“Did I catch you at a bad time?”

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Anyone who has ever been cold called has probably heard “Did I catch you at a bad time?”. Or: “How are you doing?”

These tired openers deserve to be shelved permanently. First, asking a prospect an obvious question will get an obvious, and possibly hostile response: “Yes, it’s a bad time. Good-bye.” Asking someone you don’t know how she’s doing and you’ve tipped your hand that you’re making a cold call, and now your prospect is on the defensive.

There’s a better way to take the curse off the cold call. I prefer “I apologize for the interruption” or “I’ve interrupted you, and I apologize”.

Why? It works. Prospects may regret answering your call, but appreciate the fact you are sensitive to their work. If a teleprospector relieves the tension that comes with the cold call, he will earn the precious few seconds to qualify the prospect.

Asking the question about the timing or the prospect’s status will create an awkward silence, induce tension and disconnect the prospect from anything said afterward.

Try it and you’ll see.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Brian Berlin
Brian Berlin is founder and President of Straightline Strategies, Inc., a management consulting firm focused on helping its clients cover gaps in their go-to-market plans.

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