No one likes rejection. Prospecting is not for the faint of heart. 

But I believe that equipping yourself with the right tools can change not only your outlook on prospecting, but also your results. 

In my previous blog post from this series, we focused on great things to practice on a prospecting call. But I can’t stop there, I have to share ten things you must avoid in order to see more progress in your prospecting, and eventually more profit. 

Are you learning a lot from this blog series about phone prospecting? I can’t recommend enough this month’s Masterclass: Phone Prospecting: How to Warm Up That Cold Call.  I’m only scratching the surface here on the blog, but we really dive into the topic through the videos and workbook. Check it out, here. 

1. Bad opening lines 

Let’s all cringe together. “Hey, how’s the weather there? How was your weekend? How’s your day going?” Those are lame lines and they tell the other person you’re a salesperson and you’re really afraid to make the call.

Another bad one, “Just checking in.” No, I’m not a hotel. Don’t ask if I have a room available, because that’s what you’re saying with “Just checking in.” You want to come at them with an articulate line that’s going to engage them. Need more details? Keep reading.

2. Unsure of your CTA 

CTA is a Call to Action. Make sure that you have an explicit call to action. What is the one thing you want that person to do as a result of the phone call? You have to be clear going in, and that’s what you’re guiding and directing your phone call to.

3. Failing to engage

Too many salespeople  call somebody up and then do all the talking. That’s just a listening tour for the prospect. They’re probably not interested. They’re going to hang up on you. 

You have about five seconds to engage the prospect. Failing to engage is a recipe for being disconnected very quickly.

4. Stopping with the gatekeeper

Gatekeepers often say, “I’ll give them your information and if they’re interested, they’ll call you.” You know they’re never going to call you.  So why are you quitting there?

You don’t stop with the gatekeeper. You find other avenues to work around the gatekeeper, and you start by viewing them not as such, but rather as the door opener.

5. Bad voicemails 

Just the other day I got a voicemail from a salesperson trying to sell me something and it was one minute and 37 seconds long.  What’s worse was he gave me his whole sales pitch right there. Believe me, I didn’t listen to it. I only listened to a few seconds of it because I saw it was a minute and 37 seconds message. Forget it, it’s gone. 

Your voicemail must be short, tight, articulate, and 12 to 16 seconds long.

6. Failing to ask questions 

If I want to engage the prospect, I have to ask them questions. It’s best to go into your prospecting call with prepared questions. 

If you’re not ready to ask them some questions, then they’re not going to be ready to answer.

7. Making it about you 

Of course, when you call somebody, they’re not expecting your call. The last thing they want to hear is how great you are, or how great your company is. In reality, they have their own challenges, and their own needs. Do not make the call about you. The customer’s not interested in you. They’re interested in their own problems, their challenges. Focus on how you can help with those. 

8. Failing to follow up 

Chances are, making one phone call isn’t going to be successful. You must persevere through a continuous number of phone calls to be able to finally have a conversation with the person. 

Just because you’ve called twice, don’t think, “They must not be interested.” You don’t know until you’ve had a conversation with them. And even after you’ve had a conversation with them, you may not have enough of the criteria to determine whether or not it’s a “yes” or “no”.

Want to know more about this criteria, as well as overcoming objections? Check out this month’s Masterclass.

9. Failing to combine with email 

The phone works even better when you use it in conjunction with email, and vice versa! 

It’s amazing how a rising tide lifts all boats. I want to marry the phone call and the email within about a two hour window. Short, tight, quick; speed does sell more than ever right now.

10. Bad attitude 

That sinks more salespeople, because if you have a bad attitude going into the sales call,  I guarantee you’re not going to get the results you’d hoped for. 

Find a positive attitude going into it, or there’s little chance of you ever being successful.

I know that these strategies can change your routine–and your results–immensely! Check back for more posts this month, or join our email list so you never miss a thing. 

 The phone is still the best prospecting tool. However, certain practices can render it useless. I want to help you make calls that are meaningful, productive, and profitable. 

My new Masterclass, Phone Prospecting: How to Warm Up That Cold Call, is just $59 and will help you achieve just that. I’ll coach you through the best time to call and how to engage the prospect in the first five seconds. I also discuss getting around the gatekeeper, and handling objections. 

What’s more, I’ll help you create a call to action that will confirm the next step.

As an added bonus, I’ve included pages of scripts for the phone and voicemail to guide you.

This course is a HUGE value. Sign up now, and receive an exclusive invitation to my webinar on 8/26 where I share my personal phone prospecting plan. 

We’ve had some huge Masterclass courses that have been met with great success this summer. Remember, when you become a Level 3 member of The Sales Hunter University, you get access to every Masterclass, past, present, and future! 

There’s a reason we were voted a Top 10 sales development platform. Learn more here.   


Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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