When I cold call … All I get is an icy response

- April 4, 2012 4 MIN READ


As people in business, we generally have between 7 seconds (for men) and 14 seconds (for women) to make a first impression on our leads that will create the desire for them to come and work with us. Unfortunately, at the end of these crucial seconds, most people leave the leads feeling more like, “I really don’t want to be sold into something,” rather than, “Wow- I really want to hear more about this.”

A lot of us start our phone calls with what we want than what the clients want. When a prospective client smells a sales offer then their defence guards of, “I don’t want to buy,” come right up. Once those guards are up, it’s very hard to push this into a sale. We want to create a relationship with our clients, and this can’t happen with their defence guards up.

So your probably wondering HOW to create these relationships whilst selling.

How are you pushing a clients defense guards up? What are you doing? Most of the time, people start conversations with really bad clichés and openers that are just SO salesy, no one can possibly pull it off.

  • Is this a good time to talk?
  • Is it possible for me to take a few minutes of your time.
  • Are you the decision maker in this area?
  • Is ____ something you are interested in?

Then usually people move into statements about themselves- such as,

  • I’ll only take a minute of your time.
  • I’d like to chat you about about….
  • I was wondering if…..

And then usually, people finish with claims like;

  • I can improve your…
  • I can absolutely save you money and time
  • We can create a partnership….

Even if you get the whole way through the conversation with someone, usually their defense guard is up, and they may say, “For sure, yes send me an email,” and really they just want to get you off the phone.

How can you really change this? So people want to keep chatting you about what it is that you do? Absolutely NEVER EVER use clichés, even ‘’How are you” is just so overused- every customer in the world has heard that a million times. You want to sound different and professional, and not like just another salesperson that calls. People are always busy, its never a good time, so we should just let that go right in the beginning- its never a good time to take a sales call.

Start by just acknowledging this, “I’m sure that I’ve called you at the absolute worst time that I can,” then just laugh with them. They’ll probably respond with “There’s never a good time, what do you need.”

This gives you an IN!! It’s now the lead’s choice whether they are on the phone with you or not- it’s like with men, how many times do we (as women) make men feel like its their idea, when really it was our own? It totally increases your chances of getting what you want J When the lead is trying to escape from the phone call then their attention is on getting off the phone, not on you, not what on you have to offer.

The call should be about the lead, not about you and what you need to say/sell. People always think about them, not about you, always start off with what the client will get out of it.

So what should you be saying?

  • If it’s a referral – say it! Use the person’s name! “Samantha told me you could be curious about…..”
  • If your calling back because the client suggested you call back after a period of time- then say that! Last time we spoke, you mentioned December might be a better time for you.
  • If this is a cold call, then build in a reason- “Business owners like yourself have found that our product offers _____. They’ve told me that ____. Is that something that you would want?
  • Get the gate keeper on your side, ask them to help you. “Do you think you could help me? I would really love to speak with Mr. Smith, I’ve been trying him for a few weeks now, when is the best time to find him in him office?”
  • Be real about the results- everyone says they can save people, “time and money” so you have to be different, otherwise your just one of the crowd cold calling people.

Big offers are great, however if you have just got on the phone with someone then they are probably wondering HOW you would know that you could do that when you don’t even know them.

So your probably thinking, but I CAN help them- well you probably can, but in sales you don’t necessarily lead with that, the client doesn’t know that yet. The last thing you want to do is indicate that the client needs your help, what if they are happy in their business? Or with their health? Or with their relationships? Hearing that you need help, or you have a problem form someone you don’t know, does not increase the chances of them buying!

You don’t want to assume the client needs anything, using words such as, depending, you might, its possible.

E.g – Many business owners like you tell me that they’ve got more clients, made more money and are actually working less by learning how to really sell at a higher level. Depending on you, where you’re at, it’s possible that you could also have more clients and have the lifestyle you always dreamed about if you really looked at your sales. Would you like to discuss your client base etc/?

A few quick tips- to get further in that first call, and get more clients, then make sure you are focused on two key things:

1. Your attention is on the client, not on you and what you need.

2. Your attitude is that the client would be CRAZY not to work with you, your just providing value to them.

3. Be different

4. Focus on starting a conversation, not making a sale.

5.  A lot peple write out scripts and prepare and prepare. You should be clear and concise, but there is never the perfect script, I’ve written scripts for people, conversations never follow scripts!!

Theh faster way to sound like a scripted salesperson is to have  script! Remember, this isn’t THAT hard, it’s just a sales call. If you treat it like the hardest thing in the world, then it will be. When you get a YES, go and celebrate, and be awesome- turn up the stereo and celebrate! This is the easiest way to start to love sales.


Want to build business and generate leads from networking? Check out Jane Winter’s FREE product on www.princessofsales.com.au ‘Networking on Speed’