Sales Prospecting: Office Phone or Cell Phone?

Is it best when prospecting to call the person’s office phone or cell phone?  Figuring out little matters like this can make a big difference in your sales motivation and prospecting success.  I get this question a lot and here’s my perspective on this phone sales tip.

If you’re prospecting with a person you don’t know, call their office phone number. However, if it’s a person who is in an industry where they’re typically not in their office or they are under the age of 30, it’s appropriate to use their cell phone — after you have made an attempt to reach them on their office phone, even if you may not have ever talked to them.

For others, as soon as I have made a connection with the person (and by this I mean we have talked at least twice on the phone), I will not hesitate to call them on their cell number.  The biggest reason I like calling people on their cell phones is it’s generally easier for a person to return a call on a cell phone than it is to return a call on an office phone.   

One other item if you’re calling them on a cell phone, you don’t always have to leave your number — you can simply ask them to hit redial.   Keep in mind people typically do not have a pen and paper in their hand when they’re listening to messages on a cell phone, so don’t kid yourself by thinking you can leave any type of a detailed message. 

Prospecting messages left on cell phones are best kept very simple with the emphasis on being upbeat and personable, as anything less and you won’t have any chance of getting a message returned.

Just as I’m writing this I know there are exceptions to the rule. Many people in the financial and securities industry are hesitant to take phone calls on cell phones. There are other exceptions as well, but a good policy to follow is that until you get pushback from several people with regards to calling cell phones, keep on doing it.

Copyright 2010, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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