Humility can work to your advantage in cold calling

Did that headline turn you off a bit? Does it sound like I don’t really believe I’ve got something worth telling you?

Or did you think, “Here’s someone who’s not peddling simplistic answers — let me see what they have to say”?

In a cold call, “might” is a mighty word. I first heard about it from Art Sobczak, a true master of selling on the phone. In a cold call, by definition you don’t know the prospect very well and he/she doesn’t know you at all. It would be presumptuous on your part to assert that you could help a prospect at this stage of a selling process.

Certainty on your part could easily trigger a flight response in the prospect, as in “Who the heck does this guy think he is, and where does he get off assuming he knows what’s best for me?”

An easy start to a cold call
When you have a prospect on the phone, start off easy. Say something like this: “Debbie, we work with a lot of companies to streamline their inventory scanning process. We might have some ideas that would work for you. I’d like to ask you a couple of questions to find out.”

The “might” shows humility. It says, “I don’t know everything about you, but I’d like to know more.” It disarms the flight mechanism and increases your chances of advancing the sale.

The bottom line: Prospects get turned off by brash, overconfident cold callers who know nothing about them. They’re more willing to listen if you take a softer approach.

I can’t promise this approach will work on your next call. But it might. Why not give it a try?

photo credit: Siddy Lam

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