Are You Talking to the Decision Maker? 5 Tips to Connect with the Right Person on a Sales Call

Sean Lund-Brown

When you’re making sales calls, the more time you spend trying to reach the decision-maker, the less time you’re spending on the actual sales process. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be the impossible task that it’s been in the past. If you do a little bit of research and planning, you’ll find yourself getting the decision-makers on the phone faster and even getting more of their attention than you might have on your own. 

Here are five tips to get you on the right track and get you to the right person on more calls for a better chance of conversions and closes. 

Tip 1: Use your manners 

Manners go a long way, especially when you’re calling a business for the first time. Sometimes, sales reps get into their “pitch” mode too soon and come off as rude or condescending when talking to receptionists and others who answer the phone. In some instances, the receptionist or even the decision-maker could get irritable or start to dismiss your conversation, and it can be tempting to be frustrated, but continue to be polite and it will get you much further. 

Even if a company cuts you off and you thank them for their time, you may find them coming to you down the road when they realize the value your company offers and how much they could use it. If you had given in and argued or gotten mean, you’d have lost that potential completely. 

Tip 2: Make the opening count 

The way you open your call says everything. It’s the main reason that gatekeepers shut down sales calls before they even get started. You can’t give the typical “sales” greeting—everyone is waiting for that and as soon as they hear it, they’re going to check out and cut you off. They’ll deny you the connection to the decision-maker and tell you no one’s interested in what you have to offer. Even if that’s not the case, your leading with a sales script can be a big turnoff. 

Instead of saying something like:

“Hello, My name is John and I’m calling with ABC Company. We’ve got a new line of products that I think your company could definitely benefit from. I was hoping to talk to the decision-maker or whoever is in charge of purchasing to see how our products can help your pain points.”

Consider something like:

“Hello, is David available?” 

(receptionist answers)

“This is John with ABC Company calling about his inquiry regarding our new product line.” 

It still identifies who you are, but it shows that you know who to reach directly, so they may be expecting your call. Plus, you then confirm that by saying you’re calling about “his inquiry”, which means wherever you got his lead from. 

Tip 3: Timing is everything 

When are you making your sales calls? Are you trying to reach key decision-makers or leaders at pivotal times in the business day? Don’t call at 8:00 AM on a Monday and expect to reach the person you seek. If they’re even in the office yet, they’re probably just getting settled and catching up on what they’ve missed. Consider calling in the late morning or early afternoon in the middle of the week. And while you’re at it, avoid lunch hours (usually 11:00 AM until about 2:00 PM). 

Another thing with timing—mind the time zones. Many B2B companies are doing lead gen across the country and even around the globe. The last thing that you want is to call a potential lead at an inconvenient time. Imagine that you’re calling a small company that’s 8 hours behind you, not realizing the business phone is the owner’s mobile phone—how irritated is he going to be to get woken up in the middle of the night by your call? Make a list of leads that need to be tended to after hours and schedule times to handle those clients. 

Tip 4: Know who you’re calling for 

One of the fastest ways to get shut down on a sales call is to open like this:

“Hello, my name is John and I’m calling with XYZ Corp. and our new line of [product]. Could you kindly direct me to the person in charge of purchasing for this area?”

Sure, it’s polite and it does explain why you’re calling. However, it very clearly shows the receptionist or whoever answers the phone that you don’t even know who you’re trying to reach—that means you’re probably cold calling and they don’t have the time or interest for that. They’ll dismiss you, end the call, and you’ll be left hanging. 

Take the time to research who you’re calling. Part of successful lead generation is knowing your leads, including who they are and what their pain points might be. You’ll see a lot more success when you specifically ask to speak to the decision-maker by name and act like they’re expecting your call. 

Tip 5: Outsource for better success rates and less work on your plate 

A great option for those who are either struggling with sales calls or who just don’t have the time to figure out who’s making decisions and reach out to them is to outsource. A virtual receptionist service that offers assistance with lead generation and inbound and outbound sales along with other customer support solutions will be a great investment for your business. 

Plus, it’ll be a lot cheaper than hiring a full sales team or even having to pay the salary for a single employee that you hire in-house. When you outsource, you’ll also get more professional results because the people making the calls know what they’re doing. If you want the best people making the calls, consider a partnership with the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. 

Our team of dedicated agents can handle all kinds of admin, communications, and sales solutions for your business, from inbound and outbound sales and support to appointment scheduling, lead intake and screening, and even things like payment collection and live website chat. Plus, we’ll help you create a tailored strategy to manage it all so that you never miss a thing, even when you’re busy with other aspects of your business. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can improve your success rates with sales calls and more. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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