How to Stop Losing Control of your Cold Calls

Full name
Matt Aird
5 min read

Today I’m going to show you how to stop losing control of your cold calls in the first 10 seconds.

You know that awkward exchange that happens when the prospect responds “sorry who is this - where are you calling from”

Naturally - you repeat your name and company and then wait for them to respond.

Problem is the flow from the conversation is dead and the prospect is now in control.

When this happens your chances of getting into a decent conversation go out the door.

Don’t give the prospect control of the call.

Here’s what I’ll teach you today:

  1. Why the prospect responds this way
  2. How to reduce the likelihood of this happening
  3. What to say if it does happen

Why prospects respond this way

When a prospect says “sorry who is this - where are you calling from”

Chances are the tone and the words you’ve used are feigning a sense of familiarity.

What they’re trying to do is place the context of the call.

Is this a call relating to their personal life, is this a callback they were expecting, or is this a customer calling from a number they don’t recognise. This problem solving process is running in the background and results in the question “sorry who is - where are you calling from?”

You don’t want this.

This question puts the prospect in charge of the call. And makes it more difficult for you to lead the conversation.

How to reduce the likelihood of this happening

First thing is to acknowledge that you’ve never spoken to them before. Why? It stops

this natural problem solving reaction and puts them in the right frame of mind to engage in the conversation.

There are lots of ways you could do this. You could say:

Hey {{name}} - This is a cold call, do you want to hang up or can I have 20 seconds to explain why I’ve called?


Hey {{name}} we’ve never spoken before. Have you got 30 seconds or have I caught you at the worst possible time?

There are a dozen variations - but the idea is the same. Tell them they weren’t expecting your call to stop the problem solving motion from taking up mindshare.

What to say if it does happen

Repeat your name once - and then roll into the reason why you called.

Sounds like this - “Yeah Sorry it’s Matt here from Sales Science - Reason I called is…”

No pause between your name and the reason you don’t want to give them a chance to jump in here and take control of the conversation.

The reason you frame it as “the reason I called is…” is because that’s what they’re really asking you. If they don’t know who you are they don’t really care - what they want to know is why you’ve called them. So tell them.

This approach will remove the awkward exchange and set you up for better conversations.

Hope this helps.

Happy Hunting!

Share this post

Meet with our founder

Want to meet to discuss what an outbound engine would look like in your business?