Traits of the Best Cold Caller Ever

By CEO of Superhuman Prospecting (SHP), Ryan Pereus. Published May 7, 2020.

What makes the best cold caller ever?

The “cold calling” skill is key in the sales development rep tool kit. The ability to convert conversations with stakeholders or decision makers is so essential to the effectiveness of sales people as much of the prep work and planning is designed to get you to this critical conversation.

I asked those in my network on LinkedIn what they thought were the top traits of the “best cold caller” ever (You can see the original post by clicking here). However, for your viewing pleasure, here are the five he dropped:

With 20 client SDRs on staff, we at SHP are always looking for ways to improve results and help their team. Everyone (including us!) posts articles and blogs; and gurus talk about the latest “objections, techniques, and tactics” so often that many times we are blind to the true character traits that make up the ultimate cold caller – an SDR converting eons higher than his or her peers.

After the post had received some feedback after a couple days, one specific comment stood out to me. Matt Macnamara, former BDR at Formcraft, commented a few days later with 5, very specific traits of a cold caller. “Huh, Matt didn’t just drop these off the top of his mind,” I thought. There were many other great responses as to what makes the top cold caller ever. Here were a few:

Resilience, curiosity, business acumen; strategy, repetition, conviction, and perfecting the process.

What thought was interesting is that not only did Matt have answers that were different than anyone else, I thought the way he phrased them portrayed the specific characteristics. Instead of just listing, he wrote “They (insert verb)” in front of each. Maybe this is just semantics, but to me it painted a picture clearer than the other responses thus far.

While I myself have yet to come up with a true list of these traits, I decided to take Matt’s answers a step further by bringing him on our video series, #HigherIntelligenceSales Conversations. I thought as an outsourced SDR company, we should, of all companies, continue learning and understanding the role better–not only for the success of our clients, but to the sales development space as a whole.

We had a 30 minute deep dive into these 5 traits he listed. We’ll be breaking them up to digest a little easier, but the whole thing is available here:

We talk about the sales development role over all, the other traits Linkedin-ers wrote, and make quite a few analogies to sports. However, these five traits were some of the most bulletproof traits for the “top” cold caller. while many were valid, I don’t know if they answered the question about the “best cold calller ever,” and the things they would do to convert conversations into qualified sales appointments than any other.

Here is a quick dive into those traits:

  1. They are coachable. Comparing to the best basketball player or other elite athletes, but top performer doesn’t have a coach?
  2. They role play/practice everyday.  If top athletes practice the process by doing run-throughs and warmups, why don’t SDRs when they cold call? If you don’t, you are going to be practicing on your prospects, and this is a disservice to them and yourself.
  3. They show up to work each morning with a plan. Just like Jeb Blount talks about in his book Fanatical Prospecting, platinum hours are those ours reserved for preparing, golden hours are those hours dedicated to execution.
  4. The don’t overthink things. You can’t execute a conversation by memorizing a script. Using scripts and messaging today guide you, executing is about using your intuition based on what you have learned to have an a genuine conversation with you prospect.
  5. They are great at active listening. This top skills requires not just waiting for someone to finish speaking, but also picking up on tonality, inflections, and emotions. This allows us as top SDRs to respond in kind.

What I loved about these is that they were in some ways, nuanced. They weren’t basic skills, they weren’t starter pack tips — these are skills of the top echelon. Its the small things, the #mambamentality that takes SDRs to the top.

With all this said, I don’t think the conversation is over! I think it has just begun. Again, I myself haven’t even fully reflected on this, analyzed the data, held competitions, and have come to a conclusion. What are your thoughts? What are the traits of the best cold caller ever?

Let us know!

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