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The “Introduction Debates” of Cold Calling


Over the past several years, I have spent a lot of my time studying different selling techniques, from Sandler to the SPIN selling model. Personally, I think the best method to use is a combination of all the selling methods out there – but most importantly, making sure to add a personal touch to your communication with a prospect, especially during your introduction.  In thinking about this, I was reminded of a constant debate that goes on here at AG, but also for many sales organizations out there: Is there a proper way to engage a prospect when contacting them and how personal can you get?

The “How are you?” Debate. I have worked in places where I was told never to say “how are you” when introducing myself when a prospect answers the phone. Many say because you are cold calling someone, it is absolutely inappropriate to ask them how they are, as you have never spoken with them to establish that rapport. However, if you look at some of the most successful reps here at AG, you will notice that most of them add a personal touch by asking how the prospect is because it comes natural to them. That being said, it is important to always read your prospect – if they seem perturbed when you ask them how they are, make sure to mirror them moving forward in the conversation, and make your tone more direct if they don’t react well initially.

The “Do you have a moment”/ “Is this a good time?” Debate. I feel that by asking this question, you are setting yourself up for failure. Think about it – you are cold calling an individual out of the blue in the middle of their work day, so odds are they are in the middle of their latest proposal, IT catastrophe, etc . Instead, introduce yourself  and state (very directly) the purpose for your call and pause, then ask a follow up question about their current programs in place to manage XYZ. If it’s truly a bad time for them, they will certainly let you know. This opens the door for you to quickly ask if they are even the appropriate person to be speaking with – even better, they might be the right person, and you can ask for 5 minutes on their calendar later that week when they do have the time.

The “Product Dumping” Debate. As I stated above, you want to be as direct as possible when introducing yourself. Along with that, make sure you keep your intro to a minimum, and avoid product dumping – From my experience, if you start your introduction with a one minute “what we do summary” you will be cut off pretty quickly. Remember to be respectful of their time and state the purpose of your call immediately as they might not even be the right person you are looking to speak with.

These are some of my philosophies on the introduction debates out there – what are yours??


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