How to Get Past the First Cold Call

BY Rachel Cagle
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Telemarketers. When people hear this word, they often associate it with negative qualities such as pushiness, inconsiderateness, rudeness, and just altogether tiresome. These views are terrible for salespeople who use the phone, but, in all honesty, they're not entirely unfounded. So many salespeople attempting telesales have embodied all of negative words above that, unfortunately, it’s how many people see the group as a whole, even though that’s not the case.

Vinnie Lynch’s article, “Are You Too Pushy on the Telephone?” suggests that, in order to not unconsciously seem pushy, salespeople using the telephone should put themselves in their potential customer’s shoes. First off, don’t let the customer’s defensiveness affect your pitch. Lynch points out that no one is ever expecting a telesales call, so just be open and friendly. Even then, it’s nearly impossible to build a good business relationship with just one phone call. All you need to do is be easy enough to talk to that the customer considers doing so again.

Next, think about how long you like to spend listening to random telemarketers. Not long, right? That’s why you need to communicate the value of what you’re offering quickly. Beating around the bush after your initial introduction will only succeed in helping the customer lose interest and, in all likelihood, hang up on you. Introduce yourself and get right into what you’re offering and how it has helped others like him.

Since the customer doesn’t know you, and based on telemarketers’ reputations, he will often just try to get off the phone. Lynch says that the four classic objections to telesales are, “I’m happy with my current supplier,” “I’m not interested,” “I’m busy,” and “Send me the information.” For the first two, Lynch suggests showing empathy, but stating that you have been able to aid clients who had the exact same response at first. For the last two, set up a specific time for you to chat later so the customer can’t push a future conversation off. Also, express that you’d like to assist the customer the way you have other businesses in his area. That may pique his interest.

At the end of the day, you just have to be courteous. There’s a chance that the customer just won’t be interested, even if you do everything right. Leave it be, thank him for his time, and don’t be one of those people who tries calling again multiple times in the near future.