The #1 Reason Why Prospects Drop Your Cold Calls & How to Stop It

9 min read
Aug 16, 2022

There is nothing like hearing the noise of a prospect slamming down their phone one second after you say, ‘Hi, my name is…’.

Ahhh, the beauty of cold calling. Is anything more discouraging than immediately getting hung up on in sales?

To help you not get immediately get hung up on, I am sharing the #1 reason why prospects instantly hang up on your cold calls.

More importantly, I am sharing how not to get hung up on by another prospect again!

Sure, go ahead and keep on keeping on, but you will only:

  • Get more discouraged
  • Make worse calls
  • Fail to hit your marks and grow

Cold call success is central to business success. How will you succeed in business if you cannot even keep a prospect on the line?


News Flash: Nobody Wants to Take Your Cold Calls


The hard truth about sales is nobody wants to take your cold calls.

When prospects look down and see an unknown phone number, they are not exactly thrilled.

No, they are not necessarily mad to see unknown numbers pop up.  

Let’s just say taking cold calls is not the highlight of most people’s days.

Because of this, prospects are likely thinking about hanging up on you before you even mutter the first words of your script.

While this is a hard truth to swallow, going in with realistic expectations helps you better prepare for calls.


What Do You Think Your Prospects Do All Day?

What do you think your prospects do all day?

Do you think they sit around their phone anticipating cold calls?

Or, do you think they are being pulled in many directions, taking meetings and managing problems all day?

Of course, your prospects are working hard, just like you.

They are not sitting around their phone all day waiting to take cold calls.

When you call and their phone rings, they do not jump in the air and rejoice.

Do not go in with the unrealistic expectation that prospects answer your phone call like it is what they have been waiting for their entire life.


Honestly, How Much Do You Like Taking Cold Calls?

How much do you like taking cold calls on a scale of one to ten?

Maybe you do not mind taking cold calls, but I guarantee they are not the highlight of your day.

What makes you think prospects love taking cold calls when you do not even like it?

Why do you think prospects are any different from you in that regard?

Neither you nor your prospects are not dying to take cold phone calls!

That said, you have an uphill battle with cold calls.  Contrary to popular belief, fighting an uphill battle is more advantageous than fighting the downhill battle.

When you are fighting uphill, you are an offense; you are going on the attack instead of defense.  You are running the ball rather than defending territory.

So, while prospects do not necessarily look forward to taking your calls, do not think that puts you at a disadvantage.


Most Salespeople Make Shoddy Cold Calls in General


Most salespeople make shoddy cold calls in general.

As a result, prospects either hang up immediately or stay on the line anticipating hanging up at the end of the conversation.

If prospects do not immediately hang up, they usually end the conversation with an awkward, ‘Sorry, but I am not interested’.

While there are many ways salespeople bomb cold calls, the most common screw-ups they make include:

  • Talking more than necessary
  • Not having a hook
  • Not having an ask

Furthermore, most salespeople make shoddy sales calls in general. Because of this, their odds of success with prospects who do and do not immediately hang up are slim.

Here is how most salespeople bomb their cold calls:


The Call Is Anything But Short & Sweet

First, cold calls are supposed to be short and sweet.  

You are supposed to get on the phone and get straight to the point.

Additionally, the salesperson is not supposed to do most of the talking.

However, most salespeople make cold calls that are anything but short and sweet.  They also spend most of the time talking instead of listening.

Here is the thing: You will lose the prospect's attention if you do not get straight to the point or make the call about yourself.

The truth is potential customers have the attention span of a goldfish!  

Therefore, make your point and then turn it over to them.

Say what you need to say and then shut-up and listen.


You Have No Hook

The second reason salespeople make shoddy cold calls, in general, is they have no hook.

The purpose of a one-liner hook is to:

  • Ignite curiosity
  • Display a valuable opportunity
  • Create urgency

The hook of a sales call is no different than the hook you put on the end of a fishing line: It gives prospects interest in pursuing you.

Without a hook, you are basically throwing a piece of string in the water and expecting prospects to bite it.

A successful cold call without a hook is a straight shot toSorry, I’m not interested!’.


You Have No Ask

Finally, the goal of an initial cold call is getting prospects to agree to a formal discovery meeting.

The goal is NOT to sell your deliverable!  All you are trying to sell is the next step of the sales process.

That said, many salespeople make cold calls without an ask.

An ask is the objective of the sales call; it is what you are asking prospects to do before hanging up the line.

That said, the ask of every initial sales call is the formal discovery meeting!

What do you think happens when you make a cold call without an ask?

What happens is the prospect answers, you babble, they feel awkward, and they eventually hang up.

Do not make another cold call unless you are going to ask for something!


The #1 Reason Why Prospects Immediately Drop Your Cold Calls


The most common reason prospects immediately hang up on your cold calls is that you make a terrible first impression.

You make a terrible first impression by having terrible energy.  

Having terrible energy makes prospects feel crappy.  Hence, why they do not want to speak with you.

It does not matter what you say, but how you say it!  How you say things reflects your energy.  Your energy impacts the way prospects feel.  The way you make prospects feel determines the quality of your first impression.

Prospects on the other end of the phone will either be intrigued or repulsed by your energy.

The more repulsive your energy, the more likely you will get hung up on.


You Sound Like You Are Asking Prospects to Hang Up on You

Are you constantly getting hung up on when making cold calls?

If so, you are making a crappy first impression.  Specifically, you are speaking in a way that gives off I-would-rather-eat-dirt energy.

Again, your energy is not reflected in what you say but in how you say it.

Moreover, the way you are saying things gives off an I-really-do-not-want-to-be-on-this-call energy.

What makes you think a prospect wants to talk to you if you give off that kind of energy?

If prospects instantly hang up on you, your energy is repelling them instead of intriguing them.


You Have 1 Second to Make an Impression

Prospects sense your energy within the first second of the call.  That said, your energy better be on fleek within that first second!

When you bring the wrong energy, the prospect thinks, ‘Great, another sales call from a salesperson who I do not want to talk to'. *BEEP*

On the other hand, they instantly get curious about who they are talking to when you bring the right energy. 

They think, ‘Who could this happy energetic person be?’.

What you say in the first few seconds of the call does not matter nearly as much as how you say them.

You can bomb your words but keep the prospect on the line if your energy is at a 10.

Furthermore, the first second of the call is the most important one of the conversation.

You have one second to make a solid first impression- get it right or get hung up on!


Here Is How to Never Get Hung Up on by Potential Customers Again


Maya Angelou once said, ‘People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.

Make your prospects feel as good as gold by bringing your best energy to each cold call. Hanging up on you will be the last thing they think about doing.

As much as nobody likes to admit it, first impressions are crucial.  

In sales, first impressions are everything, plus a box of chocolates.

The only way to make a great first impression is by nailing your energy within the first second of the call.

Here is how to nail the most crucial one-second in sales to never get instantly hung up on again:


First, Prepare Without Over-preparing

First, write a short and sweet cold call script.

Writing a script is a great way to prepare for calls. The more prepared you feel for the call, the less likely you will go in with crappy energy.

Specifically, the less likely you will go in with nervous energy.

To begin your script, write a simple opening line.

DO NOT go over the top and say something outrageous like, ‘Hi, how would you like to hear about the product that is going to change your life?’.

All you need to say is, ‘Hey [prospect name], it’s [your name] from [your company name], how you doing today?  What’s going on?’.

While I suggest writing a script, make sure you do not sound like a robot reading it.

It is better to go slightly off script and sound natural than read it perfectly and come across as robotic.


Talk Like You Are Meeting an Old Friend (IMPORTANT)

If you mess up this next step, you will not make a great first impression!  

Instead of making an excellent impression, you will do the opposite, and the prospect will likely hang up.

You MUST say your opening line as if you are getting on the phone with an old friend you have not talked to in years.

Okay, picture this: Imagine you pull up to your old high school reunion and suddenly see your old best friend. You have not seen this person in years.  

How do you approach the old friend? What kind of energy do you have in your voice?

You would likely be bursting with enthusiasm to see your old best friend!

That said, bring that exact same energy to the opening line of the cold call.

Imagine the prospect is the friend you are seeing for the first time in years.

When you have that kind of energy, the prospect will think, ‘Hm, who is this person? Do I know them? Have I heard of them before?’.

Instead of thinking about hanging up, they will be captivated and intrigued by your energy.

Again, you can nail your opening line but say it with crappy energy and still get hung up on.  

Forget social norms that say you need to sound cool, calm, and professional while cold calling.  Most social norms are a straight shot to losing the prospect.

10% of nailing the first impression is what you say, and the other 90% is how you say it.  Say it right!


Get Right Into Your Hook

After dropping your ultra enthusiastic opening line, immediately drop your hook.

The prospect’s enthusiasm should be increasing by this point in the call.

Thanks to your energy, they begin rising to your level.

Drop your hook with just as much energy as the opening line.  Keep the good vibes going to keep the prospect feeling awesome.

Here is the best part: The most challenging part of the call is over!

If you nailed the opening line to keep the prospect on the call, dropping your hook and making the rest of the call will be a breeze.

Moreover, the odds of getting hung up on are low if you do not lose the prospect immediately after the opening line.


Ask, Confirm, and Hang Up

Finally, drop your ask, confirm your meeting time, and then hang up (with energy, of course).

If you made it this far, the odds of the prospect hanging up are virtually zero!

That said, keep this part as short and sweet as possible.  The last thing you want to do is drag the call out and kill the good vibes.

You do not want to be a good energy buzzkill, do you?

Remember, not getting hung up on is all about making that first impression.  Keep up the energy, and you will do just that.


Final Thoughts on How to Not Get Hung Up On When Cold Calling


Remember, sales success comes down to cold call success.  Sales success is central to overall business success.

Therefore, you will not be successful if prospects hang up on you one second into every cold call.

Not only will you not be successful, but you will feel miserable in the process.

Make the best first impression, nail your cold calls, and knock success out of the park!  It is within your control to not get hung up on.


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