Prospecting by Phone: Don’t Believe These Myths

I’m hearing some wild rumors going around. Word on the street is that prospecting has changed, and we need to get with the times and ditch the phone. It seems I need to set the record straight.

People are making scores of excuses these days about why they can’t pick up a phone. They’re sending emails or messaging prospects on LinkedIn in the hopes that a truly brilliant message will get them a reply. That’s simply not how prospecting works. And I’ll tell you why.

I recently had someone send me eight messages on LinkedIn. I finally replied and said, “If you think you can help my business, why haven’t you tried to call me?”

I know that my number is available for anyone to see. You can even Google my name and quickly find it. They replied and said, “Oh, I usually do call people! I’ll call you soon so we can talk.”

Surprise—they never called me. But they also never messaged me again.

I know there are a lot of reasons why people might say it’s better or easier not to call your prospects, but it’s just not true. I’ve heard a lot of excuses or reasons for not picking up the phone, but these three are the main offenders.

Lame Excuses for Not Picking up the Phone:

1. Everyone Uses Email

I know, I know. Email is an amazing tool! So are messaging apps and social media. But if you want to make concrete contacts and, potentially, turn those relationships into actual business revenue, people need to hear from you. They need to know your voice and your story.

There is so much you cannot properly communicate through the written word alone. Plus, emails are notorious for having tone issues, and most of us get our inboxes flooded with junk on a daily basis.

How are you supposed to rise above that and make sure your email doesn’t end up in the trash? To me, it’s just not worth taking that chance.

2. I Want To Give Them a Heads Up

Tons of people say they like to send an email first to give their prospect some notice that they will be calling them soon. While you might think this makes you seem less like you’re cold-calling, it doesn’t. All you’ve done is add more noise to their day.

Also, by giving them heads up, what you’ve actually done is given them your name and contact information so that they can ignore you when you do call! If your email was just one of a dozen similar ones they got that day, they’re probably not eager to give you a chance. Why should they think you can do anything for their business if you can’t even be bothered to pick up the phone and call them?

3. I’m Worried I’ll Interrupt Them

I understand wanting to be polite. I really do. First impressions are important in the sales world! But I’ve heard people say they prefer to use email because they worry that calling and interrupting a prospect might lead them down the wrong path and start off the relationship on the wrong foot.

Newsflash: If you interrupt them, that’s not your fault. It’s their fault for answering the phone. I can understand the motivation here, but you simply can’t live in that fearful place.

You need to be friendly, yes, but you also need to be direct and proactive. If you believe in what you’re selling, you should know the value you offer to prospects and why it’s worth their time to talk with you in the first place.

Pick Up the Phone—It’s Still the Best Way to Prospect

Speaking to a person on the phone can feel anxiety-inducing these days. But you can’t do everything from behind a computer. You just can’t. And no matter how many articles you read about it or how many people whisper “hot tips” in your ear, I promise you that prospecting hasn’t changed all that much.

You’re going to have to pick up your phone and call people. There are a lot of reasons why email and messaging might seem attractive, but those methods are never going to be as successful as prospecting by phone.

So don’t let these trends sway you. Stay the course if you want to see real results.

And if you need help getting over call reluctance, I know a gal. Call me! (My number is really easy to find.)

Until next time—go sell some stuff!

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