How to Cold Call Without Focusing on Yourself

Aug 20


Ari Galper

Ari Galper

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Relate your cold calling to everyday problems and win trust


The sales gurus teach a “questioning technique” in cold calling that’s designed to get potential clients interested in your solution. It seems like a good idea. But to your prospects it can feel staged. 

I’ve seen countless cold calls shut down by people saying,How to Cold Call Without Focusing on Yourself Articles “Enough already!  What have you got?”

Potential clients just don’t have time for long discussions that eventually reveal their problems. And if we’re relating to them in their world, we already know this. So it’s a good idea to uncover your potential clients’ problems before you make your cold call. 

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with problem-centered ways to talk about your products and services without veering off into a sales pitch. It sounds as if it should be easy, but sometimes it isn’t. 

That’s because we’ve all been trained in pitches and presentations for so long that it’s difficult to make the switch. We don’t quite know what to do instead. 

From Benefits to Problems

Well, the idea here is to take your “benefits” and turn them into actual problems that potential clients can relate to from their perspective.

At first this may feel awkward because you’ve never been taught to think from their perspective first. But you need to do your homework. Keep working on this until their problems become clear, and you’ll relate to them very well. 

Defining Their Problems

So what exactly are “problems?” Problems are day-to-day hassles, challenges, and business issues that potential clients face on an ongoing basis. They can be:

1. Issues and challenges of How do we…?  or How to…?

Ask yourself what “how-to” issues your potential clients are struggling with that you can help them resolve. For example, “How can we attract and retain better employees?” 

2. Problems, blockages, or annoyances in their business. 

For example, “We continue to overstock our inventory and this wastes a lot of money.”  Issues like this one can quickly get to be a substantial problem. Ask yourself what

problems your potential clients are facing on a daily basis that you can help them eliminate.

If you’re having trouble identifying at least three specific problems, or if potential clients don’t respond when you bring them up, then this means you don’t know their world well enough yet.

3 Ways to Get In Their World

Here are some steps you can follow that will help:

1. Visualize potential clients working at the office or at home, and ask yourself:

What, if anything, are they experiencing that only your solution can solve? If you were working there, what would you become aware of that they’re dealing with? What specific, measurable, day-to-day problems are they facing?

2. Make a list of the problems that arise in your mind from this visualization. 

3. Think about what these issues are truly costing your potential clients. 

Or ask yourself these questions: What problem does your solution relieve? What will it cost your potential clients to not have the benefits of your product or service? What problems might they encounter, or continue to encounter, if they don’t have your product or service?

Become a Problem-Solver

So let yourself become a problem-solver instead of a “salesperson.” Speak to the problems that your solution solves, rather than pitching your solution. This is the most powerful shift that you can make when you cold call. 

As you focus on problems within their world, you attract people’s attention. You’re addressing a specific issue that’s of concern to them. You come across as relaxed and natural. And you don’t carry that negative “salesperson” edge.

You’ll find potential clients won’t look at you as just another “salesperson.” You’ll stand out because most people who sell are trained to just promote their service or product.

Focusing on the problems that your product solves makes it easy to move into cold calling conversations. When you set aside your own needs and focus 100 percent on your potential clients, trust grows and truth emerges.