In recent free teleseminar David Festenstein of TeleOpen who was talking to us about using cold calling to gain appointments with senior executives of large companies. We had a good sized audience with lots of great questions being posed.

David started off explaining why normal cold calling approaches are less effective with senior decision makers and why people who are OK with cold calling in general, shy away from calling senior decision makers.

David makes such calls every day on behalf of his clients and gave us tips in 7 key areas to help us become more effective in gaining appointments with senior decision makers:

Tip 1 – Do your home work
Research the company and individual thoroughly before making the call.

Tip 2 – Prepare before making your call
Think through your call and stand in the shoes of the person you are calling. What is going to be compelling enough to want to talk to you. Plan for your initial introduction and then how you will respond to the inevitable objections.

Tip 3 – Mentally rehearse your call
Practice the call in your mind and imagine it going how you want it to. Practice the responses to objections too.

Tip 4 – Make sure you are in the right state of mind
How you feel will impact how you sound. Take time to get yourself in the mood. One way is to stand up when you call.

Tip 5 – Go for a short exploratory telephone meeting
Rather than trying to get an appointment, aim to get a commitment for a 15 minute telephone conversation to see whether it is worth meeting. Prospects love this and its great for qualification purposes.

Tip 6 – Turn the gatekeeper into a gate opener
Acknowledge the PA, be polite and make sure you work through the gatekeeper or you may regret it!

Tip 7 – Seek to continually improve your approach
David recommended recording and reviewing calls plus keeping call statistics.