Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

A Warmer Reception

When cold-calling, get prospects' permission before launching into your pitch.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the biggest fears about cold-calling is getting lumped inwith those pesky salespeople who call at dinner time with thelatest long-distance calling plan. What kind of reception do yougive those people? How well do you listen? How much considerationdo you give to what they are saying?

These callers are intruders into your life--they don't haveyour permission. To avoid being put in that category, find a goodtime to talk to the prospect. It's a courtesy that affords youthe respect and attention you deserve.

To get permission, ask if the prospect has a minute to speakwith you--not to buy anything--just to make an appointment for ashort meeting in person. Find a phrase you like, then use it on allyour calls. "Is this a good time to talk?" or "May Ihave about a minute?" are good starters. My personal favoriteis, "I know you're busy, so I'll only take aminute."

Excerpted from Creative Selling: Boost your B2B sales

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks