Cold Calling Tips & Techniques for Selling Staffing Services

Apr 22, 2009

Unless you were born into royalty, you are a former president of a country, or a CEO of a Fortune 500 organization, you are going to have to make cold calls in order to be successful in the field of sales.

It’s fascinating when marketers promote “cold calling is dead,” “cold calling doesn’t work,” and “stop cold calling.”

Who doesn’t wish that their network were so robust that they could always generate new business off of referrals from their personal network? To be successful in selling staffing services, one will always to have to cold call for new business.

Below are some proven tips and suggestions that will both help your cold calling be more productive and remove any fear that you may have about cold calling.

Adjust Your Mindset

Don’t approach cold calling with the goal of “making a sale” or “landing a meeting.” If you do, you are destined to fail and you will be in constant objection-handling mode.

Besides, you don’t want to be a transactional vendor.

If your goal of the cold call is not to make a sale, then how can you get rejected? Eliminating that goal will free you from the fear of rejection.

Stop Selling

We all know how competitive the staffing industry is. Your customers and prospects are getting hundreds of calls from your competitors each week. Further, your customers and prospects cannot distinguish one vendor from the next because they all sound alike. They all lead with their product and/or service offering. This is a very “salesy” approach and a turn-off to just about any buyer. Focus on the customer and what is important to them; stop selling.

The Goal of the Cold Call

Disarm the prospect! Imagine an invisible wall between you and the prospect as you’re talking with them on the telephone. Your goal of that call is to remove the invisible wall so that they feel comfortable in opening up and sharing information with you. The key to long-term success in sales is building trust and this is the first step in building trust.

Disarming Your Prospect

How do you disarm your prospect? You start by displaying a lot of respect for their time and making them feel as if they are in control of the phone call. Put out the disclaimer that you are O.K. and understand that if they feel the discussion is a waste of their time, you will happily end the phone call. You must offer the prospect multiple opportunities to tell you to get lost or end the call. Think of it as reverse psychology. You want to say the opposite of what the prospect expects you to say. They expect you to be a walking brochure for your organization selling them all of the wonderful features and benefits of your service offerings. This is what we have conditioned prospects to hear for hundreds of years. Instead, make the prospect feel like they control the call. Say the opposite of what they expect you to say.

Stop Making Assumptions

Before you start selling, determine with the prospect if your two organizations are even a good fit for one another. You need to qualify the prospect to determine whether you even want to do business with them. And don’t assume you can help them until you have had a detailed conversation with them about their business issues. There is nothing buyers hate more than sales professionals who impose their product or service on them and when they know nothing about their business.

Ask For Permission

Ask the prospect for permission to conduct the phone call. Throughout the phone call, check in with the prospect by asking, “Is it ok if we continue?” Doing this makes the prospect feel in control of the call and your demonstrating respect for them as a professional.


If you execute these philosophies correctly, you will not run into the common and numerous sales objections most sales professionals in our industry hear on a cold call. When applying this approach to cold calling, the worse-case outcome is that you will differentiate yourself from competition. Prospects will remember you. How many of your competitors do you think are applying this approach?

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