Cold calling is exactly that — prospects can be pretty “cold” when picking up the phone. Whether you’re speaking with assistants or upper management, people don’t usually want to get sales calls (especially if you start calling at 9 AM). I’ll share a super secret tactic we use here at demandDrive: we use magic words.

You remember those magic words, right? No, it’s not “Abracadabra.” It’s not “Hocus Pocus.” It’s not even “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” I’m sure Mom reminded you of them every day of your childhood (and still does today): “Please” and “Thank You.”

As a kid, my parents would tell me to always be appreciative of other people’s efforts and take time to listen. I found that this holds true in the business world as well. I remember one experience, in particular, when I called into a multi-billion dollar financial organization. I was trying to speak with one of their Vice Presidents and I didn’t have a direct number, so I dialed into the operator to do a little account mapping. When I reached the operator, she came across as abrasive and annoyed that she had to speak with me. I remembered Mom’s advice and quickly shifted gears by asking about her day. I figured that by allowing her to vent to me, I could get some useful information and make both our days a bit nicer.

It worked. She briefly told me about the trials and tribulations of being an operator and how most people on the other end of the line take her for granted. I made sure to say “please” and “thank you” as often as I could while also taking the time to genuinely listen. Not only did I receive the direct line I needed, but she also provided me an additional contact who was possibly a better person to speak with. In fact, that additional contact turned out to be interested in speaking with me and became a qualified sales lead.

The moral of the story is to be sure that you use common courtesies when speaking to operators and assistants (or anyone for that matter). Don’t take anyone for granted — those magic words can go a long way in helping you reach your goal.

This blog was originally published on September 17th, 2013.

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