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Real Live Cold Calling

What’s Joe Harlowe, Cognism’s Account Development Representative, more afraid of?

Bungee jumping?


Cold calling real-life B2B prospects on a live webinar?!

We’re not sure about the former, but the latter is something that Joe actually did!

It happened on a joint webinar with Sales Hacker. It was hosted by Colin Campbell and featured Josh Braun, Founder, Josh Braun Sales Training, and Ryan Reisert, Founder of Reisert Consulting.

From training and scriptwriting to an actual live demonstration of a cold call, this blog rounds up all the key action points that were discussed.

Keep scrolling 👇 or flick through the menu below.

Detaching from the outcome | Reframing the sale | The 4 P’s | Real live cold calls | Join Cognism’s sales community

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Detaching from the outcome 

When cold calling your prospects, you’ve got to detach from the outcome of closing your deal.

Wait, what?

Isn’t closing deals the whole point of cold calling?

Yes, it is.

But, often you’re not even going to get the time of day from your prospect, let alone a “yes” on an initial call.

So, what should you do?

Josh explained that you can’t pressure your prospect into talking to you. If they’re busy, they’re busy and you must respect their time.

“Salespeople are moving at a faster rate than the prospect is willing to go at. This leaves them feeling sales pressure. And, whenever prospects feel pressure, they pull away.”

Instead of hyper-focusing on that one must-have prospect, try your luck! Move on if they’re not willing to talk to you.

If they do give you their time, you’ve got to build trust with them and get to the truth behind every conversation. Josh said:

“The truth behind every conversation with a prospect is one of two things - yes, they want to continue talking to you, or no, they don’t want to talk to you at this time.”

Don’t approach your cold calling in a salesy and manipulative way. Instead, take the time to build rapport, identify pain points and provide solutions. Act like a consultant, not a salesperson. It’s the best route to B2B sales success!

Reframing the sale 

When you get the prospect talking to you, you’ve got to reframe the sale to them.

How do you do that?

Well, you’ve got to get your prospect thinking about the cost of inaction.

What does doing nothing cost your prospect?

Josh expanded on this:

“You’ve got to get them to think differently, scratch their head and think ‘hmm, maybe I do need this, let me look into this some more’.”

How do you achieve this shift in your prospect’s mindset?

  • Demonstrate what doing nothing will cost them.
  • Write and follow a carefully crafted script that follows the 4 P’s.

The 4 P’s 

The 4 P’s will get you through your cold call.

How so, you might ask?

It’s simple. They’re a set of rules to follow on your cold call.

What’s the purpose?

To make sure the prospect stays on the line!

One thing to note - what you say is important, but how you say it is even more so.

Let’s jump into what the 4 P’s are and how they help 👇

1 - Permission

The first thing you need to do is ask your prospect if it’s okay to talk. Sound calm and sure of yourself when doing so.

Here are some ways of asking for permission on your cold call.

2 - Problem

Once the prospect has granted you permission to continue, you’ve got to present your problem.

This bit is really important.

A top tip - use words that alleviate the pressure on your prospect. Josh suggested using the “loss or gain” approach 👇

And what about if your prospect has any objections?

Josh highlighted a key point for SDRs to take onboard:

Practice objection handling before you call. That way, you’ll be fully prepared to navigate the buyer/seller dance.

Most cold calling objections you’ll encounter are based around the BANT formula, which is:





“I don’t have the money to buy.”

“I’ll have to speak to my boss about this before deciding.”

“I really don’t need your product right now.”

“It’s not the right time for me to buy.”

Roleplay ways of resolving these objections with the other SDRs in your team. The trick is to flip each objection around and turn a disadvantage into an advantage!

3 - Poke the bear

Don’t actually run out into the wild and find a bear to do this! 🐻

What “poke the bear” means is you have to arouse the prospect’s curiosity.

How do you do this?

Get them thinking about what their company is doing. Is their current process really delivering results for them? Or can you show them a better way?

Start by mirroring the prospect - repeat what they say back to them. Tonality is everything when you deliver your cold calling script.

Sometimes, things that sound sensible coming out of our own mouths sound ludicrous when coming out of someone else’s.

For example - if the prospect says:

“All my sales team manually find their leads.”

You can say:

“Your sales team find ALL their leads MANUALLY?”

You’ve just identified a pain point that the prospect didn’t even know they had.

Next, it’s time to lead them towards your solution. What can your product do to help them solve this issue?

4 - Promise

If you made a promise to the prospect, don’t break it. Ever.

If you said you’d be brief at the start, wrap up the call quickly. If the prospect asks for more info, suggest that demonstrating the tool to them would actually save them time.

But most importantly, leave the prospect feeling unpressured. Don’t make them feel like their decision needs to be immediate.

Rather, present your solution as something they may need in the future. If they can see how your product could benefit them long-term, they’ll be open to booking in a demo.

💡 Tip! If you're looking for more cold calling insights, you might enjoy these articles on the difference between warm calling vs cold calling? and cold email templates: 14 of the best for sales.

Real live cold calls 

Watch Cognism sales rep Joe cold call some real prospects, live on air!


What did you think? It’s safe to say that Joe knocked it out of the park!

And that Joe is probably more terrified of bungee jumping, as he couldn’t have been more relaxed under this extreme pressure!

On his first call, Joe was faced with multiple sales objections but he handled them extremely well.

As Ryan said:

“Joe couldn’t have stayed on script more. It was absolutely incredible. Joe stayed in the pocket and stayed relaxed. The most important thing Joe did was paused a little and let the prospect respond without continuing to talk, which is crucial. Joe even gathered more information despite the prospect’s objection. It was absolutely fantastic.”

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