How many Cold Calls Do you Need to make an Appointment?

How many cold calls to make an appointment

So many people get frustrated with their numbers; one of the ways to gain assurance is to ask questions. One of the many questions I get from sales reps during sales coaching is, “how many cold calls to make an appointment?”

It takes at least 10 (ten) cold calls to make an appointment. Mathematically, only 10% of your cold calls would result in an appointment. 

It is also worth noting that other factors come into play when determining how many cold calls to make an appointment. One of the beginner mistake sales reps makes once they get a new lead is to call a lead once or twice and let it go. You should know that most prospects pick up the phone after the fourth attempt.

To keep up with the 10% appointment setting rule, several factors come into play. Once you put these factors into consideration, you would see your success rate climb as high as 15 – 20%.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting an Appointment on Every Sales Call


How many cold calls to make an appointment


Like I mentioned earlier, there are specific rules to follow if you intend to have good numbers with your cold calling campaign. Let’s consider them below;

Have Targeted Leads

Without this, you’d struggle with gatekeepers all day without reaching the decision-maker. One key question gatekeepers ask is, “who are you looking to speak to?”

Many organizations have a “No Name Policy” – which means you can’t be transferred to anyone within the organization if you don’t have a name.

Many sales trainers would ask you to say things like, “I am looking to speak to the director of finance or someone in the marketing department.” This has already singled you out as a sales rep, and the gatekeeper would do everything to stop you from pitching anyone in the company.

If you’d want to improve your appointment setting rate, then your leads must be targeted to specific individuals with their names. Here’s an example of a targeted lead pitch;

“Hello, this is Kevin from {your company}, I am calling to speak to Ryan Jones please.”

This sounds more professional than asking them to pass you on to anybody in the HR department.

Keep Dialling – Don’t Stop.

Sales is a number game; I guess you must have been told. Just because a prospect didn’t pick after the first three calls doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try further.

Now here’s the rule, every 24 hours, you should dial a prospect’s number FOUR time. This means you’d keep trying the number after every TWO hours. That way, your chances of pitching the prospect remains high.

If you don’t have a prospect’s direct line, remember always to change your pitch name with the gatekeeper. The first time you call, your name is “Kevin Green”; the third time, your name should be “Richard Jacobs.” This would help bridge familiarity with the gatekeeper.

When you call a gatekeeper more than three times in a day with the same identity, it raises suspicions – which isn’t right for you.

Have a Good Pitch

To determine how many cold calls to make an appointment is dependent on the quality of your pitch. If you want to maintain the 10% figure, make sure your pitch doesn’t suck. If not, you might not even get an appointment after twenty calls.

Your cold call script should guide you into requesting an appointment towards the ending of every sales call.

Every cold call aims to get an appointment or make the prospect excited about your product/service. If you go ahead to sell on your first call, the chances are that they’d bring up several objections and hang up the phone.

If you focus on getting appointments on your first call, you’d be more successful than someone who is looking to sell on a cold call.

Focus on the Early Morning Rush

Prospects are more open to entertaining your pitch between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. If you focus more on pitching clients early in the morning, you’d have a higher success rate than when it is done in the afternoon.

During the afternoon, your prospects might be having a bad day or a negative thought. No other place to pour out their frustration than onto an innocent cold calling looking to make some sales and provide value.

Have the Right Attitude

The right attitude keeps you going even when prospects don’t pick up the phones. It takes a great deal of motivation to remain calm and coordinated when things aren’t going correctly.

  • Research your leads
  • Follow your script
  • Pitch the right way
  • Then be consistent
  • Continue learning

Keep doing all these, and you’d hit the jackpot soon and have that wonderful sales month.

Leave Voicemails

To increase your chances of landing an appointment on every cold call you make, always learn to leave a message if your prospect doesn’t pick up the phone. Like when selling a product using this strategy, be sure to leave a hook line in your voice message why they should call you back.

Endeavor to craft a high-converting voicemail script you should use once the system says, “please leave a message.”

Always be closing

Right from the initial rapport building pitch of the sales process, to highlighting benefits and product positioning, every salesperson should be closing the entire time. Since the end-goal of this call would be to set up an appointment, you should be setting the customer up to a point where the only logical thing to do would be to set an appointment for further discussions.

Always be closing sales technique serves as a reminder that every action a salesperson should have with the client should be to move the sale towards the close.


There is no getting around the latest sales reality, which is the fact that the prospect is now busier. With the help of the internet, prospects can research information without the help of a salesperson.

You need to have the patience and persistence to succeed. It takes more than 4 to 6 calls for each lead you have to respond positively. Stay true to your pitch and learn smarter ways of building rapport and closing every lead on your table.

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