Question of the Month: How do I call a leads list without feeling pushy?

by Shannon F.

frustrated man male call center helpdesk operator

So you’ve been given a leads list of companies planning an office move. If you’re a moving company or an organization that provides office furniture, equipment, and services, this is actionable information that could have lucrative results – but you lack confidence when pursuing these prospects because they didn’t disclose their information directly to you. You would hate to come off as pushy or invasive.

The truth is: top sales reps buy as many lead lists as they can get their hands on. Effective salespeople know they should keep adding lead sources until they can’t handle any more, but they also know that there’s a right and a wrong way to handle prospects who did not directly disclose TO YOU their plans, needs, and intent to buy.

1. Be selective. Scrutinize the leads list to see which prospects are a good fit. By doing your research ahead of time, you won’t waste time pursuing leads that are outside of your territory, too small, or otherwise not a good prospect for you.

2. Try to find a better contact in the company. Do you have an associate or friend who knows someone in the organization you are approaching? See if you can get an introduction. The rule that people do business with friends (not strangers) still holds.

3. The first time you contact a lead, you should NEVER try to sell. Send an email with free information, suggest a blog post or article that might be helpful, or make a call to invite your prospect to your upcoming webinar. This allows you to build rapport, so your prospect won’t have to ask: “How did you get my information?”

4. If a prospect asks more than once not to be called, honor that request. Try sending an email or snail mail piece instead. Surprisingly, this change of approach is often highly effective.

5. Be prepared to say your piece QUICKLY. After all, they didn’t contact you first, and they might be busy. You should have a thoughtful 15-second statement that sums up what you can do for them.

6. Don’t talk too much. Give your prospects the chance to say, “Yes, I’m moving, and here are my needs.” Many sales are lost by overstating your case. Listening thoughtfully to your prospects and asking intelligent questions is the best way to start building a relationship that will hopefully be productive for both of you.

Buying a leads list is a great way to save yourself some of the legwork you’d otherwise have to do – don’t lose your confidence because your prospect didn’t disclose their needs to you directly. If they are moving or undergoing big changes, they really do need services like yours; it’s up to you to approach them in a professional, helpful, and ethical way.


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