Do you feel like you’ve mastered cold calling? Or, do you find yourself still struggling to find comfort (and success) with this sales technique? Mastering cold calls is all about strategy, writes Ian Call in an article for Business2Community. He details a nine-step strategy that salespeople can follow to not only successfully execute a cold-call campaign but also boost their own comfort. While his article is especially helpful for those new to the industry, it can also be of use to sales veterans who may want to revisit and refresh how they handle cold calls.

Below, are just the first three steps that Call recommends:

  • Write a script. You’re setting yourself up for some awkward moments (and possibly failure) if you decide to just “wing it” when making a cold call. While a full-blown, detail-by-detail script isn’t necessary, you should write out a brief outline of what you want to say, which can serve as a helpful point of reference during the call.  “After you’ve created a brief written script, practice it loosely,” he suggests. “[And] confidence is key, and knowing how to work around your script outline while mid-conversation is important.”
  • Generate leads and contacts. There’s no reason to pick up the phone unless you have a list on hand of quality accessible leads. Take time to seek out leads that would genuinely be a good fit for you and your company, and research as much as you can about their business. To keep yourself organized consider doing what Call himself does: As you research and find leads, enter each contact into a spreadsheet and then record details about each touchpoint.
  • Make the first call. First calls can always be shaky—even with your script and research. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone! “The key is to keep going and understand your outcome in the end,” Call writes. “Keep your outcome clear (write it down) so that you know why you are making all these calls in the first place.”

Check out Call’s full article for the entire nine-step strategy, and once you’ve tried his tips, you’ll likely find that your cold calls are more productive AND your comfort with cold calling has increased!