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Cold-Calling Basics

Take the "cold" out of "cold-calling," and you'll win prospects over.

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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

Too often, cold-calling is just what it sounds like: icy and intimidating-not only for you, but for the potential client. That's why Ken Stark, owner of Stark & Associates, a St. Louis-based sales training and management and business development firm, suggests warming up your cold-calls with a more personable approach. "You don't want to sound like a salesperson making a sales call," says Stark. "You want to sound like somebody who wants to engage in conversation. Don't sound too prepared or polished."

Of course, just because you don't want to sound prepared doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared with knowledge about the company you're calling. "You need the research information to use, but not to show," says Stark. "There's a big difference." Knowing the difference means delivering a conversational opening line, not a sales pitch. According to Stark, good cold-calls start something like this:

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