Are You the Reason Prospecting Calls End Badly?

BY Jessica Helinski
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When making prospecting calls, sales reps should expect to be hung up on every now and then. But, if you find it happening with frequency, it could be a sign that your strategy needs some tweaking. Jeff Hoffman, in an article for HubSpot, explains that reps will inevitably experience hang-​ups over their career, but those moments should be few and far between. He sheds light on ways that reps can drive prospects to end a call, and he offers suggestions on how to nix those mistakes for good. Below are a few examples:

Mispronunciation. It could be the prospect’s name. It could be the name of their company. Mispronouncing either can cause the prospect to immediately shut down communications. Reps who don’t do a little research prior to picking up the phone reveal their lack of professionalism and attention to detail. To prevent this, do your homework. Call the company to confirm its name or the name of an employee. It takes mere minutes to do but can have a lasting impact on a relationship.

Being too informal. Creating a connection with the prospect is important but some reps get too familiar, too fast. “Many times, reps will talk to a prospect like they're best friends right out of the gate,” writes Hoffman. “However, there's a fine line between trying to build rapport and obscuring who you are.” The key is to walk the line between familiar and friendly. Avoid casual language and slang and be polite.

Not listening to objections. Often, after the rep’s greeting, the prospect may say that it’s not a good time. Despite this, some reps will continue on with their dialogue, much to the frustration of the prospect. “This makes it clear that the salesperson isn’t listening to the buyer,” Hoffman explains. “And when people feel they’re being ignored? They hang up.” Before placing calls, come up with a few alternative paths you can take if you’re met with an objection.

For example, if you’re trying to find the gatekeeper, ask who you should contact on your next call. Or, request transfer to someone who may have the time. Either way, you are lengthening your conversation with the prospect and hopefully gaining valuable information. And, as he points out, “you’ve set yourself up nicely for a second call — and several short interactions that go well are better than one long interaction that goes poorly.”

Before your next prospecting call, take a look over Hoffman’s entire article and see how his advice can help you avoid the dreaded hang-up.