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Cold calling – listen, don’t pitch!


One of the things that consistently amazes and amuses me about those that are, shall we say, less than skilled at making cold calls is their insistence on repeatedly
pushing when it’s clear the prospect (me in this instance) is not interested in their offering.

To give you an example, I had a call yesterday which followed on from an email I’d received from the same company a week previously.     If I’m honest, I did see the email but couldn’t really work out what it was they were offering (goes to show the strength of the email itself wasn’t particularly good either).

The email rattled through how they provide these solutions for companies in these sectors and utilised many of the standard, dull terms companies use when they’re trying to seem “businessy” ie synergies, ROI, processes, blah blah blah and included a common line which I’m seeing increasingly that hints that I’m likely to be so interested that they’d like to schedule a call with me at such and such a time.   Very presumptive considering I don’t even understand what you’re selling me yet.

So, phone rings, enthusiastic young (I’m guessing) salesperson who rattled through his name and introduction so quickly my ears couldn’t fully process what this sound was, asked if he could speak to the person responsible for…… and barely even allowed me time to confirm that was me.

From the cacophony of words that formed his pitch I managed to extrapolate that the company offered “Contact centre solutions” – so, phones and diallers.   Something we don’t need.

So, I told him, in detail that our CRM system has dialling capabilities and we’re in the process of updating our phones with a business partner who we already work with.   Subtext – not interested

He then pushed on, completely ignoring my comment, saying that their system isn’t a CRM system, it’s a dialler.

So, I repeated myself.  This continued for another 2 or 3 interactions, every time I spoke it was to tell him that we already had this in hand, every time replied it was to ask me the same question in a slightly different manner.

Politely, I let him know that this wouldn’t be something we’d be looking to pursue currently and thanked him for his time – Subtext – Good bye.

And he then did something which I would guess he’s read in a sales book or learned on a training course.    Can I ask why you’re not interested.

The conversational straw that broke the camel’s back.

Needless to say, they were the remaining, dying seconds of that call and no, we won’t be using their company.

The big, big issue here – aside from the terrible intro to the call was the fact that he just refused to pick up on the rather obvious signals that I was not likely to need what he was offering.    Pick up on the signals.!

Yes, I encourage the use of questions but you’ve first got to warm the prospect up to the point where he or she is willing to answer them.    You cannot expect a prospect who you’ve just irritated to open up and share their wants/needs and problems with you.

To be fair to him, there was a point after the initial objection I gave where he did slightly turn me around, for a fraction of a second.   My initial assumption that this was a CRM system he was offering was not entirely accurate but, as soon as we’d established that our CRM included what he was offering, my interest waned.  His persistence in questioning me didn’t.

So, if you’re making a cold call – get your intro right – show appreciation for the prospects time – earn the right to ask questions – handle the objections effectively without annoying the prospect and, pick up on the signals – listen, don’t just pitch!!!!!

And if you need help with any aspects of sales and marketing for your business, do get in touch on 01384 566 078 – we love to talk!

Dan Smith

Inspired Business Development Ltd

Inspired Business Development

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This post first appeared on Telemarketing Blog, Blog Update About Appointment, please read the originial post: here

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Cold calling – listen, don’t pitch!


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