Cold call prospecting: What if the prospect pushes you for more detail, too soon?


Cold call prospecting: your basic strategy on this first introductory phone call, when you are phoning to get an appointment with the prospect or decision maker, is simple: Avoid getting drawn into too much detail, since you can not make the sale over the phone, but can lose it.

But what if, on this introductory phone call the prospect pushes you for more detail on just what it is you do, or how your approach differs from that of your competition? You can’t very well refuse to answer the question, as this prospect would likely then refuse to see you.

Keep in mind that at this point your objective is cold calling prospecting, not to try to make the sale over the phone.

In cold call prospect, and in every aspect of the initial pre-meeting phone contacts with the prospect, the key is to speak in terms of overall concepts — especially end-results — without getting into the technical details. Here’s one model for handling it without offending the prospect:

“Ultimately I’m a problem solver. What I suggested a moment ago is only one of a variety of ways in which I may be able to help your organization. Based on my research, I’m willing to come to your office and invest a half-hour of my time to explore these areas of need together. Are mornings or afternoons better for you?”

However, the prospect may be asking for additional details with the idea of distinguishing you from your competitors. Generally you will sense if this is the case by the nature of the questions asked.

The more sophisticated the questions, the greater the likelihood that one of your competitors has already “educated” this DM. If that’s the case, then respond succinctly, highlighting the advantages of your approach.

As much as possible, focus on the positive “bottom-line” benefits of your approach — greater ease of use, or improved productivity, efficiency, profitability — rather than the technical nuances.

What matters to the prospect remember, is not so much what your product IS as what it DOES for her and her situation.