Sales Tips: 10 Creative Ways to Get People to Return Your Calls

From: Gary Michels

Man pleads for the phone to ring

If you want to get people to talk with you, wouldn’t you improve your odds if they knew you were a fun person to talk with? Here are ten proven tips that really work. They are quick. They are easy. And they are a lot of fun.

1)       Cheese Technique:

I heard about this technique from one of my students I was training at one of our events. She explained to me that she was having a lot of success getting people to take and return her calls.

She handed me a copy of Spencer Johnson’s book, “Who Moved My Cheese”. She said her company would buy hundreds of these books from the publisher and send them to the prospects they most wanted to meet. She would pen a note inside the book cover telling the prospect the book is about CHANGE and it only takes an hour to read it. She then would say, “I’ll call you next week to see what you think.” She got hundreds of appointments using this technique.

I have used this technique recently sending my book out about growing your sales through new techniques and ideas. Saying sometimes CHANGE and trying new things works out for the best. I am having quite a bit of success.

What literature can you send (article, brochure about your company, etc.) that you can write a note on and follow up the next week with?

2)      Stalker Technique:

There is definitely a fine line between being persistent and being a stalker. It is OK to be persistent and it is not OK to be a stalker. A stalker is someone who never gives up. They never take no for an answer. You can tell them no until you are blue in the face and they will still come after you. But someone who is persistent just wants an answer to close the deal. They are OK with a no. In fact, they will practically beg for a no so everyone can move on with their lives.

If I keep getting someone’s voicemail, or they keep asking me to call back, I’ll finally make a statement like this, “I would really like to have your business… and I am the most persistent, not pushy sales person you will ever meet J; but I do not want to wear out my welcome. I will leave that up to you. Would you like for me to keep on calling you or should I move on?” (Give example of a personal client that took a long time before they finally worked with you).

3)      Lotto Technique:

This technique is fun and you can make it really funny also. What I do is send the prospect 3 Lotto tickets with a note that reads, “With a little luck, maybe we can get together. However, if these are the winning numbers – PLEASE do not call me back and tell me you won!”

When you call back you can always start the conversation with some humor…. “Good. I see you still have your day job J, I was worried that you might have won the lotto since I never heard back from you.”

4)      Baseball Card Technique:

This works well for an elusive prospect that always seems to slip away without you being able to contact them. It especially works well if you know they are into sports. Send a pack of baseball cards (or a single card). Then include a note that says, “Just wanted to TOUCH BASE with you and see if you are still IN THE GAME, J. I would love to get a chance for a conference at the MOUND (or your office) and share what has been happening in …”

5)      Free Ad Technique:

If you or your company has a newsletter or blog, try this: If you keep getting your customer’s voicemail, leave a message telling them that if they would agree to a 15-20 minute appointment with you, you would like to give a free ad in your newsletter or on your blog. Being willing to give away what costs you practically nothing is a great tool to get people to move to action. People love things that are free or greatly discounted.

6)      The Unimportant Call Technique:

If I know the person has a sense of humor, I will leave a voicemail saying, “It is extremely UNimportant that you call me back.” It adds some levity to the situation and lets them know that my feelings haven’t been hurt. This also takes away some embarrassment they might have since they haven’t called me back as promised.

7)      The “Just So You Know” Technique:

This technique starts commitment and consistency and creates social responsibility. This is really a deal closer.

A gentleman I read about was interviewing for a job at a coffee shop somewhere in the heart of Dallas Texas.  After about 30 minutes or so, he slid out of the booth and said, “Just so you know, I’m very interested in working with you, your company and doing this job…Are you interested in me?” Basically he was trying to close the deal right there.

The owner had a twinkle in his eye, smiled, nodded and said yes. A few years later the man asked the owner why he got the job and the owner said you were the only one that attempted to close me. I know you could sell at that moment and that was what I was looking for.

“Just so you know” can be used often…. Today I told a sales manager of a large furniture supply company … “Just so you know, I can already tell we would partner well together and if we were able to put this together I think we would really rock it.  How do you feel?”

This technique could be used over the phone as well and that is why it made this list!

8)      Skeletons in the Closet Technique:

I have given many presentations over the years where the potential prospect never called me back. I am sure you all have also. I found rubber skeletons at a party supply store around the Halloween holiday. I bought as many as they had and then bought small boxes to put them in at Michael’s art supply store. Inside the box with the skeleton, I enclosed a note that said, “This is ME waiting for YOU to call me back” I have seen a few skeletons in people offices hanging on when I go to do the appointment.

9)      Foot in the Door Technique:

I have always said that if you are willing to go the extra mile to prospect for the business, it subtly shows you will go the extra mile once you have the business.

Go to Walmart, Sears, the Flea market, Target or anywhere you can get dozens of infant shoes for cheap or even adult shoes for bargain prices. The send the shoe in some sort of box, preferably clear. Enclose a note that says, “I just would like to get my foot in the door.

One of my recent clients that works for Aflac just tried this with of his “Elephant” sized prospects and told me of the 5 he sent out he set 3 appointments so far. One is looking good, one he still needs to go on the appointment to see what happens. The third one became a sale and is worth over $2000 commission to him.

10)   I Tried Yours Technique:

If the person you are calling on has a product that you can potentially buy for not a lot of $….. Buy some and try it out. For example if you wanted to sell your product to a winery…. But a bottle of wine and then send back the empty bottle of wine and say, “I tried your product … will you please try mine.

So when you want people to take and return your calls? Lighten up. When you keep your requests for return calls fun, but get your point across, you show others that you might be the right kind of person they want to work with. You do not come across as desperate. You would like to have their business, but you are not going to die if you don’t get it.

So go ahead and schedule your phone time each day and get excited about it!

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