My most hated phrase: “Hi Mark, this is Sam from XYZ Company. I just wanted to check in…yada, yada, yada”. Or, the equally dumb variation “I just wanted to touch base…”
The translation should be “I really have no good reason to call you, I’m hoping you’re going to tell me you want to buy something.” The person on the receiving end of this call is thinking “STOP!”
This type of call shows you’re lazy, lacking creativity or both. I understand when you haven’t received a response from your first introductory email, you want to follow up. But, do something that separates you from the herd of ineffective salespeople. Add some value for the receiver.
Here are some suggestions that will add value and move you up the food chain.
- Send some content (like one of my newsletters). You don’t have to ask for an order every time you call a prospect. Give before you ask. Provide some value. Does your prospect have a hobby, belong to a group or an alum of your college (did you check LinkedIn?). Send a link to a news bit or article about any of those.
- Congratulate them. Was there a news article about them or their company that you can comment on? “Congratulations _____ I saw you in the news!”
- Invite them. Is there an upcoming presentation, business breakfast or sporting event you know they would like to attend or even just know about.
- Provide a solution. Are you aware of some issue they are having in their business and you have a possible solution OR you can refer them to someone who can solve the problem?
Sending these messages separates you from others making “check in” calls. It shows you have genuine interest. It makes you sound smart. AND you are more likely to get a positive response from them. Try it, you have nothing to lose and you will surely sound better than “Hi Pete, I’m just calling to check in”.