Prospecting in a Cluttered World And (The Lost Art of Telephone Prospecting)

Written by: Tariq Jarrar
About the author: Group Executive Director and Co-Founder of Devmark Group – Dubai. United Arab Emirates



In this part of Prospecting in a Cluttered World, I will cover the anatomy of telephone prospecting.

“Every single time you pick up the phone, you’re getting closer to a yes.” Stephan Schiffman

Subjects Covered

  • The Five Steps of Telephone Prospecting
  • Handling Rejections and Shrug-Offs
  • Verbal Aikido of Prospecting
  • The 4 Moves to Counter Rejections and Shrug-Offs
Facts About Telephone Prospecting
  • 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.
  • 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.
  • 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.
The Truth About Telephone Prospecting
  • The telephone has been and will always continue to be the most effective and efficient prospecting tool.
  • Using the phone to connect to prospects has been and will always be the most efficient prospecting tool, but you have to have the structure and the discipline to do so every day.
  • When prospecting over the phone, you will encounter much rejection, and that is because you will contact more prospects than any other prospecting channel.
  • There is plenty of negative stigma about cold calling, but don’t believe the hip. is dead, and they are dead wrong.

The Five Steps of Telephone Prospecting

  1. Get their attention by saying their name first.
  2. Identify yourself and whom do you represent by stating your name and your company’s name.
  3. Be transparent; by telling them the reason, you are calling them.
  4. Please give them a reason to continue listing to you.
  5. End the conversation with what you want by asking for an appointment or follow-up call.
First Step – Get Their Attention
  • The best way to capture your prospects attention over the phone is to call his name at the start of the opening statement.
  • Nothing grapes the person’s attention, like calling their name.
  • Don’t ask, “How are you doing ?” Don’t ever PAUSE or leave any gap in the conversation. Say their name and keep going.
  • When you pause, you give them time to realize that you are a salesperson.
  • You provide them with time to create resistance.
  •  You allow them to tell you that they are not interested.

Tip: Make sure that you pronounce their name correctly.

Second Step – Identify Yourself
  • Get straight to the point.
  • Please demonstrate that you are professional and that you respect their time.

Tip: Humans don’t want to be tricked nor manipulated so, be transparent.

Third Step – Tell Them What You Want
  • People don’t like to be tricked, manipulated, and have their time wasted.
  • Be truthful, relevant, and to the point.
  • Tell them what this call is about to reduce their anxiety about who you are and why you
    are calling.

Tip: Follow a script but don’t be scripted.

Fourth Step – Give Them a Reason
  • You have interrupted their day and have told them what you want.
  • You need to give them a reason for not hanging up on you.
  • The reason will link what you want to why they should give it to you. (What’s in it for them?)
  • Your “reason” message is the second critical milestone in the sales process.
  • What you say in the next few seconds and how you say it will determine the outcome.

Tip: Humans don’t like it when their intelligence is insulted so, avoid any gimmicky offers or

Fifth Step – Ask For What You Want and End It
  • Having an end game to your prospecting calls is a significant step in the success of your prospecting efforts, so always ask for what you want directly and clearly.
  • If you are qualifying your prospect, then ask for information to determine your next move.
  • If you are seeking an appointment, request a specific day and time.
  • Your goal is to get to a YES, NO, or MAYBE fast.
  • Ask for what you want and stop talking.


5-Steps to Sales Prospecting Call Opening Examples

The wrong way:

Saleswoman: “Hi, may I speak with Susan.”

Prospect: “This is Susan. How can I help you?”

Saleswoman: “Hi, Susan, this is Mary from We love you, Properties. We’re are one of the top brokerage companies in Dubai and we have a brand-new project that was launched recently, and we are offering post-handover payment plans.

Prospect: **Hangs up**

What went wrong?
  • The Saleswoman had no connection with the prospect.
  • There was a lack of empathy that the prospect might be busy or not interested.
  • The Saleswoman did not ask permission if she can take the call further.

Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. How would you feel if someone calls you out of the blue and starts pitching without asking for your permission to speak further?

The correct way:

“I probably have caught you in the middle of something, but the reason for calling you today is…”

Prospects are busy trying to get their work done. So, when you call them, you’re catching them off guard. An opening a statement that acknowledges that you’re interrupting their busy day shows that you are a professional and sets you above the rest.


  • Step1: “Hi, Susan,”
  • Step2: it’s Mary from We love you, Properties. I hope my call did not disturb you, Saleswoman, *pause*

Prospect: “actually, I am in the middle of something.”

Saleswoman: “I do understand that, so I try not to take much of your time precious time.. Prospect: “Well, yeah.”

Saleswoman: “I do appreciate that, so will not take much of your time.

  • Step3: The reason for my call is that we have recently launched a fantastic project in Dubai Marina. Would that be something you will be interested in?

Prospect: “I might”

Saleswoman: “Fantastic!

  • Step4: We truly believe that an opportunity like this doesn’t come very often. We have selected 20 special one-bedroom units all at the same price, and I want to make sure that you get an opportunity to own one of these special one-bedrooms with the best views.”


  • Step5: “Please provide me with your email to send you information and the calendar invite.” “Can I confirm the time for you to visit our office?”

Handling Rejections And Shrug-Offs

  • I am not interested.
  • I am busy.
  • I am looking at another project.
  • Call me later.
  • Just send the info by email.
  • I will call you back if I am interested.

Verbal Aikido of Prospecting

  • Rejections and shrug-offs happen so fast that you will mentally be thrown down unless you’re quick on your feet.
  • To be ready, you need to have a system to pull yourself together and counter their attempt to block you.

The 4 Moves to Counter Rejections and Shrug-Offs

1st Move: Gain a foothold

  • A foothold is your comeback to the prospect’s rejection or shrug-off.
  • Using a foothold gives you a moment to recover from the rejection or shrug-off and gain control.

2nd Move: Acknowledge the rejection or the shrug-off

  • It is a statement or question that acknowledges what the prospect has said to reject
    you or brush you off.

3rd Move: Ask for what you want

  • When you have gained a foothold and have acknowledged the objection or shrug-off you quickly ask for what you want, without pause.

4th Move: use an Alternate of Choice

  • The Alternate of Choice is a question that has two answers — each answer is an agreement.
  • Use an Alternate of the Choice question to get a date or time commitment from the prospect.


Applying the 4 Moves to Counter Rejections and Shrug-Offs

We’re All Working from Home Shrug-Off

1st Move: “Most of the people I talk to are working from home, so I figured you might be too.”

2nd Move: “I’ve been working from home myself for the last month weeks, and I find myself being more productive.”

3rd Move: “I know working from home might be challenging with the family and all. So how is that going for you?”

4th Move: “So, can we get together virtually Tuesday at 3 or 4 pm?”

Our Budget Is Unclear Right Now Shrug-Off

1st Move: “I totally understand that, and thank you for sharing that with me.”

2nd Move: “I’m calling because of that very reason. Many families that I speak to are using this uncertain time right now to prepare for when the situation is more stable.”

3rd Move: “Even though there may not be an opportunity for me right now, I’d still like to meet with you to learn more about your plans and see if I can add any value.”

4th Move: “Does Wednesday at 10 am work for a virtual meeting?”

We Need to Wait and See What Is Going to Happen Shrug-Off

1st Move: “That is something that I can relate to, and I’m looking forward to some clarity myself.”

2nd Move: “That said, most of my customers are coping with the uncertainty with some strategic planning.”

3rd Move: “I realize that you might be hesitant to make any commitment, but it’s always good to have a plan?” I’d still love to meet with you and see if it makes sense to collaborate on a way forward.”

4th Move: “Does Wednesday at 10 am work for a virtual meeting?”

The Budget Is Unclear Right Now Shrug-Off

1st Move: “Thank you for sharing that with me.”

2nd Move: “I’m calling because of that very reason. Many families are using this uncertain time right now to prepare

for when the smoke clears – and it will clear.”

3rd Move: “Even though there may not be an opportunity for me right now, I’d still like to
meet with you to learn more about your plans and see if it makes sense to collaborate on a
the way forward.”

4th Move: “Does Wednesday at 10 am work for a virtual meeting?”

Foothold Statements

When they say they’re happy dealing with their –, you say, “I am glad to hear that it is difficult to find a good and trusted broker–”

When they say they are busy, you say, “I figured you would be; that is why I thought I would call you to schedule –”

When they say send me the information, say, “Tell me specifically what you are looking for or which type of — would you be interested in–”

When they say I don’t think this is the right time to purchase a–, you say, “That makes sense. Many people did not feel that this is the right time to buy a–; however, if you give me the opportunity, I can demonstrate that this is defiantly the right time – “

In conclusion

The above examples can apply to any scenario using the above four moves correctly but always remember that mindset and preparation are crucial in the multiverse of sales. Good luck and Blissful Selling.

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