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Real-Life Cold Calling Examples: What (Not) To Say

Picking up the phone to call a prospect can be daunting when you’re doing this for the first time or you have been rejected too many times.

If you feel like you lost your confidence, see if you can get it back some after watching some great examples of cold calling from sales pros Josh Braun and Ryan Reisert. They explain what to say (and what not to say) during cold calls.

Feel free to steal their hacks to book meetings!

In this article, we’re showing what to say and what not to say in the following situations during a cold call:

  • Can you send an email?
  • I don’t have this problem
  • The price is too high
  • We have a vendor
  • It won’t work; we already tried
  • I’m not the right person

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1. Can you send an email?

Imagine you make a cold call. And whatever your opening line is, the prospect asks you to send an email. What do you say?

If you think cold calling is dead, think again! Josh Braun's advice is to take the pressure off the prospect. 


✅ Can I explain why I’m calling, and then you can tell me if it makes sense to send that email?

Don’t say:

❌ Sure, can I have your email?
❌ Can I call you back tomorrow?
❌ Can I have 15 mins to discuss what to include in the email?

In this cold calling example, you’re giving prospects a choice. You’re not pushing them into your agenda to take the next step. Hence, you’re reducing the risk of prospects pulling away. 

💡 Learn how to find CEOs phone numbers.

2. I don’t have this problem 

Don’t assume everyone on your prospect list has a problem. If you discover the prospect is not a good fit, there’s no point in moving on to pitching. Josh says you can then stop persuading and move on to the next conversation.


✅  Right, thank you. I appreciate your time.

Don’t say:

❌ In case things change, maybe I can tell you what we’re about?
❌ Let me quickly tell you what our business is about.

That’s it.

You don’t have to sell your product to everyone. Ask the right sales discovery questions and discover the truth about your prospects' needs.             

Here is a real example of a cold call that demonstrates how to let go at the right time.

3. The price is too high

It’s one of the most common sales objections. But when you’re prospecting, you don’t have to defend the pricing no matter what. Josh says you can slow down the sales process at this point and try to understand the potential buyer's perspective. 


✅ Do you have any other concerns except the price?
✅ It sounds like we’re more than what you’re paying now. Out of curiosity, what made you consider our product?

Don’t say:

❌ Most people felt the same, but they found that…
❌ The best products come at the highest price.

Using the right cold calling script at this point may lead you to address the costs prospects bears when they are not using your solution. Or you may realize that you’re not for everyone.

💡 Check out recent cold calling statistics to get more insights into what works in B2B prospecting.

4. We have a vendor

Many customers you’re going to reach already have a provider. Even if you talk prospects into a meeting, likely, they won’t show up. The best course of action is NOT to fight the prospect’s resistance.


✅ That’s precisely why I’m calling.
✅ We’re not looking to replace your vendor. We’re looking to see if there’s something we can be helpful.
✅ Are you open to a second opinion?

Don’t say:

❌ My customers were using another vendor when I reached out.
❌ I just want to show you what’s new. How is Tuesday at 2?

You need to know something they don’t know that can hurt them. Present yourself as meaningfully different from the competitors. Bring a unique idea to the table to start the prospect scratching their head. Only then can you continue a meaningful conversation.

5. It won’t work; we already tried

We’ve all sat at a lecture and zoned out, right?

If you start overexplaining how your product solves complex problems, no one is going to pay attention. Josh says it’s better to create a dialogue instead of a monologue to engage the prospect.


✅ If you’d like, I can send you a video on this and you can decide if you want to learn more.

You don’t have to ask for a meeting every time. In this example of cold calling conversation, you can plant a seed and ask for a lower commitment action.

6. I’m not the right person

Even if you build a good cold calling list, a contact might still not be the right person you’re reaching. Don’t let this confuse you, even if you’re sure the prospect only says this to brush you off the call. It just means they are not ready to talk to you today.


✅ Oh, so is this handled by someone else there?
✅ I know it’s not your job to help salespeople but would you mind telling me who is in charge?

If a prospect is uncomfortable answering this question, thank them for their time and move on. However, if they point you in the right direction, use their name as a reference on your next call. It will give you more credibility.

💡 If you hear this too often, see how you can find the right decision-maker at a company.

Key takeaways

Let’s sum up some of the key points that come through the examples of cold calling analyzed by Josh Braun and Ryan Reisert. 

  • If you don't know what to say when cold calling, remember your job is not to talk people into things. You don’t want to pitch, persuade, and overcome.
  • Your job is to discover if the prospect has a problem you can solve. To do so, you need to let go of expectations. As Josh puts it, "detach from the outcome".
  • Start with a hypothesis that your product or service can help people. But you can’t be sure of that until you have a conversation with them.
  • The phraseology that you’re using is important. Shift from persuading to lowering the zone of resistance to find out the truth.

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