This is what transpired during one of my calls -
Me: Hello, Good Morning!
Receptionist: Good morning Sir
Me: I am Sivaraman calling from company - Y
Me: Can I please talk to Mr. X?
Receptionist:I would need his badge number
Me: I am sorry. What is that?
Receptionist: All our employees have a badge number Sir. You have to give me that
Me: Sorry, I don't know Mr.X's badge number. Can you look him up in the extension directory please?
Receptionist: Let me see...(a min later) Sorry Sir, I cannot find him
Me: Can you please find Mr. W then?
Receptionist: Mr. W? This is regarding?
Me: This is regarding a business meeting
Receptionist: What business Sir?
Me: Can I please talk to him directly about it? (ending with a smile)
Receptionist: Hmm...I am putting him through. Please hold
Me: Thank you!
W: Hello, W speaking, who is this?
Me: Good morning Sir! I am Sivaraman calling from Y. I got your reference from ____. Is it a good time to talk to you? Can I have 5 minutes of your time?
W: (a little hesitating) Yes...What is this regarding?
Me: Sir, this is regarding....blah blah..
This is one experience where I got to handle 3 objections and got rewarded ultimately. When making calls, it is important to handle certain objections, especially if we are calling the board number and talking to a receptionist.
Objection: Mr. X does not work here/Mr. X is in a meeting/business trip/on vacation
Counter: Can I talk to Mr. W then?
Objection: He is not available today/He is not at his desk
Counter: Is he on vacation?/Is he in a meeting?/When can I call again?/Can I have his extension number?/Can I have his email id please?
- The idea is to get as much information as possible in a single call. It can get really annoying to a receptionist if we assume a rigid/matter-of-fact tone. One has to respect the time of a receptionist.
- When we get to the person we want to talk to, we ideally get a maximum of 5 minutes, so, we should get to the objective of the call as quickly as possible.
- Homework before calling is paramount.
Here are some articles of interest if you would want to read further -
Statistics and tips
Mail or call
Pros and cons
Benefits of cold calling
You are welcome to share your experiences...
PS: This is the first work related post I am making in my blog. More to come... For this post, thanks to the sales professional and friend who taught me how to handle objections...