The Path To Better Cold Calls

Here’s the secret to better cold calls.


What do you say when prospects push back on a cold call?

So this happened.

I received several cold emails from Adam, a PR agent. He wanted me to interview “John Smith,” a sales guru on my podcast.

Yesterday he cold called me.

Here’s a transcript of the call:

Adam: “Hi, Josh. It’s Adam. I’m the PR agent for X. I sent you three emails. Did you get them?”

(Sidebar – No good can come from asking people if they received your email. Any answer ends awkwardly. And it makes people feel defensive.)

Me: “I did.”

(Awkward transition.)

Adam: “The reason for my call is that I wanted to see if you’d be open to having John Smith on your podcast.”

Me: “I’m not.”

Adam: “Okay, thanks.”

[End of call.]

This isn’t Adam’s fault. You can’t get better at something you haven’t been taught or practiced. So let’s change that.

Here’s what Adam could have said to open up the call.

Adam: “Hey Josh, it’s Adam. I’m the PR agent for John Smith. Are you familiar with him?”

Me: “I am.”

Adam: “Sounds like you’ve read his book.”

Me: “I haven’t read his book, but I’m familiar with John through some of his posts on cold emailing.”

Adam: “Yes. John often talks about how salespeople can stand out in the crowded inbox. I know I’m putting you on the spot here, but does that sound like something that would be of value to your podcast audience?”

Me: “No, I’m not interested right now.”

Adam: ”No problem – I know you probably get tons of these requests. Before we hang up, if feel comfortable sharing; Is it bad timing, or is John not a good fit?”

Me: “I’m not interviewing guests right now. I’m focused on creating short 2-4 minute episodes that are tactical.”

Adam: “Yeah, I’ve heard some of those. The framework you shared on how to explain what you do was gold.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Adam: “Have you thought about asking guests like John a series of rapid-fire questions? Limit responses to 3 minutes to fit your format. Tactical. Choose the ones you want to publish. We’ll share the snippets with our list of 100k reps and plug your guide. Terrible idea?”

Me: “Actually, no. That sounds interesting.”

Feel the difference?

The lesson?

When you let go of expectations and are genuinely curious, you open doors.

When you have expectations and push your agenda, you close doors.

To be a better closer, be a better opener.