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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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Why Teleprospectors Should Not Take the First NO When Cold Calling?

At times teleprospectors have to face the harsh reality that we will not always be appreciated by those we call throughout the day. I would say that some would view what we do as a slight step above getting a call from a bill collector. As a result we've conditioned ourselves to expect the unexpected. Our experience on the phone can range wildly from a hang-up as we are half-way the first sentence of our introduction, to someone saying we had great timing and they appreciate the call since they are actively evaluating a solution.

I wish I could say that we run into the latter situation regularly, but unfortunately that is not the case. And while it's not a regular occurrence that we get hung up on immediately, the most common response, hands down, that we hear from prospects after our initial pitch is:

"Nope we're not interested. We are all-set in that area but thanks for calling"..and then a dial tone.

Honestly, from our perspective they may as well have hung-up on us right away since we got absolutely nothing out of the call. We understand that not all everyone wants to hear from us but that response gives us no indication why they are not interested.

The question is does your inside team find a response like that acceptable? Do they just mark that account as "not interested" and just move on?

It's unfortunate but from what I've seen many inside reps DO find that acceptable. Why? You've gotten nothing of value out of this prospect to indicate why they view your service offering as something they would not need.

Are they not interested because they recently implemented a competitor? They don't have the budget dollars? They have a homegrown solution? These are the questions you should have answered before you let the prospect off the hook.

So where do we take it from here? I've got a simple answer: Call someone else at the company! Even if you've gotten a C-Level or VP-Level person live and they give you the canned statement above, that is still not good enough. My suggestion would be to call the Director or Manager working below them. With each company you are prospecting into pull in a minimum of at least 3 different contacts at different levels within the organization. Eventually you are bound to hit someone who is willing to share some basic information with you. You may not be looking for a detailed rundown of their IT infrastructure, but just a tid-bit of information to justify why we should just move on.

A positive by-product of calling into multiple contacts, outside of getting a legitimate reason behind a no interest, is you may uncover an active project after all. I can't tell you how many times we've been blown off by a VP only to find someone working in their group that actually does have an active initiative. Let's face it, most high level execs probably tune out during your pitch or you could have just caught them on a bad day where they'll say no to everything. You owe it to yourself to dig around a bit more in these might be surprised at what you uncover.


Well done Craig. Its always been a huge pet peeve of mine when I see a rep give up after the first "not interested" 
Here are a few random thoughts I have on the subject. 
1) Every prospect has their "auto eject" objection to get us off the phone right quick. The quicker we can move beyond that objection, the quicker we can improved the quality of our discussion. It always surprises me how poorly prepared some sales reps are to respond to typical "auto ejects" like not interested. I would suggest that sales teams "spar" with each other regularly before getting on the phone. Raise the difficulty level over time asking for 3 responses to these auto ejects. How cool is it that we can choose our weapon because we are that good. 
2) Improve our messaging. Sometimes its our lame message that prompts the auto eject. With the teams I train, we review our phone tracks regularly in peer groups. We critique and even rip each other off when we hear cool messaging. Our message needs to be compelling enough for them to holster that auto eject. 
3) Warm that call up by using trigger events, using additional means to get your message to the prospect (creative things, direct mail, email, social networking) 
I love your idea of going to another contact. I would suggest (if applicable) trying the sales department. Sometimes with a little thought we can tie our product or service in with their challenges. Even if we can't, they always pick up their phone and can direct us to the proper contact. 
Thanks again for some fantastic food for thought! 
Paul Castain 
Posted @ Tuesday, June 08, 2024 10:41 AM by Paul Castain
Paul thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. Great feedback! I really liked your idea of having the team "Spar" with eachother regularly to keep them sharp. I plan to try that out with my team this week.  
Thanks again Paul. 
Posted @ Tuesday, June 08, 2024 3:48 PM by Craig Ferrara
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