Cold calls are a gamble–if you play your cards right, you’ll hang up with more knowledge than when you called and, perhaps, a strong new lead to explore further. But, it’s up to you to make every second of the call count, and you may unwittingly be saying the wrong things that could annoy or alienate the person you’re calling.
In an article for Renbor Sales Solutions, Tibor Shanto uses his own personal experience to come up with a list of three things NOT to say during a cold call:
“Who’s in charge of…?”
Asking this question immediately alerts the listener to the fact that you didn’t do your homework. Basic information, such as who’s in charge, should be gathered prior to calling. Doing so not only shows that you are knowledgeable and proactive, it also saves time. “Even if the above were to leave you wondering, asking this question is just going to make more work, and lead to less results,” Shanto explains. “The receptionist may have a different idea of who is in charge.” If, after some effort, you can’t find the specific person you need, ask instead for a specific title.
What you (or your company) do.
During a cold call, salespeople often take time to describe what exactly they do, but Shanto thinks this is a mistake. Simply state the name of your company and instead of delving into your array of services or mission statement, tell the prospect what you can do specifically for him or her. “Tell them what you have done for others with similar objectives, what the economic outcome was, and how it impacted their business,” he suggests. “Anything other than that is saying please hang up on me, I prefer to talk about me and my company not you and your opportunities.”
Before you plan your next cold call, consider Shanto’s suggestions; your calls may be more efficient and yield better results when you watch what you DON’T say!