How to respond to "Is this a sales call?" ?

by Diice
42 replies
Hi guys,

ive been doing great with my cold-calling recently, but my last phone call knocked my confidence slightly.

After having a good roll of 10 or so calls i started speaking to this woman and asked to speak to Sue (the owner of the company) - straight away she replied quite intimidatingly with "Is this a Sales call?". I hesitated slightly which i hardly ever do and just said "yep" in sort of a childish just about to cry voice. I knew as soon as she asked that i wasnt getting anywhere and now when i look back on the call i feel pathetic. I normally find it easy to get past the gate-keeper, but that one question just hit me straight in the face and i was lost.

As i anticipated i didnt get to speak to the owner, she was apparently "out" - But i know that i had messed it up with my reply.

So what do you guys think, how do you respond to that question?
I cant think of anything other to say than yes haha.

Thanks,
-Michael
#is this a sales call #respond
  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Yes it is, im trying to sell you to the thousands of people who are looking for your service each month but cant find it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Diice
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      Yes it is, im trying to sell you to the thousands of people who are looking for your service each month but cant find it.
      Thats a great reply, i like the idea of hitting the receptionists ignorance with confidence. She wasnt exactly ignorant, i understand they probably get tonnes of calls every day. But thanks for that line, im going to try it out at my next similar obstacle!

      -Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        you can also try and make them laugh, by saying something along the lines of

        - why, what are you looking to buy?

        - ill sell my shirt to you if the price is right, what are you offering?

        - that depends on you, ( insert something funny )

        -------------

        then you say say yes, with confidence, and move on.

        --- edit

        The being funny / humorous thing works really well, but you have to do it properly

        i personally am NOT funny, and that way does NOT really work for me.

        i only mentioned it, because i know a lot of people, who use "funny" and
        it works really really well for them.
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        • Profile picture of the author Diice
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          you can also try and make them laugh, by saying something along the lines of

          - why, what are you looking to buy?

          - ill sell my shirt to you if the price is right, what are you offering?

          - that depends on you, ( insert something funny )

          -------------

          then you say say yes, with confidence, and move on.
          Haha, thats a nice idea, a bit too cheeky for me though i think!

          Thanks,
          -Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      Yes it is, im trying to sell you to the thousands of people who are looking for your service each month but cant find it.
      Ah ah love the answer. Said in a friendly tone probably works even better. I've never had that question asked directly before but this can be useful even if you the vibe during a conversation, even during the close. "Admit" that yes we're trying to sell, and follow up with that line.
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  • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
    If you have been doing great with your cold calling, then I would just forget about that last call and keep on going to the next. No matter what you are going to get those people that throw you off a little bit. It happens to all of us and it sucks. But worrying about the outcome of a one off call will never make any money for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by MonteMichaels View Post

      If you have been doing great with your cold calling, then I would just forget about that last call and keep on going to the next. No matter what you are going to get those people that throw you off a little bit. It happens to all of us and it sucks. But worrying about the outcome of a one off call will never make any money for you.
      Monty, your 100% correct, however there is nothing wrong with
      being prepared for the next time it happens....

      and it will happen.


      OP, when you call, do you know the persons name ahead of time?
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      • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        Monty, your 100% correct, however there is nothing wrong with
        being prepared for the next time it happens....

        and it will happen.


        OP, when you call, do you know the persons name ahead of time?
        It's always good to prepare, but sometimes we have to be careful that we are not just preparing as a means of procrastination. I know that I was horrible at that for a long time. I must have rewritten my script at least a dozen times before it was perfect, thought of every objection that could be thrown at me, and practiced until I knew every word of it. And I still got new objections that I didn't think of.

        My concern with Michael was that he was shaken up by one question that beat down his confidence. That's when slumps happen and he may get frustrated and give up. I don't want to see that.
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        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          Originally Posted by MonteMichaels View Post


          My concern with Michael was that he was shaken up by one question that beat down his confidence. That's when slumps happen and he may get frustrated and give up. I don't want to see that.
          Good catch! i missed that.

          ( insert lame excuse for why i missed it here )
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Honestly she has had way too many bad calls. People who barely speak english that have nothing she wants.

    Just be honest and if someone like that hangs up who cares.

    But if you can answer in a good way and honest way you will get them to listen.

    "Yes it is. Would you be willing to give me a moment of your time? I know you get a lot of sales calls but I believe that I may be able to help your business grow."

    Just be nice and fast and to the point. I can see myself being like her after a few calls. At a certain point the people you are calling are tired of wasting their times and the time of the people on the phone.

    If you are local to her that alone will make you stand out which is why I always tell people to do true local first before going into cold call blasts. I don't care if you call, mail, or walk in but local to local is always going to close more. And unless your town is small or you have massive local compeition you should be at about 10 employees before you need to start hitting other markets.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      I don't care if you call, mail, or walk in but local to local is always going to close more.
      Thank you for saying this because for the longest time, the debate about staying local was so lost on me and went over my understanding as I thought you guys meant that you had to meet in person to conduct local business.

      However, when you put it this way, it leaves room for those who can't physically meet in person but who are still local to their prospects geographically help improve our chances of getting in the door.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Just be honest and if someone like that hangs up who cares.

      But if you can answer in a good way and honest way you will get them to listen.

      "Yes it is. Would you be willing to give me a moment of your time? I know you get a lot of sales calls but I believe that I may be able to help your business grow."
      This is probably the best advice you've gotten here. I've done variations of this and it works. Not everytime, but the times where it fails, it most likely has been the adverserial type. The type who gets a thrill out of the possibility of ruining your day. I never give anyone that kind of power of me.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cay78
        Aaron is spot on with this! Sounds lame, but honesty is the best policy. People hate being lied to!
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      • Profile picture of the author chackett
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        This is probably the best advice you've gotten here. I've done variations of this and it works. Not everytime, but the times where it fails, it most likely has been the adverserial type. The type who gets a thrill out of the possibility of ruining your day. I never give anyone that kind of power of me.
        I wish I could make my 10 year old understand that he is the only one that can allow his day to get ruined. Not me, not his mom, not his teachers, not his homework. Only him.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmckinney
    Originally Posted by Michael_Lee View Post

    Hi guys,

    I hesitated slightly which i hardly ever do and just said "yep" in sort of a childish just about to cry voice.

    This made me chuckle.

    That is all.

    Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author Diice
      Originally Posted by MonteMichaels View Post

      It's always good to prepare, but sometimes we have to be careful that we are not just preparing as a means of procrastination. I know that I was horrible at that for a long time. I must have rewritten my script at least a dozen times before it was perfect, thought of every objection that could be thrown at me, and practiced until I knew every word of it. And I still got new objections that I didn't think of.

      My concern with Michael was that he was shaken up by one question that beat down his confidence. That's when slumps happen and he may get frustrated and give up. I don't want to see that.
      Im not going to give up! I actually enjoy cold-calling and speaking to some people, but its just calls like that that catch you off-guard. Just hit my confidence a bit. And yes 90% of the time i know the owners name

      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Honestly she has had way too many bad calls. People who barely speak english that have nothing she wants.

      Just be honest and if someone like that hangs up who cares.

      But if you can answer in a good way and honest way you will get them to listen.

      "Yes it is. Would you be willing to give me a moment of your time? I know you get a lot of sales calls but I believe that I may be able to help your business grow."

      Just be nice and fast and to the point. I can see myself being like her after a few calls. At a certain point the people you are calling are tired of wasting their times and the time of the people on the phone.

      If you are local to her that alone will make you stand out which is why I always tell people to do true local first before going into cold call blasts. I don't care if you call, mail, or walk in but local to local is always going to close more. And unless your town is small or you have massive local compeition you should be at about 10 employees before you need to start hitting other markets.
      Yeah i am focusing on my local area currently, i want to start doing walk-ins soon, obviously for better conversion rates.

      Originally Posted by ryanmckinney View Post

      This made me chuckle.

      That is all.

      Ryan
      Haha, you should of heard me, embarrasing thinking back on it now!

      Thanks,
      -Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Michael_Lee View Post

        And yes 90% of the time i know the owners name l
        If you know the owners name, then the best way to handle

        "Is this a sales call?"

        is to simply never get asked that question.

        There have been many many posts abut how to get past the gatekeeper
        and i usually don't post in them, the reason is because if you cant get past the gatekeeper on your own, then chances are you cant sell so IMO, it would be a wasted post.

        But you already have, and you have an edge because you know the
        name of who you want to talk to.

        First DON'T ask for MR or MISS or MRS.


        Next, its all in the attitude of how you ask.

        Personally i only use first names, and it has its downfalls. but it WORKS.

        also i don't say the same thing every time, i get bored, so it will sound forced, rehearsed, and then it wont work. So i switch it up a little bit,
        Like this.

        hey, this is ken, is jim in

        hi, i know im late, this is ken, is jim still available?

        hi, this is ken, i only have a minute, is jim still free

        i uses different variations of that, and it works well, and i almost never get asked if its a sale call.

        I also, use what i hope is there nickname.
        So if they have a name listed as Richard, i ask for Rick
        James = jim, ect, you get the idea

        now some people don't use there nickname, so the secretary will know
        and then your busted, just make a note of it, call them back in a few days, try again with there proper name.

        on the flip side of that, many people will use there full name for business
        but nickname for personal, and the secretary will know that too,
        and a lot of times assume its a personal call.

        that can also, peeve off the contact if they are expecting a personal call
        and its you instead.

        But the odds are in your favor, and the key is to get the person
        on the phone, and that you will do with a huge success if you try
        what i posted.
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      • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
        Originally Posted by Michael_Lee View Post

        Im not going to give up! I actually enjoy cold-calling and speaking to some people, but its just calls like that that catch you off-guard. Just hit my confidence a bit. And yes 90% of the time i know the owners name
        This is by far NOT the worst that would throw me off a cold walking day.

        I once walked into a Karate training place and right before me a student walked in and yelled something like, "May I enter, Sensei?" and then doing something with his arms and taking his shoes off...scared the crap out of me and I am 6 foot 4, 250 pounds and don't scare easily. So I am walking into a business with two guys that could kick the crap out of me SHOES ON and stroll right into the Sensei's office unannounced and tell him I am new in town and does he have a website. It was intimidating but what was funny is I sold two site in a row right after that courageous moment. What still amazes me is I was more afraid of talking to the guy period then having some guy kill me!

        Very good you are getting over cold calling fears Michael. Keep at it, you are actually encouraging me enough to start calling!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Believe me, we've all been there in some form.

    My biggest problem was always talking too much on the initial call back. I've lost a number of deals because I couldn't shut up. I remember one in particular where he was practically begging to have me take over some work but I talked myself out of that one by never landing the plane.

    Painful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Diice
      Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander View Post

      Believe me, we've all been there in some form.

      My biggest problem was always talking too much on the initial call back. I've lost a number of deals because I couldn't shut up. I remember one in particular where he was practically begging to have me take over some work but I talked myself out of that one by never landing the plane.

      Painful.
      Ouch, that does sound painful. I think i might be similar to you!
      When i get asked the question "What is this regarding" i can normally go on for some time haha.

      Thanks,
      -Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander View Post

      Believe me, we've all been there in some form.

      My biggest problem was always talking too much on the initial call back. I've lost a number of deals because I couldn't shut up. I remember one in particular where he was practically begging to have me take over some work but I talked myself out of that one by never landing the plane.

      Painful.
      We have all done that, even the seasoned pro's do it.

      It even has a name .... Diarrhea of the mouth

      It is also one of the hardest things to learn NOT to do.

      When my sales dip, it is usually because of that,
      the way i fix it, is by going back to reading the script verbatim

      -- edit

      quick funny story, when i was learning i was bieng monitored by the boss,
      i was selling to this lady, i had her hooked i new it, but i kept hammering her
      with tie downs, and kept going on and on,

      my boss came out, hit me in the head with a rolled up news paper, told me to put her
      on hold, so i did. he says, wtf are you doing, your giving her an oral orgasm, close the deal
      when you get back on the phone, don't say anything more , just ask for the credit card.

      it worked, then after the sale was done he brought me into his office
      and gave me a 30 minute lecture on how less is more.
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      • Profile picture of the author chackett
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        We have all done that, even the seasoned pro's do it.

        It even has a name .... Diarrhea of the mouth

        It is also one of the hardest things to learn NOT to do.

        When my sales dip, it is usually because of that,
        the way i fix it, is by going back to reading the script verbatim

        -- edit

        quick funny story, when i was learning i was bieng monitored by the boss,
        i was selling to this lady, i had her hooked i new it, but i kept hammering her
        with tie downs, and kept going on and on,

        my boss came out, hit me in the head with a rolled up news paper, told me to put her
        on hold, so i did. he says, wtf are you doing, your giving her an oral orgasm, close the deal
        when you get back on the phone, don't say anything more , just ask for the credit card.

        it worked, then after the sale was done he brought me into his office
        and gave me a 30 minute lecture on how less is more.
        I wish I had this kind of experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
    Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander

    Believe me, we've all been there in some form.

    My biggest problem was always talking too much on the initial call back. I've lost a number of deals because I couldn't shut up. I remember one in particular where he was practically begging to have me take over some work but I talked myself out of that one by never landing the plane.

    Painful.
    That sucks when that happens. I sure have done it myself over the years.

    Turns out my Mom really did know what she was talking about when she told me I have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I was probably to busy talking to hear her.


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  • Profile picture of the author IMguy123
    Originally Posted by Michael_Lee View Post

    Hi guys,

    ive been doing great with my cold-calling recently, but my last phone call knocked my confidence slightly.

    After having a good roll of 10 or so calls i started speaking to this woman and asked to speak to Sue (the owner of the company) - straight away she replied quite intimidatingly with "Is this a Sales call?". I hesitated slightly which i hardly ever do and just said "yep" in sort of a childish just about to cry voice. I knew as soon as she asked that i wasnt getting anywhere and now when i look back on the call i feel pathetic. I normally find it easy to get past the gate-keeper, but that one question just hit me straight in the face and i was lost.

    As i anticipated i didnt get to speak to the owner, she was apparently "out" - But i know that i had messed it up with my reply.

    So what do you guys think, how do you respond to that question?
    I cant think of anything other to say than yes haha.

    Thanks,
    -Michael

    How about this answer...and let's assume you are attempting to sell a website or SEO or some marketing method to help them obtain customers.

    "Nothing. I’m not here to sell you anything because I don’t know if I can help you in any way. I’m only calling to find out if you have any issues tied to improving your ability to bring in more customer traffic to your establishment (or business)."
    This an Ari Galper approach..some may not like him..his method may not always get a fast sale though.
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  • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
    Originally Posted by Michael_Lee View Post

    Hi guys,

    ive been doing great with my cold-calling recently, but my last phone call knocked my confidence slightly.

    After having a good roll of 10 or so calls i started speaking to this woman and asked to speak to Sue (the owner of the company) - straight away she replied quite intimidatingly with "Is this a Sales call?". I hesitated slightly which i hardly ever do and just said "yep" in sort of a childish just about to cry voice. I knew as soon as she asked that i wasnt getting anywhere and now when i look back on the call i feel pathetic. I normally find it easy to get past the gate-keeper, but that one question just hit me straight in the face and i was lost.

    As i anticipated i didnt get to speak to the owner, she was apparently "out" - But i know that i had messed it up with my reply.

    So what do you guys think, how do you respond to that question?
    I cant think of anything other to say than yes haha.

    Thanks,
    -Michael
    Michael,

    I've been cold calling since 1985 and still get that question. My best line is:

    "Yes, it is. Do you make the buying decisions for the company?"

    Then there is follow up conversation unless she hangs up. :-)

    It doesn't always work. Since I am not a guru w/a $197 WSO about to launch I thought I'd throw in the truth about it not always working. To further extend the truth, NO LINE will work everytime. But what my line does do, at least what I've discovered, is it knocks the gate keeper off their pedestal for a moment.

    37 years of cold calling has taught me to shrug off (but cash the checks) even the successful calls. Why? Because you never know what the next call will bring.

    My point: Just keep calling. It is amazing what happens when you don't give up.

    Best of luck to you.

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

      Michael,

      I've been cold calling since 1985 and still get that question. My best line is:

      "Yes, it is. Do you make the buying decisions for the company?"

      Then there is follow up conversation unless she hangs up. :-)

      It doesn't always work. Since I am not a guru w/a $197 WSO about to launch I thought I'd throw in the truth about it not always working. To further extend the truth, NO LINE will work everytime. But what my line does do, at least what I've discovered, is it knocks the gate keeper off their pedestal for a moment.

      37 years of cold calling has taught me to shrug off (but cash the checks) even the successful calls. Why? Because you never know what the next call will bring.

      My point: Just keep calling. It is amazing what happens when you don't give up.

      Best of luck to you.

      Tom
      Certainly to the point!

      I would love to know the follow up (pm me if you would rather not release it to the world).
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        Certainly to the point!

        I would love to know the follow up (pm me if you would rather not release it to the world).
        The follow up conversation goes like this:

        My name is Tom ___ and I own a local marketing and web design company. I noticed such and such about your website/business/field. I believe I have a way to improve your bottom line. Can we meet on _______day around 1 p.m.?

        Obviously if there are questions or objections I try to answer them. I will either get the appt or I won't. If I do, he becomes a client. That's the easy part. If I don't, I'm on to the next phone call.

        I simply recycle this biz owner into my 6 month file. He'll still be looking for a web designer or a marketer in 6 months, at least my experience says so.

        Anyway, that's it. At the tender age of 67, I've learned being upfront and personal is the best way to go. And, answering a question w/a question produces more $$$ for me than any other method. Again, that's me. I am not saying it'll work for everyone.

        After all, how many people have my I could give a s*** attitude? :-)

        Have a great day David.
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  • Profile picture of the author adrixe
    I always say yes when Im being asked if this is a sales call. Im not doing any cold calling, but the company Im working for is a huge company that sells domains so we could easily get thru gate keepers because they actually have an account with us.

    I would like to quit this job and have my own business, but right now, Im still learning the ropes to running this type of business.

    I wish I can call all these leads as my personal leads to sell my own service. but I'll get fired! ahahaha!
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by Minisuit View Post

    Hello Friend,

    The best answer for the question "is it a Sales Call?" is given below

    You should answer: No, it's not a Sales Call, its a personal call (Say Politely) because you called to help the customer by selling the products at discounted rates which he cannot get it from the market. (or) if you have called to help the customer to clear his debts by offering her a debts settlement program then I believe you can say the gate keeper that its a personal call because you dont have to share anything about customer's debts with the gate keeper. Start the call with greetings and never tell that you are calling from any company simply tell your Mr. x and would like to speak with Ms. x and when asked the reason of the call then simply tell its a personal call. I am sure this is going to work 100%.

    All the Best!!!....
    One of the great things about the forum, is all the different types of advice one can get, it has a huge diversity, allowing people to answer the same question a 100 different ways.

    IMHO, this one promotes lying, and i don't agree with it at ALL
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  • Profile picture of the author MonteMichaels
    Originally Posted by Minisuit View Post

    Hello Friend,

    The best answer for the question "is it a Sales Call?" is given below

    You should answer: No, it's not a Sales Call, its a personal call (Say Politely) because you called to help the customer by selling the products at discounted rates which he cannot get it from the market. (or) if you have called to help the customer to clear his debts by offering her a debts settlement program then I believe you can say the gate keeper that its a personal call because you dont have to share anything about customer's debts with the gate keeper. Start the call with greetings and never tell that you are calling from any company simply tell your Mr. x and would like to speak with Ms. x and when asked the reason of the call then simply tell its a personal call. I am sure this is going to work 100%.

    All the Best!!!....
    I was a manager of a telemarketing company for 8 years and that reminded me of another supervisors approach to questions like that. He had his callers tell the person that it was a "courtesy call". People see through those types of responses anyway, so you might as well be honest and if they hang up you can get to the next call faster rather than making them made by trying to be deceitful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    "Is this is a sales call?"

    "I'm not sure yet. I'd be a pretty lousy doctor if I prescribed anything without first talking with you, wouldn't you agree?"

    Then ask if the person who has responsibility for whatever it is that you do "under their umbrella" is available.


    You could use my "little unsure" method, as well. And not get into this situation.

    If it's your decision maker asking the question, and not the gatekeeper, flat-out answer "Yes, this is a cold call." Even-voiced, matter-of-fact. Most CEOs and business leaders came up through the sales channel, so they know what it's like to cold call. They respect you for having the guts to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Depends on what you are pitching... how the offer works as to what I would say here....a general rule is "No Ma'am we are just about calling your website...Maybe you can help me, do you know who I might talk to about that, am I asking for the right person"?

    Sometimes it gets you through, sometimes it doesnt...

    Asking a secretary to be helpful is like throwing a frisbee with your dog, it distracts them, jerks their attention back to why they are the best person for their job, and away from their skepticism alot of times...

    "Oh yeah, I can be helpful...I know everyone here...".

    Again, that will work on some personality types, but not all.

    The ole ninjetsu mind trick...

    Scott Voss has a great report on that somewhere around here I think.


    Mr. "T" : "Eddie Murphy I heard you been tellin jokes about me..."

    Eddie: "No you didnt".

    Mr. "T": "Oh, well...maybe I didnt".
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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    This is why doing little seminars is a good tactic for new businesses.

    If you look around your town you will find offices etc to rent very cheaply especially if you become a regular.

    So my answer to this is always no we are wanting to invite the owner to a small function.

    Another way is to bamboozle them with technology.

    Is this a Sales call?

    No this is not a sales call but about new technology called QR Codes.

    Have you heard of them?

    I learnt somewhere a long time ago to respond with mirror the question, introduce new content ask them a question to take the focus off you

    Quentin
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    I was actually thinking about this more last night and remembered I do this myself when people are calling. I usually let them get 2 seconds into their pitch and stop them and ask, "what are you trying to sell me?". If they respond honestly, I always listen for a reasonable time. If they go into one of those boiler plate responses, no, we are just....I tell them all you had to do was get to the point faster and you didn't...so put me on your DNCL. I think it's a symptom of gettin' old.
    Signature
    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Just a heads up if i asked that question(I'm not a gatekeeper and neither was the guy in the OP) and soemone said no or gave me a line here is how I would answer.

    "That's too bad I like spending money so i'll find someone who is here to sell me soemthing" And I would hang up.

    Why? Because if you don't have confidence in selling what you are selling why should I listen? If you can't convince yourself I need your service how can you convince me?

    Believe in your product or service. Believe that if I don't buy from you I am losing money you could bring me. if you believe that confidence will shown through.

    You know why I hate getting cold calls? Cause they never are selling something they believe in. They are ready a script and 99% of the time reading it badly. The words are not their own. They don't believe their words either.

    But when you are selling for yourself it is your script. It is your words. And it is your company. You can and should have confidence in it. if you hire people to cold call you should teach them why we want your service. Make them confident that if I say no it is my loss. You do that and me and most everyone else you talk to will notice. You will get our attention and if the service fits you will get our business.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


      Why? Because if you don't have confidence in selling what you are selling why should I listen? If you can't convince yourself I need your service how can you convince me?.
      Because I didnt call to sell you, I called to see if you are in the market for my product. I will save the blue faced sales pitching for the guy thats not going to look at me like his personal court jesture, but rather warmly says "Hey, yeah I was just thinking about that, Im glad you called...I'd like tio hear more".


      He's there trust me, its just that most people waste alot of energy during the day that keeps them in the wrong space to recognize their true prospects...

      Im looking for a prospect, not trying to turn you into one. I will save the alchemy for when I see a prospect and turn them into a sale, instead of spending my days trying to turn suspects into prospects.

      Its not a matter of lack of confidence, its a matter of rationing your energy properly over 300 numbers, and reserving the best of it for a real prospect.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Sales Guy
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        Because I didnt call to sell you, I called to see if you are in the market for my product. I will save the blue faced sales pitching for the guy thats not going to look at me like his personal court jesture, but rather warmly says "Hey, yeah I was just thinking about that, Im glad you called...I'd like tio hear more".


        He's there trust me, its just that most people waste alot of energy during the day that keeps them in the wrong space to recognize their true prospects...

        Im looking for a prospect, not trying to turn you into one. I will save the alchemy for when I see a prospect and turn them into a sale, instead of spending my days trying to turn suspects into prospects.

        Its not a matter of lack of confidence, its a matter of rationing your energy properly over 300 numbers, and reserving the best of it for a real prospect.
        Excellent, excellent advice

        When a call starts out in an adversarial manner, 95 times out of 100, it's only going to get worse. What about the other 5 times, you ask? Simple...

        These are the exceptions where, once you hit the gatekeeper or prospect with your rebuttal, they go "limp" and back down...allowing you to proceed with the next bit in your presentation. However, again...

        This is the minority.

        Best best is precisely what JD mentioned...

        If you get ANY resistance at all, simply hit them with a rebuttal one time and see if it takes effect. If not...

        Politely end the call and dial the next number!

        Think of it like fishing. You're looking for bites or nibbles on your line. These bites or nibbles are prospects who show an interest in, and can be qualified by your presentation. That's it. Simple. Anyone else (the gruff assholes, the suspicious secretaries, the fake listeners, etc.) should simply be released back into the ocean of "bottom feeders who have never bought a thing on the telephone in their life."

        P.S. - Maybe you should ask for the Glengarry leads instead of what you're calling. Wink, wink :p
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        • Profile picture of the author wally247
          I am learning cold-calling from a guy named Ari Galper, who created a really simple course called "Unlocking the Game" that I learned over the weekend.


          Anyway, the whole thing is about building trust and TRULY finding out if you can help someone or not.


          Not in the way that a lot of people will say "business owners NEED US" because let's face it....some of them do NOT need us.


          Some people couldn't care less if they are found in Google or now...and those people don't need someone who can get them there!


          But, for the rest, you need to find out if you can truly help them or not...so your phone call is to find out IF you can.

          So when they say "is this a sales call" or "are you selling me something" what you can do is really simple.


          You just say something like "I'm sorry if I gave you the impression I am trying to sell you something, I am just trying to see if I can specifically help you out or not"


          It's about getting to the truth. If a business owner truly needs their website to be ranked highly, then perhaps you can help them. If they make a killing using radio and TV ads...then maybe you can't help them.


          So instead of trying to sell something they may not need/want...you are just trying to find out.


          Business owners hate salesmen period! I don't think there is any clever way to say "yes" to that question and not have them start feeling that a pitch is coming...and nobody likes a pitch.


          Find out if they truly need you and go from there.
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        • Great to see specific sales advice!!


          hope this helps....

          You sell, the way you buy

          to enjoy the selling as much as possible go with your own experience, ethics, and what works.

          perhaps Ari Gulper's training is good (no problem, I wasn't trying to sell you something, the last thing you need is a salesperson taking your time and money on what you don't need or want....just wondering if _______)


          Is getting that response, close to how you would respond????
          You know how you take that yourself and that effects your perception of it. IMO

          Testimonial :

          I had a guy tell me that, it was so abrupt and so powerful...I thought it was me! I was scared! That was it, final. No way to get that guy.

          the next week, working on the Sales Experience & Training of "they won't remember you, they are busy with their business, they get calls all the time, it's not personal, etc.., I called him back.

          He didn't remember!!! I gave him my presentation and he bought on the call at an above the average sale!!!


          P.S. If the money is in the list (and not built for 1 call close or High call rate/ lay down calling) :

          stop the call and get his email address.
          1st the presentation, 2nd is your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Illini Marketer
    Maybe this has alredy been said but I have been in sales for a bit over 20 years now and this has always been my answer to that on an initial cold call, "I am not hear to sell you anything. The purpose of my call to you today is to set up an appointment to better understand the goals of your company and learn about how you are currently marketing your company and then if it makes sense offer you some ideas on how you can grow your company and increase your overall profits. Are you available tomorrow at 2 pm or this Friday at 3 pm?"

    Notice that I did not ask a Yes or No question. Always just ask for the appointment and not ask, "Do you want to meet with me or not?" I talked about maybe helping the company increase their profits and made it non salesy. What do you all think??
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  • Profile picture of the author JoshN
    I have a background in sales with some of the largest companies in the world. It depends on where you're calling into but MOST places its better to be honest and act lost than trying to barrell through the gatekeeper.

    Be a human, and you'll get a human response.

    So if they asked is this a sales call?
    You can say gee I don't know yet. I just asked for ____ because I "saw their profile" or "they are the only one on your webpage" basically make up a reason why you're asking for them.
    Then explain who you are what you do and why, based on initial research you think you could help. It doesnt hurt to throw in a competitor or other local business as a reference if you have helped someone else in the area. And then just ask if they feel the person you were asking for is truly the right person or if they think someone else might be a better fit. This should be very very quick... like less than 30 seconds and very high level. You need to practice this so its general enough not to bore them but descriptive enough that a simpleton understands what you're talking about.

    Sometimes you'll get nothing (athough this is higly doubtful, then at least you know this company has an ANTI solicitation policy and are probably going to be a PITA anyway)

    A vast majority of the time you will get a direct line, and/or an email of the individual they are recommending... why are they more willing to give it to you... because it feels like it was their idea. This is at least another point of contact, and once you get the format of their email string for the underling.. chances are you've got it for the president or whoever else you want to contact.

    Be sure of one thing only when you call, that is that you can provide value to XYZ types of companies and how you MIGHT be able to add value for them. Everything else you should act lost on and ask lots of questions around. Ask for help... It's OK not to know everything before you pick up the phone. They just want to know the service you're offering is somehow related to their business and you're not completely wasting their time.

    Also remember that a vast majority of the time you won't have a meaningful conversation with the right contact on the first call. It usually takes several calls to establish a dialog... this goes back to the idea of how to eat an elephant.. one bite at a time.

    Hope this helps. It's a lot easier and usually more effective than the old school dismissive style of cold calling
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