Sales 101: Cold Calling

Why do I hear myself answering my own questions?

When reaching out to prospects over the phone, sales agents tend to get carried away in their enthusiasm and if they don’t get a response to a question they have asked, then they:

  • Start to answer the question themselves
  • Start to explain the question
  • Give a multiple choice option to which the client can reply with just yes or no

This can stem from excitement, when the sales agent wants to move on with their pitch and forgets to pause, or, it can stem from asking a bad question, since the sales agent feels the need to explain themselves (the question was not thought through or was just asked for the sake of asking).

After you ask a probing question during a sales call, bite your lip and give the prospect some time to digest your question and formulate an answer. Sometimes a bit more time is needed when people are speaking in their 2nd language, where it is even more important to give them time to respond.

Don’t be afraid of the silence, even if it takes a few seconds (these seconds can last really long, but try to not say anything).

If they did not understand your question, REPEAT the question, don’t explain it!

If you need to explain your question or change what you said, it was not a good question in the first place. You should rewrite the question in order to be understood in the way you mean it.


  • In preparation of your calls, write down several probing questions you can pick and choose from during a call
  • Try them out to make sure they are easy to understand, and to ensure they will get you useful information (don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking)
  • Make sure to give your prospect some time to respond (bite your lip!)

This way, you will be able to get a better understanding of your prospect’s situation and possible challenges they face, for you to sell against!