3 Deadly Sins of a Sales Prospecting Call

I think we have all had the misfortune of speaking with a salesperson that hasn’t taken any time to prepare for the call; trying to qualify you OUT as soon as possible, is completely focused on what their script says and doesn’t actually listen to a word you say in response.

Having worked in the sales industry for a number of years and having made thousands of calls myself, here are what I consider as three of the deadliest sins that you should definitely avoid.


Silence is GOLDEN… Don’t rush to fill the void. Ask a question and then, wait for it… listen! Let them think about their answer. Even a throwaway ‘hmm’ or ‘uh-huh’ can be seen as an interruption and causes the prospect to completely lose their train of thought. Wait for them to finish speaking and then respond in a way that lets them know you have listened.


Ever feel like you’re just a number on an automated call list? Perhaps they mispronounced your name, or butchered your carefully thought out company name. The salesperson might even have been speaking so fast that you didn't really have a chance to hear what they were trying to say. Did you feel engaged? Chances are the answer is no.

Being Overly Familiar

Building rapport quickly is very important, but don’t cross the line between friendly and familiar here!  I’ve lost count of the amount of times someone has called me ‘buddy’ or ‘mate’ when I’ve picked up the phone to a complete stranger.

One of three things generally happens next:

  1. I hang up on them outright;
  2. I advise them that I am definitely not their ‘buddy’ (and then hang up);
  3. I feel miffed, and end the call as quickly as possible. They definitely won’t get a sale from me.

Avoid these Deadly Sins at all costs! Remember, your call should be based around what your PROSPECT wants or needs and what their challenges are, not what you want to tell them. This is also known as being ‘buyer centric’.

Discover how to make your sales and marketing more buyer centric by accessing our free eBook, the Guide to Running an Inbound Marketing Campaign.

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