Are You Still Asking: “Is this a good time”?

Author: Mr. Inside Sales
Posted: October 27th, 2020

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The debate of whether to open your calls asking, “Did I catch you at a good time?” or “Is this time still good for you?” (for presentation call backs), is alive and well—unfortunately.

I still receive emails asking me whether to ask this or not. Some swear by it, while others never use it.

So, should you, or shouldn’t you?

I’ve been making calls—both prospecting calls and closing calls—for a long time. In fact, I still make them today. And in my experience (note I said experience, not theory), the answer is clear. What you should do is this:

Never ask if it’s a good time to have a conversation with a prospect or client. Instead, follow this approach:

Always greet your prospect: “Hi {first name}, hope your day is going well….” (or other opening you like).

And then listen carefully not only to how they respond, but, more importantly, to how they respond. Then ask yourself:

“Is this person happy to hear from me?”

“Does this person sound rushed?”

“Do they sound upset that I’ve interrupted them?”

“Are they unhappy they picked up the phone now have to talk to me?”

Or, rather:

“Do they sound relaxed?”

“Are they willing to engage—did they ask me how I’m doing?”

“Is there a smile in their voice?” (Or a frown?)

In other words, rather than ask if you caught them at a good time, listen to their voice and to how they answer the phone to see what their mood is. If you actually listen, you can always tell.

Then, regardless of what they say, acknowledge what you know to be true: they are busy! So let them know you respect their time and open your prospecting calls this way:

“I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll be brief….”

And then engage quickly and ask them a question as soon as possible so you can give them an opportunity to tell you whether they have the time to speak to you or not.

For presentations where you’ve made an appointment, don’t ask if this is still a good time for them! You’ve made an appointment in advance, and if you’ve truly qualified them, they are expecting your call and should be ready for it.

For these calls, you open this way:

“Hi {first name}, how’s your (Tuesday, etc.) going?”

[Listen here and respond accordingly.]

“Good to hear. Well, {first name}, I’m excited to speak with you today, and I know you’re going to love…”

And then get engage and begin your discovery (second discovery!).

And, as always, don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. Your own experience will verify what I’m telling you.

Happy selling!

Further resources are available in the Mr. Inside Sales blog by clicking here.

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