Cold Market Prospecting: How To Connect With Strangers

Need help prospecting potential clients for your business? We’ve all been there before. This guide will help you demystify the cold market prospecting process.
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Brandon Lee
Reading time: 6 minutes

Think cold marketing is dead?

Well, think again!

Statistics show that 75% of executives are willing to make an appointment or attend an event based on a cold call or cold email alone. 

Though, if you’re like most salespeople, marketing professionals, or business leaders, you may not know where to begin when it comes to cold market prospecting.

After all, cold marketing prospecting is the beginning stage of cold outreach. And, it is undeniably the most important phase in the entire cold outreach process.

In this guide, you’re going to learn:

  • What cold market prospecting is and if it really works
  • How to find your target market
  • How to reach your target market
  • How to create a successful sales funnel from your existing data

Let’s get started!


What is cold market prospecting?

Cold market prospecting is the process of finding and qualifying potential customers who have had no prior contact with your business. 

This is in contrast to warm market prospecting, where you focus on people who already have some relationship with your company (such as current customers or those who have already shown an interest in your products or services).

The main goal of cold market prospecting is to generate new leads for your sales pipeline. But, it can also be used to create awareness for your brand, build relationships with potential customers, or even gather market intelligence.

How does cold market prospecting work?

Cold market prospecting works by leveraging various marketing channels to reach out to potential customers who have never heard of your company before.

The key is to find the right mix of channels that will reach your target market where they are already spending their time.

For example, if you’re trying to reach decision-makers at small businesses, you might want to focus on LinkedIn prospecting or local trade publications.

On the other hand, if you’re selling to consumers, you might have more success with Facebook ads or traditional TV commercials.

Once you’ve identified the right channels for reaching your target market, the next step is to craft a compelling message that will capture their attention and persuade them to take action.

This is where many businesses make the mistake of using generic, one-size-fits-all messaging. If you want to be successful with cold market prospecting, you need to tailor your message specifically to each target market.

For example, if you’re selling a business phone system, you might want to focus on how your product can help them save time and automate their call-driven activities.

On the other hand, if you’re selling consumer goods, you might want to focus on how your product can make their life easier or more fun.

The bottom line is that your message needs to speak directly to the needs and desires of your target market.

Once you have a compelling message, the next step is to actually reach out to your target market and deliver that message. But before you can do that, I’ve listed every step you need to follow to make sure your cold market prospecting campaign is a successful one.

Step #1: Find your target market

The first step of cold market prospecting is to assess your target market. Doing this isn’t as simple as saying ‘I want to reach every decision-maker in the United States’.

Knowing your target market means knowing them on a deep, granular level. Ideally, you’ll need to compile a list of demographics of your target audience. The demographics you’ll need to target are:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Income level
  • Family status (single, married, divorced, etc.)
  • Profession
  • Hobbies and interests

You may be wondering how you can gather this data without making a bunch of wrong guesses about your target audience. Here are four tried and true methods for performing market research without breaking the bank:

1. Purchase data lists from a reputable company

This is probably the quickest and most reliable method for gathering data about your target market. You can purchase demographic lists from companies like Experian. These lists will give you a good foundation for building out your target market.

2. Use social media platforms to your advantage

Social media platforms are a great way to get insights into who your target market is and what they’re interested in. 

Use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to learn more about the people who like your business page. Twitter also has a similar tool called Twitter Analytics that you can use to gather data about your followers. LinkedIn also has a few different methods for performing market research.

3. Conduct surveys

This method is a bit more time-consuming, but it’s still very effective. You can use online forms like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create a survey and then share it with your target market. 

You can promote your survey on social media, through email, or even in person. Just be sure to offer an incentive for taking the survey, like a discount code or entry into a contest.

4. Look at your existing customer data

You can learn a lot about your target market by analyzing existing customer data. Take a look at who your best customers are and try to identify any patterns. For instance, if you notice that most of your best customers are women aged 35 to 44 years old, you can infer that this is probably your target market.

Step #2: Determine your cold prospecting goals

Now that you know who your target market is, it’s time to set some goals. What do you want to achieve with your cold market prospecting? Do you want to generate leads? Make appointments? Sell products?

Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, a specific goal might be “to generate 100 new leads in the next month.”

Step #3: Plan your cold market prospecting strategy

Once you have your goals set, it’s time to start planning your cold market prospecting strategy.

The best way to approach cold market prospecting is to think about it as a sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you have a large group of potential customers (also known as your target market).

As you move down the funnel, you narrow down this group until you eventually reach your ideal customer.

Your cold market prospecting strategy should be designed to move potential customers from the top of the funnel to the bottom. The best way to do this is to create a series of touchpoints, or interactions, with each potential customer.

These touchpoints should be designed to educate the potential customer about your product or service and build trust over time.

The most common touchpoints used in cold market prospecting are:

  • Email
  • Cold calls
  • LinkedIn messages
  • Social media posts

You don’t necessarily need to use all of these touchpoints in your strategy. In fact, using too many touchpoints can actually be counterproductive. The key is to find the right mix of touchpoints that work for your business and your target market.

Step #4: Create a script or email template

If you’re planning on reaching out to potential customers via email or cold calling, it’s important to have a script or template that you can use as a guide. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you cover all the important points.

Here is how this step works with both cold calling scripts and email templates:

Cold calling scripts:

When creating your cold calling script, there are a few key elements to keep in mind:

  • Your opening line should be attention-grabbing
  • Stay focused on moving the prospect through the sales funnel
  • Be prepared for objections and have rebuttals ready
  • Expect rejections often and learn from them
  • End the call on a positive note
  • Provide as much information as possible without going overboard

Email templates:

When creating your email template, there are a few key elements to keep in mind:

The subject line or opening statement should be attention-grabbing

  • Your message should be clear and concise
  • You should focus on the benefits, not the features
  • You should always include a call-to-action (CTA)
  • Personalize your message and avoid sending robotic messages to your audience

Step #5: Create a follow-up plan

It’s important to follow up with your potential customers after you make initial contact. This shows that you’re interested in doing business and that you’re willing to put in the extra effort.

The best way to follow up is to create a system or process that you can follow each time you make contact with a potential customer. This system should include a mix of email, phone calls, and the date each touchpoint happened.

Whether you drop a follow-up call or email, the key is to be consistent and persistent with your follow-up plan. It often takes multiple touch points before a potential customer is ready to buy. After all, 80% of deals are closed after the 5th follow-up.

Step #6: Set up a tracking system

It’s important to track your progress as you implement your cold market prospecting strategy. This will help you identify what’s working and what isn’t so that you can make adjustments as needed.

There are a few different ways to track your progress. One option is to create a spreadsheet where you can log all of your activities and results. Another option is to use a CRM system, like Salesforce, which has built-in tracking features.

No matter which method you choose, the key is to make sure that you’re tracking all of the important data points, such as:

  • The number of contacts made
  • The number of appointments set
  • The number of sales closed
  • The value of each sale

By tracking this data, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your strategy as needed.


Cold market prospecting can be a great way to generate new leads and close new business. However, it’s important to remember that this type of prospecting takes time and effort.

The key is to create a system or process that you can follow each time you make contact with a potential customer. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to success.

For more of such tips and advice, check out our blog!

Picture of Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee has more than a decade of content marketing and blogging experience. He runs his own blogging business called Blog Seminary and helps companies across the country take advantage of content marketing.

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