It's just turned 9am on a Monday and I've already taken a cold call trying to sell me consulting services to help me exit my business.  

As a marketer, I know all the tricks for keeping someone on the phone.  I've written and tested endless tele scripts in my career and whilst I was quite impressed by his technique, the call wasn't relevant, timely or warm.

Cold calling doesn't work and this article from Dan Tyre at HubSpot (who's been selling for over 30 years) admits that whilst it was fun tactic to learn, it's no longer effective.  Warm calling is very different but my experience this morning was anything but warm.

I didn't know the company.  Their message wasn't at all timed well (neither the day or the fact I'm not looking to exit my business).  He didn't show any interest or knowledge about what Tribal does.  It was irrelevant.

In many ways I quite admire the grit and determination of these folks on the phone.  So, how can you respond to these cold outreaches?

Well, I guess it depends what mood you're in but over the years I've adjusted my approach. 

Put the phone down

It's the quickest way to finish a call but a little abrupt. After all, these folks are just doing their job.   That said, the sales rep won't mind.  They'll just move onto the next person in their list.  They probably receive many 'hang ups' a day so to a thick skinned, hardy inside sales rep it won't be too much of a problem. 

Keep them talking

You could go to the other end of the scale.  We get several scam calls at home talking about an accident I was involved in a few months ago which must have been very bad because I can't remember it.  Depending on if you have time, you could explore and see how these conversations actually end - more of a technique for those that are curious.

Educate them

This is the one I've been doing more of lately.  I understand it's their job but I quite enjoy pointing out the limitation of their technique and why I spend most of my time educating sales reps to do exactly the opposite of what he/she has just done to me.  Often, they're not interested - they have to get their call quota in for the day so are ready to leave by this point - but if I can just convince one rep to think differently, I consider it a good deed for the day.


No matter which option above, I always finish the call thanking them so much for their time and wishing them a call day/week ahead.  Whilst they'll never get a sale from me via a cold outreach, they can be sure to get advice and good wishes.

Have a great week everyone!