People Use the Telephone Differently Today, and How This Affects High Probability Selling

It used to be that people would pick up the phone just because it rang.  Today, people need more reason than that.

They need to know who’s calling and what it’s about.  And even if they do want to talk with that person, they will often choose to call back later, rather than interrupt what they are doing in that moment.

In the past, people were more concerned about missing something important on the phone.  It might be a friend in need, or it might be a new customer.

Today, a ringing phone is much more likely to be a nuisance call, and much less likely to be from someone we want to talk to.  If we don’t recognize the caller ID, we let the call go to the answering machine.  And, in many cases, we can hear the voice while it is being recorded, and we can pick up the phone if we decide we want to do so.

This is all bad news for people who use the telephone to make prospecting calls, and especially for those who make cold calls.

Even though the warm calling part of High Probability Selling gives salespeople an advantage over those who do only cold calling, we have still had to modify our methods.  Many of the details that worked 20 years ago don’t pay off well enough today.

Here are a few of the changes:

  • Prospecting offers are shorter and simpler.
  • We usually leave voice mail.
  • Marketing is even more important than before.
  • We handle more incoming calls.
  • We have less control of the conversation.
  • We use social media to reach out to people, and we sometimes use email.
  • We focus more on the principles and less on the process.
  • We use a special inquiry method for prospects who call us.

But most things remain the same.  We still take no for an answer.  We still work with, not around, the gatekeeper.  We still reach out again and again with different offers, at a frequency of 3 to 6 weeks.


For upcoming sales training events, please visit the High Probability Selling Calendar

People Use the Telephone Differently Today, and How This Affects High Probability Selling

3 thoughts on “People Use the Telephone Differently Today, and How This Affects High Probability Selling

  1. Selling has changed dramatically because people use the telephone differently today:
    • It’s more difficult to reach prospects over the telephone
    • There is much greater resistance
    • There is a greater need to differentiate and stand out

    Like

    1. Hello Rob,
      In outbound prospecting by telephone, we pretty much follow a script. When people call us (inbound prospecting) we give them a lot more control of the conversation, so it’s a little more like improv.
      Carl Ingalls

      Like

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