Case History - Another Pitiful Sales Cold Call Exposed

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Mar 02, 2015 @ 07:03 AM


Copyright:  123RF Stock Photo

The salesperson who cold-called me gets kudos for, well, cold-calling me and getting through.  Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.  She said she was calling from Charter Business and wanted to talk about phone and internet.  I told her that we were all set and that's when it got interesting.To her credit, she pushed back.  Unfortunately, her skills were as bad as most salespeople and when she pushed back, she did it completely wrong.  Here's what happened:

I said, "We're happy with what we have." (which is completely true).

She said, "Is there another time we could review what we have to offer?" 

Did I say I was too busy to talk right now?  Was she reading the wrong objection handling tactic from her computer monitor?  Was she learning disabled?  Or was she simply not listening?  I'm placing my bet on the likelihood that she was not listening.  When salespeople fail to listen, not only do they fail to gain favor, traction and velocity, but they perpetuate their well-earned reputation as a group of people who do not listen, only care about making a sale, and who couldn't care less about helping.

If she was listening instead of reading a script, she would have heard the word "happy."  Usually, when a prospect simply doesn't want to engage, they'll say, "We're all set."

She could have pushed back in so many ways...notice how each of these goes a bit further:

  • "I don't hear that very often, who are you using?"
  • "That's great to hear; you must be thrilled!"
  • "Terrific - what are you most happy with?"
  • "That's interesting because most of my new customers began by saying the very same thing - that they were happy."
  • "Since you're happy, you must never have to wait for a page to load..."
  • "And every file transfers instantly..."
  • "And videos never have to buffer..."
  • "You can easily store all of your large files in the cloud..."
  • And your voice calls are always perfect..."

She wouldn't have been able to turn me around, but I am certain she would have been able to turn around any prospect who was able to recognize that their service wasn't as good as it could be.

Most salespeople are afraid to push back.  It's a shame when someone is actually willing to push back, but hasn't been properly trained on how to do it effectively.


Topics: Dave Kurlan, overcoming resistance, cold calling, lead generation, phone sales, overcoming objections

Improve How Your Sales Force Sells by Phone

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 @ 07:08 AM

headsetGetting salespeople to recognize how badly they sound and how ineffective they are when selling on the phone isn't easy.  And just so you know who I'm talking about (and to save you from commenting about how these nuances are different) I'm including prospecting, cold-calling, telemarketing, telesales, inside sales, inbound marketing, outbound marketing and lead gen roles as "selling on the phone".

There are two methods that I prefer to use:

  1. Have them make a call to me and then I make the call to them and we compare the two calls.  After the comparison, I help them optimize their tonality, content and strategy.
  2. Method #2 works best if we have already conducted method #1.  Have them record their calls.  At least, after method #1, they should have a better sense of what they are comparing their calls to.  Without method #1, they may recognize how bad they sound, but rarely will they recognize how ineffective they are.

In most calls, the first 10 seconds are the worst and it only takes the first 10 seconds for a prospect to make these three crucial decisions:


In this day and age, there isn't much of a chance to get prospects to be attentive and engage unless your salespeople sound great and ask effective questions at the right time.  And if prospects don't have a reason to be attentive and engaged, they can't make the next decision:


If your salespeople are unable to interest their prospects there is zero chance of reaching the goal for the call which, depending on the salesperson's role, could be anything from a qualified lead to a scheduled appointment to a transactional sale.

One problem that most salespeople have is that they mistakenly attempt to go from Hello to Interested in one move.  That's like trying to go from start to check-mate in one move in Chess.  Or putting for an Ace from the Tee Box!  You can try to do it all day long but it won't ever work.

If you're working with salespeople who must do at least some of their selling on the phone, observe and listen to how they sound and what they say in the first 10 seconds.  Put yourself in their prospects' shoes.  Would you choose to be attentive, engage and be interested?  If not, the work starts right there.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, phone sales

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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