, while having a call log is the most basic of it, analyzing the different kinds of responses is the learning exercise you can leverage. Avoid these biggest cold-calling mistakes mentioned above and ace your performance. At Outplay, we are always wanting our SDRs and sales ninjas to outplay their contemporaries. Like us, do you want to cool down the number of failed cold calls? Well, then the Call of Fame is just the guideline you need! Check out the best cold calls in the industry and connect the dots to successful pitches.


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