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Detaching From the Outcome: How to Regain Your Cold Calling Mojo

You’re behind on quota and you need that meeting booked yesterday.

It’s a common story for SDRs.

But you’re shot down again and want to give up.

You’ve lost interest in hitting the phone. Where do you go from here?

SaaS sales is a mental game as much as anything.

The solution is something you might not expect.

Psychology has always been a crucial part of sales. 

We’re going to break down the secret to a winning sales mindset.

Let’s begin…

Detach from the outcome

Yes, every SDR wants to book a meeting. It’s the outcome everyone wants. 

However, this instinct can be counter-productive.

Morgan Ingram, VP, GTM Talent and Development at Sales Impact Academy, explains:

“Most people are looking to schedule a meeting. They’re focused on the outcome, rather than what their prospect is saying. When I say detach from the outcome, what I mean is…

“Attach yourself to the process of asking the right questions. Be thoughtful and actively listen. You won’t do this if you’re attached to the outcome of booking a meeting.”

Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t care, it’s about releasing expectations.

We can have a desired outcome and also allow it to be what it will be. 

Morgan explains:

“Most people want to be seen and they want to feel heard. If you’re present and ask the right questions, it changes the direction of the conversation. You’re going to have a big impact. You’re going to be able to uncover things that most people don’t because most people don’t take that approach.”

A yes isn’t the only positive outcome…

There’s actually another great outcome and it’s not necessarily a meeting.

It’s something called a completion. 

A completion is a call that gets through to the right person. It’s not aimed at generating a meeting, but finding out whether you can engage in further contact.

Not everyone is in the market to buy when you make a call.

Check out the Chet Holmes’ Buyers Pyramid:

Chet Holmes’ Buyers Pyramid

These are the 2 really important stats:

  • Only 3% of your market is buying now.
  • 6-7% of your market is thinking about buying and is open to it. 

The rest are either not thinking about it, don’t think they’re interested or know they’re not interested.

What does this mean?

It means that when cold calling, you have a roughly 10% chance of speaking to someone who’s ready to buy.

And if that 10% is all you care about, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity…

And it’s killing your mojo.

Liberate yourself! Don’t think that every single conversation needs to result in a meeting.

It’s not a failure nor a lost opportunity; all you need to do is reframe the number of outcomes you’re seeking.

There are 4 different routes a cold call can go down. It’s important to know what these are so you can adjust. They are:


That’s a meeting. Maybe 10% of your market if you’re hitting everyone in your market hard.

Chet Holmes’ Buyers Pyramid - Yes


This is around 60% of the market. Those who don’t think they’re interested or know they’re not interested. That’s an actual outcome in the market!

Chet Holmes’ Buyers Pyramid - No

Not now

With this slice of the market, it’s all about timing. They don’t think they’re interested, know they’re not interested or aren’t really thinking about it. There’s a 90% chance of getting someone in that range. 

Chet Holmes’ Buyers Pyramid - Not now

How to handle “not now”

Often with “not now”, they aren’t saying they’re not interested. It just isn’t the right time.

There are 2 kinds of “not now”:

  • With a stated date
  • Without a stated date

Here’s what to do with these responses:

If you get a stated date, the rule of thumb is to cut it in half. If someone tells you to call next quarter, call in 6 weeks. This is because things change so fast in business.

If you don’t have a date, this is a gut feeling thing. You might feel it would be good to reach out next month, so start calling again in 2 weeks.

Not me

This is actually a useful response. So the person you’re speaking to isn’t the right fit - but they might know someone who is.. 

Congrats - you’re one step closer to a relevant conversation!

How to handle “not me”

Find the right person you should be speaking to. You need to ask more questions - focus on getting a referral internally.

Ryan Reisert, Subject Matter Expert at Cognism, told us:

“We miss out on opportunities because we're only focused on the one that's only likely to happen 10% of the time. The reality is, all four outcomes are great outcomes from a cold conversation.”

Morgan explained further:

“You could be rejected outright or hung up on. Many SDRs freeze up after a “not me” or “not now”, but they’re not dead ends.”

Listen to Cold Calling Live below for more cold calling tips and advice. ⬇️

Always be curious

Being curious is crucial if you want to detach from the outcome. Your intent shapes the direction of the call.

Josh Braun, Founder of Josh Braun Sales explained:

“If you go into a cold call and think: 'my job is to talk people into things', you're going to persuade, pitch, and overcome. But if your intent is to discover, you end up letting go of expectations."

Know your “why”

Call metrics and quotas can kill your vibe. You might even lose interest in making calls.

The key is to have a broader vision for what those numbers tie into. Think about how it ties into your life and your story.

Morgan told us:

“It’s important to think of what your deeper goal is gonna be. Not the call metric, not what your manager is telling you to do, but having a vision for what those numbers mean.”

Being hyper-focused on call metrics and quotas can lead to ‘commission breath’.

When this happens, it’s obvious you’re trying to talk people into buying. 

According to Josh Braun:

“When people feel sales pressure they pull away. Talking people into things doesn’t work because of this pressure. This is called the backfire effect.” 

“Instead, you need to detach from the outcome. When you reduce the pressure, prospects feel they can trust you. They sense you don’t have the ulterior motive to get the meeting. The real goal should be to get to the truth behind every conversation with a prospect.”

Are you putting pressure on your prospects?

Josh Braun explores the topic in more detail 👇


Break the “appointment setter” mindset

There’s a lot more to the SDR role than booking meetings.

Morgan explains:

“A lot of SDRs view themselves as appointment setters. What you need to realise is that you’re setting yourself up for a very key skill for the future of your career. You’re also setting up pipeline for the organisation.”

“Without pipeline, nobody’s getting hired. No one’s closing anything.”

It’s important for SDRs to be able to answer questions and tell a story. They uncover needs and play a role in nurturing. 

A successful sales team isn’t made up of ‘cut and paste’ SDRs. 

Ryan Reisert gives his take:

“Sales reps flourish when they’re empowered to use their creativity. Bolstering it with market and product knowledge. Guess what - buyers have different personalities too.”

We’re in an age now where people feel like they’re being spammed by SDRs. 

Relevancy and personalisation have gone out the window. Meetings are prioritised over providing real value.

This is broken.

The truth is we need a more buyer-centric model. Reps should be focused on providing value, not pitching the product out the gate. 

Again, the goal of a cold call is not to book meetings. It’s to have a conversation and move to the next scheduled interaction.

Don’t personalise rejection

Outbound sales inevitably means living in the world of rejection. Developing resilience is a part of the job!

Even with a top-drawer cold calling technique, your product won’t always be the right fit. Or they could have been bombarded with outreach that day. So how do you handle this?

Morgan told us:

“Every single time you’re rejected, you need to remember this person is going to forget you in five seconds. You should move forward with confidence knowing that it’s not personal and they’re going to forget you.”

Your next prospect might be ready for a demo, so it’s key to keep your emotions in check.

Keep a steady mindset

It’s easy to get caught up in the highs and lows of the job. Sometimes you’ll be pumped up, and then suddenly everyone is ghosting your calls. 

How do you balance your energy as an SDR?

Trusting the process is important. It’s like going to the gym - some days you’ll have to drag yourself in, others it’s effortless. But if you show up over the long term, you’ll get results.

Morgan’s advice is:

“Keep a steady mindset. Too low energy and you’re not excited about what you’re talking about. Too fired up, you’re too much for some people.” 

“Use a strategy and don’t be derailed by a positive or negative outcome.”

Regain your cold calling mojo with Cognism

Morgan put it simply:

“If I know I’m gonna connect, I’m gonna make more calls”. 

“Most people don’t make calls because they complain they can’t get in front of someone for a direct dial. Psychologically, you’re more confident to go and make those calls. It’s frustrating and creates friction when you can’t connect.”

👇 Cognism’s direct dial data helps SDRs connect with prospects; have real conversations faster.



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