How to Reach the Marketer Who’s Screening Your New Business Calls

Caller ID doesn't have to be your enemy
by Todd Knutson

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How often do your prospects answer the phone?

New business people say that if feels like their calls are being screened. I agree. If your prospects don't recognize your number, they're unlikely to answer.

Here's a method to overcome this issue that I heard about today.

The LM, CB, CB Method. LM mean 'left message' and CB means 'called back'. Here's how it works:

For marketers who have requested information about your ad agency:

  • Leave the marketer a message saying that you're calling to follow up on their inquiry.
  • Call back a minute later. In the event they've screened your call, you'll go directly to their voicemail and they're now listening to your message, so don't leave another one - just hang up.
  • Wait 5 minutes and call back. At this point, they've heard your message and are much more likely to take your call.
  • Note: during the 5 minutes after your second call, stay off your phone: this is when they're most likely to return your call.

For marketers you're cold calling:

  • Leave the marketer a message saying why you're calling - make it incredibly relevant to them (i.e. not at all about you).
  • Call back a minute later. In the event they've screened your call, they're likely to be listening to your message and you'll go directly to their voicemail. Don't leave another message.
  • Call back 3 minutes later. At this point, if you left a compelling message and they're at their desk, they're much more likely to take your call. If they don't answer, don't leave another message.

As you can see, the key to success for either approach is the quality of your initial voicemail and your persistent follow up. Naturally, your prospects are likely to be away from their phones a certain percentage of the time. But when they're there and in "phone-screening mode", this approach increases the chance that you'll get through.

I'd love to hear how it works for you.


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