Suppose your client is at extension 3245.  You’ve made a few calls at different times and you suspect that call display is killing the opportunity. Try calling extension 3244 or 3246 and see what happens. In larger companies, extensions and direct in dials are often in sequence and assigned in sequence down a row of offices or cubicles.




Call display is insidious and deadly when it comes to tele-sales.  It silently works behind the scenes and gives your clients a heads up on who is calling. Based on the number and /or name they see your clients can – and do- let the call default into voice mail.  And for that reason, call display is probably the real culprit of when it comes to screening your call and diminishing your chances for success.


The maddening thing is you don’t really know if the client is at his phone when you make the call. But when you begin to suspect that the client is dodging you by using call display here are three ingenious ways to fight fire with fire.

#1: Call Another Extension

Suppose your client is at extension 3245.  You’ve made a few calls at different times and you suspect that call display is killing the opportunity. Try calling extension 3244 or 3246 and see what happens. In larger companies, extensions and direct in dials are often in sequence and assigned in sequence down a row of offices or cubicles.

If you reach someone at an adjacent extension, tell her you’re trying to reach your contact but there is no answer. Ask them if they are in or around. The neat thing is, the person you speak to will often act as ‘your eyes’ and peak around a corner or look over the divider. They’ll tell you if your party is there.

Even if they cannot see your client, you can still ask them to transfer the call.  Depending on the phone system, your caller ID is sometimes lost and your contact only sees the extension of their workmate. Mission accomplished.

There are also variations of this theme. If it is a large company, you can call another department and ask to be transferred. So you might try customer service, or sales or how about this? Call the executive suite and ask to be transferred to the contact. Again, depending on the technology, your contact may see “CEO’s Office.” If they’re at their desks, they’ll pick up the phone.

#2: Call From Your Cell or Your Home Number

This strategy works well with an existing client who knows your name and number. Maybe they are avoiding your call because they haven’t read or acted on your quote or your proposal, and so when they see your number they let it ring to voice mail. If you get that vague and uneasy feeling that they are trying to avoid you, call from your cell or your home number. These numbers are unfamiliar to your client and they might pick up the call if they are available, if only because they are uncertain who is calling.

#3. Call From a Pay Phone

I have saved the best for the last. If you really want someone to pick up the phone, call from a pay phone. Nothing- absolutely nothing- will intrigue your client more than a mysterious pay phone call. Who could be calling? Spouse? Kids? Some other family member?

If your contact is there at their phone, they WILL pick it up!

Wouldn’t you?

And don’t be worried about their reaction. Simply explain you were shopping or getting a coffee or whatever you could have been doing and decided to make a quick phone call.

Summary

To be successful in tele-sales you need to be creative in your ways to reach your clients.  Try these options the next time you think your decision maker is screening your call using call display.  

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About the author

Jim Domanski

Jim Domanski

Jim Domanski is president of Teleconcepts Consulting and works with B2B companies and individuals…

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