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What to say when they actually answer the phone

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 12/13/21 3:14 PM

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I was sitting here in my kitchen thinking about what is my afternoon snack going to be and what my coaching takeaway of the day going to be?

And that's when it struck me. When I was thinking about what to say for today's coaching, takeaway, it occurred to me that that's the exact same thing that all of my coaching clients have been asking me all day. 

“What do I say?
  • What do I say when they answer the phone, and I didn't expect them to?
  • What do I say to keep them interested & on the phone?”

Well, let's start there because that's the beginning of everything, right? A lot of the BDRs and SDRs that I've been coaching lately are really struggling with this as well.

A lot of them are saying things like, “Hi. This is so and so from ABC company. Is this a horrible time for me to call?”

I'm going to say yes to that, aren't you?

The other thing I hear a lot is, “Hi. This is Carol calling from blippety-blop company and we do a lot of automation for your blippity blops so that you can do yada, yada, yada, yada yada.” 

It's a product pitch before they've even been offered the opportunity to say,  Yes. I want to talk to you or not.

So, here's one of the things that I worked out with some clients recently that they're testing and trying out. And if you try it out, I want to hear about how it might work for you, or what kind of responses you're getting. 

It's really pretty simple.

It kind of goes like this, “Hi, this is Carol calling from Unbound Growth.”

Long pause. “Oh, yeah. Sounds like, you've no idea who I am or why I'm calling. Do you have a quick five minutes to talk about why you downloaded the e-book about whether or not coaching is right for you? Great!”.  

And then continue the conversation.

Now, this actually comes from a book that I recommend in the Unbound Growth Library and it's called, “Code of Trust”, by my friend and colleague  Robin Dreeke. He was a Behavioral Analyst for the FBI and the CIA, and in his book, he writes that when we're asking people for their time or their participation, there's two questions that come to mind:

  1. How long is this going to take?
  2. What is this about?
So, if you're cold calling someone or reaching out to someone for the first time you've got to set a realistic timeline for them.

When you say, “Hey, do you have a quick minute?”, we know it's not going to be a minute and we know it's not going to be quick and so we're disinclined to believe you.

Instead, say, “Hi, do you have 5 minutes? I have a quick question about…”

In your intro, if you can answer those first two questions, in their mind, then you're more likely to get an answer as to whether or not they're willing to talk about that with you right now.

So that's my quick coaching takeaway of the day: What to say when they actually answer the phone.

'til next time, have fun out there.


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