Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work

Stephan Schiffman, the President of D.E.I Management Group, is the author of the bestselling book: Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work.

Here are the insight he wrote regarding to how to utilize voicemail, email, and follow up calls.


A professional message on a voicemail is beneficial because it is more favorable and easier to achieve. When the people call back, they are more likely to listen to you. Additionally, it is easier for you to leave messages for people who are difficult to reach directly on the phone.

Therefore, in the age of voicemail, it’s important to know how to leverage voicemail as a sales person.

Cold Calling Techniques

Tips for using the voicemail:

Know your limits: When you’re trying to establish a new relationship with the new contact, leave no more than one voicemail message per business week. Take no more than 4 attempts to contact a decision maker.

Calling with a company name: leave a message that mentions the project with XYZ company and your own company. This method will get between 65 to 75 % of calls returned rate.

Calling with individuals name: as a manager, you can help the sales process by mentioning the your sales person’s name on the voicemail, e.g., “I am calling in the reference to Maria”. People will return the call and this can be an opener for you.

Working as a team with other sales: refer the other person’s name, e,g, this is Melody from XYZ company calling in reference to Ross.

Take advantage of voicemail: Another rule of thumb is if the admin ask if you want to switch to voice mail, always say yes because this way you can deliver your passion and your belief in your product on the voicemail.


Email has become an essential communication tool nowadays. However, Schiffman doesn’t believe emailing is a good way to do it since there are too many emails and spams everyday. It is easy for people to delete the emails if the name or subject aren’t recognizable.

However, email can play an important role if it is not for the purpose of cold calling. You can use email to follow up after meeting someone at a convention or trade show. You can also use email to maintain an unique personal connection with current clients, prospects and customers. If you’ve established a reciprocal relationship with someone, email also be an important sales tool for you to build on that connection.

Cold Calling Techniques _email

Follow up calls

Follow up calls are what you make when someone asks you to call back in order to set an appointment. As a sales person, you want to seize every event that gives you the opportunity to call, start the conversation and reduce the waiting time before the actual meeting. When the person says: “you’re going to have to call me back”, Schiffman would assume that when he does call him back, he is going to set an appointment with him.

Regarding to when to call back, a great way to break the time you guys agreed on is to say: “ I was just thinking about you yesterday”. This will give you a reason to call. In fact, this approach is almost for any call you want to make in different scenarios.

To conclude, you can use the above-mentioned methods to make your calls.  At the end of the day, sales process is keep closing or open the deal. Use and try different resources as much as you can. Remember, one successful case in one particular industry can lead to other business opportunities in the same industry, e.g., if you can help one bank do better, you can help other banks do better as well, even they are competitors.

Cold Calling Techniques

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