This is an example of a cold call that we received from a salesperson that appears to sell some sort of payroll software. While the call may seem short and uneventful, there are actually some really good things to reflect on and discuss.

What Went Well
One thing that I think went well on this example of a cold call is that the salesperson did a good job of pre-qualifying me. I consider pre-qualifying to be a light form of qualifying that just determines if it even makes sense to talk. A more thorough attempt at qualifying is where you might try to determine if the prospect truly needs what you sell, has the money to buy, and has the authority to make the decision to purchase.

It appears that this company does not work with customers that are under 40 employees so the salesperson got to the point where he was able to determine that we were under that number and he ended the cold call to move on to find a better prospect. I classify this as doing something well because many salespeople will try to schedule appointments with any prospect that they get on the phone whether there is even a slight fit or not.

What Could Have Been Better
I think the opening of this example of a cold call sounded OK on the recording but that is because I answered the phone instead of a traditional gatekeeper. I am confident that if the salesperson said this to a gatekeeper instead of me, he would have had to face resistance and objections:

Can you help me to get over to the person that makes decisions regarding payroll software please.

Most gatekeepers are given the responsibility to keep salespeople that are trying to sell something out. As a result, if you say something that makes you look like a salesperson trying to sell something, the gatekeeper will do everything they can to get rid of you. And when the salesperson on this example of a cold call said this, he basically puts a sign above him saying “I am a salesperson trying to sell payroll software to your company”.

What Objections Came Up
The only real objection that came up on this example of a cold call was that he asked how many employees we are processing payroll for and I gave the objection that I did not want to share that information. I think this salesperson handled that objection really well by responding with something like:

Oh I understand. We typically are only able to help companies with over 40 employees. Are you over that?

I think this was a great way to make an invasive question a little less invasive as it makes it a little easier for the prospect to answer without having to share as much information. The way this might relate to you is that you can apply this tactic when asking the prospect questions about their budget or financial situation.

What Additional Questions Could Have Been Asked
I always try to think about what questions I could have asked when a cold call ends that could have either kept the call going longer or extracted more information from the prospect. On this call, one question I think the salesperson could have asked is how far we are to their qualification number of 40 employees and what our growth plans were. My suggestion here is that while the salesperson did the right thing on this example of a cold call to disqualify us and move on, he could have tried to learn if there is a point somewhere in the future where it might make sense to talk based on us growing.