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One of the Best Questions to Ask When Cold Calling for Sales

When cold calling for sales, we can often get concerned with knowing what is best to ask and when.  We can get very technical and philosophical with a call plan to try to get the most out of the conversation.  Although, one of the best questions to ask is not very technical nor advanced.  It should go without saying, but one of the best questions to ask is “have I caught you in the middle of anything?” at the very beginning of the cold call.

It may sound like common sense or common knowledge to ask this question but it is easy to forget and there are many occasions where sales people make a cold call and do not ask this.  This is actually a good question to ask anybody that you call, whether sales or not, when they are not expecting your call.

Below are some reasons why this is one of the best questions to ask when cold calling.


Confirms Their Availability

Almost everybody you call is going to be busy, especially in today’s day and age of job consolidation.  That being the case, if you call someone and they are not mentally available, not only will you not be able to be able to effectively create interest for what you are selling, but you are more likely to irritate them.

When you are cold calling for sales and you ask if they are available, you are measuring their level of busyness.  By their response, you will either identify if they are too busy to be sold to or you will be able to identify that they are busy but able to stop to long enough to talk with you.






Establishes an Informal Agreement of Time

If you ask if they are in the middle of something, and they respond that they are not too busy and have a moment, you have then bought yourself a segment of time.  This is almost like a mini contract where they have agreed to talk with you for two to five minutes.  When you are cold calling for sales and you are able to get this informal agreement, you will be much more comfortable and able to deliver your message.


Helps to Builds Rapport

One of the keys to sales effectiveness is effectively building rapport with prospects.  And one way to take a step in that direction is by asking them if they are in the middle of anything when cold calling for sales.  This is because when you cold call somebody, it is like you are walking into their office.  If you do not ask how busy they are, it is like you are barging in while someone is working and then just rolling into what you want to talk about.  By asking about their level of busyness, you are showing respect for them, displaying your ability to understand them, and making yourself appear like a more seasoned person and this helps to build rapport.


Launch Pad Solutions provides sales scripts to help companies drive sales revenue.

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This article was published on Thursday 02 December, 2010.
Back to main topic: Cold Calling
Effectively Prospecting to Increase Sales
Dealing with the Gatekeeper When Cold Calling for Sales
The Power of Storytelling While Cold Calling for Sales
Decreasing a Prospect’s Guard When Making Cold Calls
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How to Cold Call

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