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10 Surefire Ways to Get More Callbacks from Your Sales Prospects

By Deb Calvert (1221 words)
Posted in Sales & Business Development on June 18, 2013

There are (6) comments permalink

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By Deb Calvert, President, People First Productivity Solutions

It's not your imagination. It isn't only you. There isn't some new problem with your product, your company, or even your sales process.

What's changed, for you and virtually every other seller, is your buyer. All buyers are immensely more empowered than they have ever been at any other time in history. In fact, buyers are so empowered that many don't even realize when and why they need sellers.

That's why they avoid your calls.


Developing new business and getting a brand-new prospect to return your call is tougher than it's ever been. Not only do buyers need a compelling reason to call you back, but they also need to understand that what you have to offer is not the same thing they could find on your website, nor is what you have to say to them the same as what every other seller has already said to them.

In other words, the one thing that has changed is the need to differentiate yourself in order to get a call back.


Here are 10 surefire tips to increase the likelihood that a prospect will call you back.

1. You need to make yourself relevant. That means that you can't come across like a seller. Instead, you need to make it crystal clear in just a single voicemail that you have something highly relevant to talk about. One way to do this is to understand exactly what's going on with this company you're calling. A quick tip for how to do this – set a Google alert for companies that you will be calling in the next one or two weeks. That way, Google will send you all breaking news items about your prospect.

2. In addition to being relevant, you also have to be timely. You need to offer something that is timed in alignment with a buying cycle, or has seasonal implications, or for some other reason has urgency attached to it.

3. Another great way to differentiate yourself is to show you've done your homework. By being relevant and timely, you have already started to demonstrate this. But every other seller is probably doing those things too. Doing a little research or some advance intelligence gathering means that you will be able to say something about the company that others might not know.  

4. Going right along with this need to differentiate yourself is the advantage you will have if you are creative. Looking at the situation in a new way or offering something they haven't heard before can be attention-getting. Even asking a thought-provoking question differentiates you and shows the value in talking with you. At a minimum, you can show just how interesting the conversation with you will be.

5. Of course, if you have any other compelling reasons that someone should meet with you, state those upfront too. This would include people that you know in common, testimonials about clients in similar businesses, references that you can bring into the conversation, etc.

6. The main objective of these first five steps is to demonstrate that you can be trusted and that you are knowledgeable. Buyers do not want to work with sellers who are only interested in making a quick commission dollar. Our empowered buyers are more sophisticated than that. They want to be challenged, and they hope to do business with people who will offer real solutions, new ideas, and knowledge-based insights. In your opening call, whatever it takes to get this across is information you should include.

7. The contrast then is to make it about the buyer and the buyers’ needs instead of about you, the seller, and your needs. The difference comes out clearly when you talk about the buyer's company instead of your own company and products. Making a shift to leave a message that's about the buyer is what you're really aiming for in each one of these steps.

8. In order to do this effectively, you will need to prepare yourself for every call. A canned script, one that you repeat over and over again, will get the fastest delete possible for your voice mail message. Your message needs to be tailored specifically to the person you're calling, and it needs to sound genuine and not scripted. Invest the time to make it personalized.

9. Don't forget about value when you ask for the appointment. Be sure that you have presented the value of time spent with you as clearly and completely as possible. The value to the buyer does not include your product features. It includes attaining a goal that is relevant and critical to the potential buyer’s business. When you can express that reaching that specific goal is a good reason to meet with you, that's when you will get a call back.

10. Last, but not least, cut out the fluff. Don't bother talking about the weather, the college that you went to or any other artificial connection that you were trying to establish. Instead, stick to the reason this buyer should call you back immediately.

When you follow these 10 steps you will get more callbacks from your prospects and buyers. No matter how busy they are, no matter how empowered they are, they will want to spend time with you IF they can see the value in doing so.



{#/pub/images/DebCalvertNew.jpg}Written by Deb Calvert, President, People First Productivity Solutions-Author of the DISCOVER Questions book series, Deb has worked as a sales productivity specialist and sales researcher since 2000. She is certified as a Master Sales Coach, Master Trainer, and host of CONNECT! an online radio show for selling professionals where listeners ignite their selling power in just an hour. Deb helps companies to boost productivity through people development. This work includes leadership program design and facilitation, strategic planning with executive teams, team effectiveness work, and performance management program design. 



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Here are some related articles you may be interested in: 

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Comments (6)

Bernadette Boas posted on: June 20, 2013

Debra.... great tips and very timely, as I am sitting here preparing letters and phone calls into my latest list.

Thank you!!

Gary Polsky posted on: June 22, 2013

I think there is a much greater chance for a sales prospect to call you back when somehow you have been able to "connect" with them on a personal level and/or your mutual relationship chemistry is strong. This is the most natural way to expect fast follow-up. You must get to know their weekly routines, energy level fluctuations and personal desires to capture that required “bond.” There must be much more personal connection than professional connection to maximize the production of business from a sales prospect or referral source. How well do you know your prospects to obtain new or improved business results? Do you keep a detailed profile on each prospect so you can review it before you meet again? It is imperative to include hobbies, favorite cuisine, family information, personal and business goals, etc.

Robert Minskoff posted on: June 25, 2013

Good points.
There is nothing wrong with having a prepared script. In fact it keeps one on point. The trick is being able to tailor it to each call. Even the best color commentators keep notes on the game they are calling. Nothing sounds worse then a bunch of "uuhhs and ummms".
Lastly, you forgot the most important part. Don't give up!! Keep calling/emailing until you get an answer. And yes, even no is an answer.
Good Luck and Good Selling!

Michelle posted on: July 10, 2013

Interesting read, Deb. Timing and knowing the sales cycle of your target is definitely a key to improving your sales conversions.

Keep it coming!


Mark York posted on: October 14, 2013

to differentiate yourself you must be prepared. I wrote this post it might help: http://www.roigp.com/blog/b2b-body-experience/

Deva Muralindra posted on: January 4, 2014

Good information & thanks for that.

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