How to Make a Cold Call

How to make a cold call

“Who are you and whadda ya want!” Isn’t that what you feel like shouting whenever a stranger, who calls to sell you something, starts by saying, “Hello Janet how are you today?” What a lame icebreaker! The cold caller hasn’t even met you yet and has the chutzpah to use your first name and ask how you are. That’s not how to make a cold call.

A person’s need to know underlies every contact from romantic (is this person for real or just playing around), to a business when people wonder what kind of hidden agenda you have. So when making a cold call—on the phone or in person— it’s only natural for you to want something from it.

So the process of how to introduce yourself begins by thinking about what you need from the person you’re calling or meeting for the first time. Then use this icebreaker introduction: Tell the person who you are and what you want. People—especially strangers—will like you more.

When you express who you are, what you want and expect to happen, your listeners will relax and be ready to accept your communication. Using the icebreaker of who you are and what you want makes you a more attractive job candidate or salesperson.

How to introduce yourself In a nutshell: Your icebreaker introduction when making a cold call or during a face-to-face meeting is made up of the two words “who” and “what.” When you use those magic words upfront, you’re more more likely to get what you want.

The words “who” and “what” are one of several ways to break the ice during a cold call. It’s also a dynamic way way to start an interview. 

Copyright © 2015 by Ransom Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.