The Cold Call

Jack Hanson
July 27, 2022

No one has ever been excited about cold calling, but PAX has come up with a formula to make it (1) less painful and (2) more effective.

What? You thought cold calling was dead? Think again. Modern research confirms that multi-channel outreach (e.g. cold calling mixed with email and LinkedIn) elicits significantly higher response rates than a single-channel strategy.

We’re going to walk you through six easy steps to fill out a cold call template (below) to  create a solid script for you, a new SDR, or an outsourced appointment setting firm. There are two columns in the template to allow for an A/B test.


Step #1: Prepare for the call by reviewing these questions.

Before you dial, answer these three questions:

  • What is the objective of your call?
  • Are you trying to schedule a Zoom meeting? Trying to sign them up for a trial? Looking for an introduction to a decision maker?
  • Who are you?
  • Are you the CEO? Are you the head of a division?
  • Who are you calling?
  • Make sure you research their website, Linkedin, and any other source you might have.

Pro tips: Even if you are the CEO or co-founder, consider describing yourself as “heading up the banking division,” or the “leader for the East Coast team.” Some prospects will be flattered to be getting a call from the CEO, but others will worry about your size and scale if someone with a big title is performing cold calls.

Step #2: Write your introduction.

Determine the name of your prospect along with the title or responsibility you want to go with from step #1.

i.e. “Hi Lucy, I’m Jack from Pax Momentum. I head up Recruiting. Let me steal a minute of your time.”

Pro tips: Pause, and apply emotional intelligence. Is the customer giving you the normal resistance you would expect the customer to give a sales call, or is she truly in a horrendous position? Make a quick decision: do I press forward with the call? Or do I offer to call back?

Step #3: Follow a formula to transition to the core message.

For your script, you will need to provide the title or the kind of business you typically work with. Titles might include Director of DevOps, HR executives, Artistic Directors or CISOs. Types of companies could be ad agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, international shipping companies or universities.  The formula is “[title OR type of business] turn to [your company] when they are . . .”

i.e. “Entrepreneurs ready to scale their go-to-market efforts turn to PAX when they are . . .”

Step #4: Spark interest by sharing top client issues.

Complete the sentence you started in the Transition Step with one or two (max) client issues, which we define as pains removed, problems solved, or results achieved. Make it unique, provocative, and likely to appeal to your customer.

i.e. “Elated to have landed their first customers but unsure on how to convert early traction into a repeatable, scalable, sales process.” or “Motivated to find the right language to inspire prospects, team members, and investors with the story of their company.”

Pro Tips: Start your client issue phrases with one of these verbs: Exhausted from, frustrated with, challenged by, have had it with, pressured to, motivated, impelled, facing threats from, or are desperately trying, paralyzed from

Step #5: Consider sharing a differentiator about your solution.

Based on your read of the situation, consider adding one differentiator. (This step is optional.) Remember, you are not selling for your competition, so choose something that separates you from the pack.

i.e. “Other accelerators are funded by Pension Funds, Massive VCs, and passive family offices. PAX is funded by an illustrious group of involved angel investors who provide both mentorship and a new network of potential follow-on investments.”

Pro Tips: We know you love talking about your product, but keep in mind the objective or your call, which is probably to secure a longer meeting. Only add the differentiator if it gets you closer to the objective of your call.

Step #6: Ask for the meeting (3 times).

We will work in the magic words (visit,fit & value) to secure our next meeting:

“I would like to visit with you.” Or “Would you have 30 minutes to visit with me next Wednesday or Thursday?”

“Let’s get together to see if we might be a fit to help you.” Or “I’d like to learn more about your situation, share how we’re helping other multinational companies like yours, and determine if there’s enough of a fit to talk about a next step.”

“We’ll review your current situation and see if we can bring some value to what you're doing.” Or (especially after 2-3 rejections): “Ms. Customer, I understand that [state objection] you're not considering any changes to your system now. Visit with me anyway. I promise you’ll get value and ideas from our time together, even if we end up not being a fit to help you.”

Pro Tips: Entrepreneurs wonder if they are being too pushy with this step. I have performed lots of autopsies on dead startups, and never once have I determined the COD to be excessive aggression during cold calls. Startups die due to lack of revenue growth. So, before calling, ask yourself whether you truly believe that your solution will make your prospect’s life better. If the answer is an authentic yes, be ready to act professionally and persistently as you drive hard to schedule your appointment.

Thanks for reading. If you want to go a little deeper, check out New Sales, Simplified by Weinberg.