Cold Calls: Words You Should Never Say - Ever

Apr 19 20:02 2006 Leslie Buterin Print This Article

Are the words you use in cold calling identifying you as a Top Dog or part of the pack?

One of the scary things about calling on executives is that,Guest Posting well, they are executives. They are THE decision makers, the Big Kahunas, The Top Dogs!Executives are the leaders of the pack. Much like in the animal kingdom, they are the “Alpha Dogs.” Others pups fall into line when Alphas growl and bare their teeth.

Respect for that Alpha’s authority automatically kicks in for many sales professionals who cold call executives, as they try to please, to be seen as worthy, and to be granted an appointment with the top decision maker.

Getting a “Top Dog” appointment is an admirable goal. A goal that quickly turns to disappointment for young pups who are rebuffed and sent down to frolic with the rest of the pack, by the “Bull Dog” (executive assistant) who guards the gate.

When the assistant says, “The executive won’t be interested in this sort of thing”, young pups turn, put their tail between their legs and whimper as they return to whence they came.

Can ‘young pups’, newbie sales professionals, avoid this kind of disappointment? You bet they can, when they learn the Top Dog Rules.

Alpha dogs are well matched when sniffing around other Alpha dogs. They know the rules, respect the boundaries, and if/when an alliance is mutually beneficial, they will make that alliance.

Alpha dogs and followers are mismatched, as the Alpha dog expects the follower to follow. And the follower expects to behave as a follower.

What the heck does this have to do with sales professionals who call on executives? Plenty!Successful sales professionals know they must speak in “Top Dog” terms to gain their respect, be seen as a leader, and be seen as another Alpha Dog. This posturing is done as the sales pro talks in Alpha Dog terms. They know and use the right words, the right language, to gain admittance to the executives’ suites. These words earn them the privilege of romping with the Top Dogs.

These same successful sales pros never, ever use the words followers are used to using. You know, those “permission-based” words that followers habitually use with leaders.

These savvy sales pros use the words Alpha leaders use when communicating ideas and evaluating possibilities.

Phrases such as “May I,” “Can I,”

“Would you,” and “Could you” are the beginnings of permission based, “low-level” conversations. For example:

“May I schedule on his calendar?”

“Can you tell me when to catch him in person?”

“Would you take a message?”

“Could you ask him if I may meet with him?”

The instant you utter such words the “Bull Dog”, executive assistant’s ears perk up as she recognizes you do not belong at the executive level. Reeling from how quickly the executive assistant refers the stunned sales professional to a lower level decision maker, the sales pro wonders, “What just happened?”And thinks, “I worked up the nerve to call on the executive suites. I was well prepared when I placed the call. Then, I was transferred to the voice mail of a person way down in the organization. Calling executives is a good idea, but an impossible place to schedule a sales call.”

You can schedule executive level sales calls confidently, if you know how to speak their language.

The words in the first paragraph below position you as part of the pack. The words in the second position you as an Alpha Dog in your business arena.

Eliminate Permission Based Words that Get You the Boot: May I schedule on his calendar? Can you tell me when to catch him in person? Would you take a message? Could you ask him when I may meet with him?Cultivate Alpha Based Words that Get You Top Dog Appointments: I’m calling to get on his calendar. When is best for him, Tuesday or Thursday? What is the best time to catch him in person? Here’s what I’m looking for: (assistant will automatically take a message because of the authority in your voice). Tell me what looks good on your end, this week or next?Take a long hard look at the cold calling script you currently use. Replace all permission based words and phrases with words that position you as an Alpha in your industry. Remember, folks who belong at the top never ask for permission. Ever.

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Leslie Buterin
Leslie Buterin

Author/Publisher Leslie Buterin (like butterin’ bread), is a published author, speaker and founder of Top Dog Consulting. She coaches sales executives and recruiters world-wide in techniques for changing the point of entry to the executive level. For your FREE mini-course “Jealously Guarded Secrets to Cold Calling Company Presidents” visit !

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