Cold Calling to Book an Appointment? Try This..

Most of the time when we’re invited in to train internal telesales teams, the problems that are holding them back are caused by one major issue.

They have little or no idea what they’re actually trying to achieve or why they’re calling – particularly with regards to the customer.

Cold Calling to Book an Appointment

Now that might sound over-simplistic, but read on and tell me if I’m wrong.

I’ve heard some nightmare stories about sales trainers making delegates tell lies in order to get through to prospects or force the PA to put them through to a holidaying Managing Director’s mobile phone – while their peers watch on during live “training” sessions.

Not the way I do things, but hey – maybe it works for some people.

Listen, you might need to get through at any cost, someone might be watching over your shoulder – but here’s a little clue – If you ever want to talk to someone more than once – don’t tick them off.

If you want your team to have a higher hit rate when booking appointments, try sharing these simple pointers at your next sales meeting.

Call with a Purpose

If you are calling to book an appointment, then book the appointment.

It should be the one and only thing you talk about.

Understand this;

Prospects aren’t sitting by the phone with nothing else to do. We’re all busy, if you call me then I’ll want you off my phone as quickly as possible because I have a whole list of things that I planned to do today – and you weren’t on it.

That doesn’t mean I don’t need to talk to you, but if I do, make sure you stick to the subject so that I can get straight back to what I was doing.

As a warning – asking me how I feel today or about the weather is just wasting my time (and also tells me that you’re a sales person who doesn’t fully believe in the solution for sale – and because of that – think you’re interrupting my day unnecessarily).

Set Yourself Best and Tolerable Outcomes

At Varda Kreuz we have a number of exercises that cover this in our training, but essentially;

Before you call up your next prospect, work out what your BEST intended outcome could be – and then decide what you don’t want to put the phone down without achieving, what would be tolerable?

Don’t Call to Sell, Call to Help

The reason sales people get twitchy nervous about cold calling is because they believe they’re ringing up to sell, get in the way, be a nuisance, an unnecessary annoyance.

So change SELL into HELP.

We talk about Sales Evangelism at Varda Kreuz – you’ve got believe in what you do, recognise how it helps and then set yourself a mission to save everyone who needs saving.

You won’t convert everyone – but if you don’t feel it, how will they?

Finally, I don’t like scripts very much, but here’s an outline that might help.

Straight through to the decision maker;

Good morning Mr. Prospect, I’m calling from XYZ – the (yourindustry) people – I noticed we haven’t got in touch for quite a while and so I’ve called to see when we can book an appointment with our account manager to come and see you.

Prospect: OK

Now I know they’re not always that easy, sometimes the prospect will say:

Prospect: What do I need to see you for?

You: Give the prospect a great reason why you need to see them

or how about when they say,

Prospect: We’re not interested

You: Ask them a great big open question to find out what it would take to catch their interest


Prospect: I don’t have time

You: Ask them a great big open question to find out when they will have the time

What if I get through to the gatekeeper?

If you can’t get through to the prospect, ask when the next best time is to call and then call exactly as instructed.

Don’t lie, don’t be insulting and don’t try to be ‘salesy clever’.

By the way, don’t expect a call back if you leave your number, it probably won’t happen.

So, remember this – if your purpose is to book appointments and you feel like you’re just being a nuisance to prospects, you either;

  • Don’t recognise or haven’t worked out how you really help existing customers
  • Lack the belief in your company, product or service
  • Have ended up in the wrong job

If however you do know how you help and truly believe that the prospect needs to see someone from your company – do it now – before the competition rip them off or sell them a dud.

Those prospects are counting on you


Interested in finding out more? We cover all these topics in greater detail during the following Workshops

Foundation Sales Training         Account Management Training        Sales Prospecting Skills

If you would like to discuss how we can help to develop your team, email us now on, give us a call on 0844 293 9777 – or follow this link to find out a little more about our courses and workshops.

If you were looking to book a training workshop for an individual rather than an in-house training course for an entire team you’ll find everything you need over at our Open Workshops Page by following this link.

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