Here are typical useless calls that too many salespeople make. (Typical prospect responses are in brackets and are usually intended to get rid of the salesperson.)
1. The Post-Office Check-Up Call
First the salesperson starts by checking on the post office:
Hi, I’m just calling to see if you got the literature I sent.
(“Yes I did, thanks.”)
Then they do a vision check:
Did you see anything you liked?
(“Not really” or “I haven’t had time to look it over.”)
And they finish off with a comprehension test:
Do you have any questions?
(“Not at this time, I’ll call you if I do.”)
2. The What’s-Happening Call
I’m just calling to see what’s happening with the proposal we sent you.
(Nothing’s happening, I’ll call you when something does.”)
3. The Pick-Up-An-Order Call
I just dropped in to see if you have anything for me this month.
(“Nope, nothing. I’ll call you if I do.”)
4. The General-State-of-the-Union Call
I’m just calling to see how things are going.
5. The “I-Don’t-Know-What-to-do-With-My-Time-so-I-Just-Thought-I’d-Bother-You” Call
Hi. I’m just calling to see how things are going and… (telephone call)
— or —
Hi. I just happened to be in area so I thought I’d drop in and… (drop-in visit)
Note: Doesn’t this last approach make the prospect feel real special? We just happened to be in the area? Even if this is true, don’t insult a prospect by saying it.
Can you see how each of these calls violates the basic rule for making effective calls. Not only isn’t there a specific purpose for the call, but each approach is based on what the salesperson wants, not on what might be of interest or value to the prospect.