Organize your outreach qualifying calls into three basic categories:

A: Reachable prospects during day

B: Reachable prospects after hours

C. Reachable only via gate-keeper

Doing outreach qualifying calls to new prospects?

List-building is especially helpful when you reach the gate-keepers.

I politely say "sorry, I dialed the wrong number", but flag for call back after hours to reach owners who usually work late.

Exceptions are gate-keepers for high-level exec --- especially the larger organizations. These gate-keepers usually worthwhile.

Try list-building your prospects into three categories:

  • A. reachable prospects during day

  • B. reachable prospects after hours

  • C. reachable only during day and only via gate-keeper

C above I generally avoid--- more productive to work A and B.

Voice mail or leaving messages with gate-keepers I have found ineffective on first calls to new prospects.

Q: What goals are realistic for outreach qualifying calls?

A:  Forget phone prospecting for appointments.

Effective lead generation and list building are about qualifying prospects for future contacts.

You are calling to get information -- NOT to book an appointment!

That means finding out if  your prospect qualifies being added to the front end of your sales funnel.

Picture a crowded room.

Your goal: find the folks interested --- more or less --- in what you offer.

How to do it?  Ask for a show of hands.

There, that's the goal of your cold call ---

  1.  finding the right prospects

  2.  separating them from the crowd

  3. qualifying their interest level

My goodness --- now you have three goals!

Recommended reading:

100 Best Business Development Books of All Time

Forbes: New Rules for Prospecting In The Age of The Customer

Also: Harvard Business Review reports on benefits of cold call lead development.

From Harvard Business School On-line:  This On-line learning course sounds interesting