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How to be Successful at Cold Calling

Check this out! Brock Baker just joined our team, full-time, at the start of the year. Prior to that, he was with us for ~18 months now as an intern. After his first summer as an intern, he wrote a fantastic summary of his experience and included a few great tips for young professionals trying to find their way and start their career. 


How I Found a Slice of Success Cold Calling for CRE OneSource

By: Brock Baker

As a part of my responsibilities, I was tasked with creating a list of notes and tips for new hires from my first 3 months cold calling for OneSource. I wanted to provide these tips in a fashion that I feel will represent the ways in which you will learn them. 


  • Repetition 
    • Learn from each interaction
    • Notice patterns and dominate them
    • You have the freedom to try
    • Cold calling is a process not an individual call
  • Be Human
    • Be genuine, it shows
    • Mention things that will get them talking
    • Regardless of outcome, try to make each conversation enjoyable
  • Think Relationship
    • Build a ‘follow up’ network
    • Follow up conversations are a lot easier to navigate
    • People like to be remembered/thought of
  • Types of Leads
    • Cold call
    • Cold/warmer lead
    • Juicy lead
    • Spicy lead


The beauty of cold calling is that no matter where you start, you can count on the fact that the more calls you make the better you are going to get. Cold calling seems so black and white at the start but to truly find success you must continually build on each interaction you encounter. 

With each call you will begin to notice patterns and you must continually be figuring out ways to master these patterns. If there’s a question you don’t like but you keep getting asked after you say a certain line, maybe drop the line or rephrase it. 

As a cold caller you have the freedom to try. Each call is an opportunity for you to grow as a cold caller. There will be things that work, there will be things that don’t but there is a lot of fun to be had in finding this out. Don’t look at cold calling as something done on an individual basis but rather a systematic process that requires lots of data. 

Action list:

Have a way to constantly evolve your script. For me, this was having an excel sheet that showed the progression of the conversation I wanted to have. Find ways to track common questions you get and brainstorm with team members the most effective way to answer them.

Be Human

One thing I found out in my time cold calling was that I was never the only cold call that a person was getting that day. What did this teach me? To provide these people with a conversation that not only feels genuine but is genuine. 

This looks like mentioning how awesome their receptionist was, how you’ve always wanted to visit the city they work in, or how you heard them speak on a podcast you listened to recently. These kinds of things stick out to people. If you can leave every conversation, regardless of outcome, feeling positive about your interaction it makes the process of cold calling a lot more enjoyable. 

Action list:

While the phone is ringing (not before, don’t give yourself an excuse for call reluctance), look up the person’s name and company/credential and go to their LinkedIn profile to see if you can find a quick snippet to start the conversation with. Our CEO, Craig, calls this a tingly and it’s a great way to open the door for a conversation. Things to look for: College, previous companies, hobbies, volunteer positions, connections to your network, religious connections.

Think Relationship

This took me too long to realize and it makes me wonder how many opportunities I missed out on in my first couple weeks. Constantly find ways to be building your follow up list. Follow up conversations are not only much more enjoyable but they also generate a much higher conversion rate.  

You will get pushback from a lot of people who would rather look over the information themselves before committing. This is completely valid and a reflection of the modern consumer. Simply send them an email and be sure to let them know you will be in touch. People like to be thought of, so when you call back and mention a detail from your previous conversation they are more often than not happy to hear from you. 

Action list:

In OS Prospects, you can set reminders to call people back. Do this as often as you can. This can be done by activities on a specific contact’s profile. From there you set a reminder with a little bit of info on the call and the date you deem appropriate. To access your current or upcoming activities, simply navigate to the Dashboard. From here you can filter by “due today” “past due” or whatever works best for you. This tool is all about finding a system that works for you.

Types of Leads

This section is entirely dedicated to the types of leads you will encounter in your time cold calling and the terminology that my associate Sam Absalom and I created:

  • Cold call: This is the most common call you will make. No previous connection and they are not at all expecting your call. Tip: Find ways to warm the call with tingley’s.
  • Cold/Warmer lead: This is someone you spoke to previously that was not interested but still took information on an email. You are usually just dropping in to see if they even saw the email and had potentially had a change of heart. Tip: If a enough time has gone by, mention they had some interest and see if they were willing to consider a meeting now.
  • Juicy lead: This is when you are referred up the chain of command in a firm. Maybe you spoke to someone that said “I’m not the decision maker, you need to talk to blank.” You at least have a foot in the door but the burden of convincing still rests on your shoulders. 
  • Spicy lead: Spicy leads are an absolute treasure, they make your day better and they reinvigorate you as a caller. A spicy lead occurs when you speak to someone’s subordinate and they instruct you themselves to give the person a call and have them get set up for a meeting. Nothing short of a disaster can keep you from a meeting once you reach spicy levels.

I hope these tips were helpful and I hope you can hit the ground running with your calls. Enjoy the process and never be afraid to try. Feel free to reach out to me any time with questions, my cell is (316) 737-3143. Best of luck!


It’s been fun to watch Brock grow over the past 18 months working for CRE OneSource. He’s serious when he says, give him a call!

Charlie Coppola 
[email protected] 



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