The Unanswered Serve

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Few woes in the salesperson’s life surpass the unanswered call, the ignored text message or the e-mail ricocheting in cyberspace. You know your priorities are not their priorities. However, their attention is also your paycheck.

A call is a friendly serve. The goal is not to ace it, but to get it returned. 

There are all kinds of enticements you can add so that calls will be returned. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Discover your target’s favorite charity and pledge a $100 contribution if they return your call.
  • Learn the individual’s #1 not-for-profit community organization and offer 10 hours of pro bono work in exchange for an interview.
  • Find out if the target’s favorite charity needs some pro bono equipment or services of the sort your firm offers, and let it be known you want to make a donation.
  • Read the individual’s most recently published comments or trade association talk and send a letter as to why you found the speech compelling.
  • If a trade or industry conference is taking place in a distant location, find out the name of the hottest restaurant in town, book tentative reservations well in advance and send a note suggesting you meet there during the course of the event.
  • Analyze the prospect company’s latest new product in a brief, constructive and impactful way. Even better, send them an insightful analysis by a technical expert whose reports they would not regularly receive.
  • Study a new product line introduced by a competitor and send a brief report to your target as to why it creates an unexpected opportunity for this person’s company.
  • Talk with your target’s administrative assistant and learn about that person’s hobbies, vacations or hometown in the hopes that building a genuine, humanized phone relationship with the gatekeeper will help open the gate.
Mackay’s Moral: While the  cost of dialing has dropped, the cost of answers is often up. 
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