• June 2, 2015

Salespeople: Please Call Your Prospects On Their Mobile Phones

Salespeople: Please Call Your Prospects On Their Mobile Phones

Times are changing, and the way we communicate is too. Many methods that used to be off limits, or nonexistent, are now becoming more common. If you want to truly be a legendary salesperson (first, get Spiro and then second, read on…) you have to be on the leading edge of these changing trends. One such trend is calling your prospects mobile phone number. Back in the day, calling a mobile number could be seen as intrusive.

How do you feel about that? Is it acceptable nowadays? What if you have never spoke to them before?

In the age of texts, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram, people are more connected than ever, and are expected to have their cell phone on them at all times. While calling after business hours when the prospect is just sitting down to dinner isn’t a bright idea, what about during normal business hours? Well, I’m not the only person considering this issue.

Recently sales guy and blogger Don Lee wrote a post basically saying “no – don’t call your prospects on their mobile phones”. Let’s look at his reasons. (And by the way, you really should check out his blog for many good ideas about selling.)

Why Should Salespeople Not Call Mobile Phones?

In Don’s post, he makes the following 3 points:

1) It’s obtrusive – He makes the point that if the prospect hasn’t answered your email or returned your call on the business phone, it is likely because he or she is not interested. Making a call to the mobile device is crossing the line in his opinion.

2) Business phone = business. Basically, it is out of respect that you call the business number to discuss business and only call a mobile once you have gained permission.

3) You’re not going to get a great response. Don makes the assumption that calling a mobile makes you look desperate and that prospects won’t be happy to hear from you.

Don’t Be Crazy – It’s Worth a Try

I gotta say, I beg to differ! If sales guys aren’t using all their resources, they are letting opportunities slip through the cracks. Here is why I say that Don’s claims are off the mark, and why you’re crazy to not at least try reaching prospects via their mobile number.

1) You need to make a connection! The odds of your prospect calling you back from your voicemail is some number very close to zero. Perhaps it’s somewhat intrusive, but it’s basically 1000x more effective than emailing over and over. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, you know. Try something different and call the mobile. There is a much higher risk in never talking to your prospect at all, versus pissing them off.

2) Business phone = business; what?? No way – It is not the year 2000 here. Everyone uses their mobile phone for work, too. So you’re telling me your prospect doesn’t call their contacts when they’re driving in their car between meetings? Of course they do.

3) Not obtrusive. Everyone has caller ID; everyone screens their calls. If you’re worried about catching someone “heading to the emergency room because his daughter is hurt” why would they answer their phone under their circumstances? C’mon!

4) How do you even know what response you’ll get until you try? Frankly, mobile phones are so common that some companies we know don’t even have desk phones for their employees. Unless you’re some super-secret hacker who illegally obtained the mobile phone number – how do you have it anyhow? In Don’s example, the receptionist gave it to him… but he doesn’t want to call? Call, and if the prospect is pissed, blame it on the receptionist! Did your prospect put their mobile phone number on their business card? Call!

For me, the real concern here is: can you quickly be charming and engaging on the phone when you get the prospect on the line? If you can, it won’t matter which line you reach them on. Legendary salespeople don’t shy away from contact – they jump in with both feet forward.

If you haven’t already, try dialing those mobile phone numbers and see what happens. Let me know if you think I’m off base in the comments, or your success stories by contacting mobile phones. And check out Don’s blog for many other topics I agree with.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Nana B Agyei.