"Cold calling" sounds scary, but remember that you are simply talking to people. If you are totally prepared, which has certain parts to it, you won't be scared at all, since you are simply communicating what you already know to someone on the phone, with each call like its own little adventure. I used to think of it that way. I was only nervous if I didn't know what I was going to say, but once I knew the certain parts of a cold call that I needed to know, I was fine and actually enjoyed talking to these people.
First, you need to know what your goal is on the phone, whether it's to sign them up for something, set an appointment or send them something, close a sale, qualify a lead, or whatever your goal may be. Regardless, you have to be clear about what you want from the person you're talking to before you hang up the phone. Usually it's to qualify this person and then either send them info and then close the sale on the next call or qualify them (make sure they are your decision maker and ask one or two additional questions that assure you that this is a good lead) and then sell them whatever it is that you're selling. In order to sell them anything, you need to know WHY a person in their shoes would want to or need to buy what you're selling. These are your "selling points," which usually involve reasons why your product or service that you're selling is better than others. You should talk to your sales manager to ask this overall question and the pay close attention to their answer--take notes on these "selling points," since they are the reason your decision maker will give you a "yes" or a "no" to your phone pitch, which is the content of your cold call. Ask your sales manager to tell you how to close the call. This is important. This is why you're making the cold call in the first place: to reach that goal you have.
It really sounds more complex than it is. Think of a cold call this way: you see a man walking into a restaurant that you're just leaving, having had a great meal there. You aren't asked by him how your meal was, but you're so happy about your experience in that restaurant that you start talking to him, telling him that the food is great here, and the ambiance is so nice, they play wonderful music inside, and the service is so friendly and fast!! You tell this man that you totally recommend this restaurant, and that the Lasagna is really good, by the way, and then you say "Enjoy!" That's a sales pitch, and that is very much the way a cold call can be after you've introduced yourself with a first and last name (never just a first name) and then give the name of your company (I'm with ABC Company). Don't say "How are you today?" EVER! If you do, you are simply announcing the fact that you're a salesperson and that you are presumptuous to ask, since you've never met this person. You see? I wish I knew what you're selling so that I could be more specific to your particular needs, but after you know that you are talking to your decision maker by simply asking him or her "I understand that you handle XYZ. Am I correct?", just enjoy telling your now established decision maker what you have to offer and why it might very well improve his or her current situation. After all, doesn't everyone want to optimize their current situation in business?! WHen you understand that you are simply on the phone to offer decision makers the opportunity to perhaps improve their current situation, you will be a happy cold caller!! Know your selling points, be yourself and enjoy each conversation. Don't pressure yourself in any way. When you learn something from a call, write it down in a notebook that will have other learned ideas in it, too. This combination will bring you success and happy work days cold calling!! Best of luck to you--JoAnne