The Great Wall of the Cold Call is when you don’t know the person at all. You’re sending an email or making a call strictly on chance from information you’ve received or researched. The cold call is one of the sales reps biggest challenges. The mind frame of the person being sold cold is normally a closed mind frame. For the sales rep, it’s equivalent to a sprinter being timed in a 40 yard dash but they have to run in mud.


One word and one concept fixes this and breaks down the wall: familiarity.  Familiarity can come in many ways:

  • a company’s brand can produce familiarity
  • mutual relationships can create familiarity
  • sharing knowledge together creates familiarity
  • helping someone outside of your specific industry creates familiarity

Ways to Create Familiarity On A Cold Call:

Prove Your Expertise/Brand: Show them posts, white papers, e-books, tweets, events, held/organized/sponsored, and much more. It’s a very loud world and the people producing quality content, organizing communities (whether online or off), and marketing their product and content efficiently are winning.

Find Mutual Relationships: Network all of the time. Whether on social media profiles or in person. One mutual connection can mean the difference between a sale and steak knives. (Insiders Tip) Any call you initiate, check LinkedIn. Even a 2nd or 3rd connection may break the ice enough to separate yourself from the competition.

Share Knowledge: Building a relationship around mutual industry and knowledge — first — is a powerful way to break down the Great Wall of the cold call. After the call, send them an article from a trusted and informative outlet. Even reading the same blog post creates a degree of familiarity.

Help Outside Industry Guidance: Helping your prospect outside of the context of the sale is powerful. For example, during the call, you discussed something off-topic, perhaps his/her email service provider. A followup email on how they can get more out of their email service provider will build trust and familiarity that help all parties now and in the future.

If you do all of the above, the great wall of the cold call will be crumbling for you.