When you need to pick up the phone to make a prospecting call, what do you feel–dread? Or determination?

The phone has not gone out of style. I still think it’s a great tool for prospecting and really connecting with people. I’d like to share ten strategies so you can use the phone and see results.

1. Use it. 

That’s right, you can’t be good at something you never practice. One of the biggest differences I find between those who have success with the phone and those who don’t is they simply aren’t using it. 

The telephone is like a muscle, and you’ve got to use it enough to strengthen it and get into a repetition. 

via GQ on GIPHY

2. It’s all about the first five seconds. 

The first five seconds of your phone call is what’s going to determine whether or not that prospect is going to engage with you. 

When you sit there and waste time by saying, “Oh, how was your weekend? How is the weather there?” Those questions aren’t fooling anyone. You’re telling them that you are a salesperson, and you’re trying to bug them. You may think you’re softening them up, but in actuality you’re turning them off.

Don’t use opening lines. Instead, that first five seconds is all about engaging the prospect. How? Keep reading.

3. Engage the prospect. 

Make it about them. You’ve got to engage them with a question or a statement that is going to be relevant and pertinent to them.

Ask yourself, “Am I bringing something of value to this prospect?” 

Aim to bring new insight to your prospecting calls. That means doing your homework, and, at times, educating yourself in a specific area.

Read more about bringing value to each conversation.

4. It’s not about you. 

Making your call about them goes hand in hand with taking yourself out of the picture. You are not the star of the show on this call.  

When you start the call by touting your own successes, “Oh, we’ve done this…We did that,”  it becomes too much about you.  

Of course, that’s a ‘confirming statement’, and that’s fine. But it does not come in the first 15 or 20 seconds of the phone call. You have to set yourself up to earn the right to share those kinds of statements. But don’t come right out of the chute sharing that.

5. Use voicemail. 

Careful! Don’t use voicemail to give them enough information to make a decision without you. You use voicemail to create interest. 

Now, are they going to call you back? They’re not going to call you back, you know that. But what you’re doing is leaving a significant nugget of information so the next time you connect with them, they may just take your call.

6. Be prepared with three questions and two statements. 

If you want to engage the prospect on your next prospecting phone call, try a series of questions. That means you’ve prepared things you can ask, as well as some statements that you can share. Be sure that all questions and statements are pertinent to them, and engaging, too. 

What does this do? This helps give you the confidence that you will be able to carry on a conversation with them. If you only have a defined script and that’s all you’re working from, you’re going to run out of things to add to the conversation. In addition, you’re never going to develop confidence.

You may have a script to give you ideas and prompts, but it’s all about having a genuine conversation, and listening to their needs. 

7. Your personality. 

Your personality has to come through in that phone call. I’m not saying you need to be off-the-chart exuberant, but use your unique personality. I show my personality each week through Youtube videos, sharing with you via this blog, and other social media. It’s helping you to stay engaged with me. 

8. Follow up. 

You’ve got to have a follow-up process because you know it isn’t going to happen with one phone call. It isn’t going to happen with one voicemail, or one email. 

Prospecting using the phone includes having a follow-up process, a regular sequence that you can replicate. You build out a cadence, find your flow, and stick to it.

9. Frame of mind. 

The mindset you have going into the call is going to determine what you get coming out of the call. 

I’m always amazed. I can take a salesperson who has a great attitude. They will always have much better sales results using a phone than the person who may have the skill, or technique, maybe even all the talking points, but don’t have the right attitude

I want the person with the right attitude because here’s what happens: you listen better, you engage better, and the other person knows that.

Besides, if you were on the other end, would you want to be talking to a wall, or would you want to be talking to a human being? I think you want a real, engaging person. Can you be that person? It all starts in your mindset. 

10. Don’t stop. 

Let’s not kid ourselves. You can have hours, days, even weeks where phone calls aren’t going anywhere–but don’t stop. Don’t give up, because you can also have periods where you’re having incredible success on the phone. 

I feel I’ve saved the best point for last. This is so important.

I see a lot of salespeople throw in the towel. They make a couple phone calls and then stop. They either call a person once or twice, and don’t reach them. Or perhaps the first call didn’t go spectacularly. They might say, “They must not be interested.”  No, don’t stop!

Or they may call a hundred people on their prospecting list, but not get the results they want, so they stop. Either way, don’t check out. Keep it going.

via Peloton on GIPHY

I challenge you to apply these strategies to your calls this week. Set some goals of how many calls you want to make today, or before Friday. Write it down, keep these tips in mind, and take your prospecting game to the next level.

I like to share tips and basic strategies with you here on my blog, or on my Youtube channel, but where we really dive in is at The Sales Hunter University. 

Members get access to an immense amount of content through email, videos, and courses. Choose Level 3, and get unlimited access to every Masterclass I’ve ever offered. Plus live coaching and office hours with me!

This month’s Masterclass offering is all about Phone Prospecting, where I go in-depth on the strategies I’ve shared here, and so much more. I’ve even included some conversation scripts and voicemail scripts as helpful guides. 

Head on over to The Sales Hunter University to check out all it has to offer. You and your sales goals will definitely notice a difference once you do. 


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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