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If You’ve Got a Chip on Your Shoulder, Why Are You in Marketing or Sales?

By: Elaine Fogel


When you cold-call prospects, how do you respond when they ask if you’re selling something? It’s a very common question busy people will ask when they don’t know you.

IF you keep a positive attitude, no matter what, you have a slight chance to move prospects to the next step. But, if you don’t, the odds are high that you’ve blown their first brand experience with your organization.

This happened to me yesterday and it took me aback.

A man (let’s call him Steve) called from an Internet radio company. I engaged in niceties for a minute or so, figuring that he wants to sell me hosting. (I’ve been approached previously by other companies like this.) Either way, I assume there’s a cost.

As Steve is giving me his spiel, I interrupt to ask if he’s looking for… I didn’t even get to complete my sentence when he jumps in and berates me, “If you didn’t interrupt me, you’d hear that I’m not calling to sell you something.”

I let him finish his next sentence. He says he’s sending me an email with a link and if I’m interested, I can follow the link, and if I’m not, he’s OK with that.

I replied that I’d be OK with that, but he had put me off when he berated me for interrupting. Guess what he answered?

He said he treats people as they treat him! Then he goes on to say that I’m a good person, yada yada, but who was listening at that point?

I don’t know about you, but to me, Steve is all wrong for business development. What a chip he had on his shoulder.

Cold calling is challenging at the best of times, especially when it’s your first prospect touchpoint. It may be easier to contact prospects through other marketing communications channels first to improve their recognition when you call on the telephone. There are no guarantees, of course, but at least your opening line can be about something you sent in the mail, that you’re both connected on LinkedIn, that you read his/her last blog post, or anything else!

Sometimes, examining the wrong ways to market can make a stronger point than listing the right ways. In this case, Steve had a profound impression on me – a BAD one!

What about you? How would you have responded?

This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel

Published: August 14, 2014

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