After a conversation on twitter about cold callers this morning, I was asked how I deal with cold callers, so here are my thoughts:
- Remember the person who rings you is a person, and be civil. You don’t know who s/he is yet anyway.
- Find out what they really want – If it’s your job to be a gatekeeper you’ll need to decide whether to open the gate and an intelligent person will give you the information you need if you ask them directly. ”Are you selling x?” If they won’t tell you what they want, then they probably don’t have a good reason to call. If they think you’re too lowly to speak to remember they are probably ill informed too!
- Be helpful – whoever they are. If you aren’t a prospect they’ll want to end the call quickly so they can talk to one. If they tell you what they are selling you can easily say ‘we don’t pay for that service’ or ‘we don’t have a need for that service’ for example.
- Be honest. People like that.
- Be constructive and helpful. If they are from your industry or are likely to be a good advocate for your business (e.g. a contractor) why not give them something back? Suggest a good place where they can meet the sort of person they are looking for.
- Think creatively. If they might be an advocate for your business how might they get to work with you? I have a series of suggestions I give to cold calling construction people. If they are responsive we might even meet and make introductions to useful people.
- Treat every phone call as a potential opportunity. If the person is really into hard sell they will say goodbye quickly, but if they are at heart a natural networker they will respond well.
- Doing the above can take 15 seconds or less, – so don’t use pressure of time as an excuse to be rude, it damages your brand.
What’s your take on it?
Thanks to @EmpireSteve for asking the question!
Image: The Telephone by Tyler Durden