Series on Credibility: Tele-prospecting and being credible

Anyone who has been in sales would have at some point during their career made sales call for prospecting clients. And sometimes even that one phone call can make or break a connection to a potential prospect. How is it that credibility can be established even via a phone call? Read on…


Maureen (a receptionist at AG Salesworks) encountered one of the rudest and pushiest sales people she had ever come across. No, it wasn’t a used car salesman, and no, it wasn’t one of those ladies at the perfume counter who sprays before asking.Surprisingly, it was someone from a very reputable technology company looking to sell Maureen’s company additional services.

Here’s how the conversation went: Maureen: “Hello, this is Maureen with AG Salesworks, how can I help you?”

Salesperson: Hi Maureen, I’m Salesperson from Reputable Technology Company. Could you transfer me to your Marketing department? Maureen: OK, may I ask what is the nature of your call? Salesperson: I’m from Reputable Technology Company. Maureen: Yes, I am aware of this, but why are you looking to speak to the Marketing department?Salesperson: You use our services. (This was not the case; a partner used their services.) Maureen: OK, are you looking to sell us additional services, to network with us, or perhaps to look into our services?


And then the Salesperson went into her pitch. She had no idea that she had called into AG Salesworks’ main line and that the Marketing Director’s name was available over their website. In fact, she didn’t even have the faintest idea about what AG Salesworks does as a company. On top of that, she sounded miserable to have to call anyone.

Hesitantly, Maureen still transferred her — but not without informing her Marketing Director first about her tone throughout the entire interaction. As someone who has prospected for a number of years and just recently moved into an inside sales role at AG Salesworks, Maureen was taken aback by this salesperson’s complete lack of respect for their prospects’ needs or time.

This is what was going into Maureen’s head throughout the conversation: “I don’t care what you do, or what “reputable” company you may hail from, until you’ve established credibility and stated the real reason you’re calling. Neither do the rest of your prospects, nor, in this case, the decision maker. Furthermore, if you did your pre-call research, you would know why your product or service matters to your specific prospects, and would stay away from that elevator pitch.”

Without your research, you have no credibility, no matter what. If this salesperson had done her pre-call research, she would have never called into AG Salesworks’ main line to begin with. She would have known who she wanted to talk to by looking at their Management page and would have been patched through seamlessly.

The moral of the story? Do your homework. Know your prospect’s needs. It could mean the difference between a helpful call that wins you a sale and an unhelpful call that wins you a poor credibility.