On the rare occasions when I am in my office, I ask for all sales calls to be put through to me. I am usually horrified by the approach taken by salespeople who are calling, whether they are referrals to me from their existing customers or clients or just a straightforward cold call. Here are just a few of the approaches that really irritate me with my comments beneath:
Can I speak to the business owner?
Why can they not research who the owner is or at least invest in a list that gives the owner’s name?
How are you today?
They have no interest at all in my health and so that is just very insincere!
“I’m sorry to bother you but…”
Sorry and bother are negative words that could put me in a negative frame of mind. BUT they are going to do it anyway!
Am I interrupting?
Of course they are – so why remind me!
And here’s the worst of all…
This is not a sales call.
LIAR! I hate dishonesty and so do most other people. Pretending they are not in sales is the biggest mistake anyone in sales can make! I would so much prefer someone to call me and say something very simple like….
Mr King, I’m X from XYZ company; I’m working with a number of professionals in a similar field to your own and I’m hoping we can do business together too. Do you have a few minutes for me to explain how I might help you or should we diarise a time for me to call back.
That is not a great approach but it is far more likely to get my time and attention than any of those I previously mentioned.