Sales Training Ideas – Some Notes On Name Pronunciation When Cold Calling

When you are out selling and you come across a name you don’t know how to pronounce, you will handle it in one of two ways based upon the logistics of your territory and how many people you are trying to reach and in what time frame. If you have a set number of accounts in your territory and have to make every call count, you will check the pronunciation before you cold call the person. If, on the other hand, you have an unlimited market and are just trying to bang out as many numbers as possible and reach as many people as possible, you will simply play the odds. Let’s take a look at both scenarios.

Checking name pronunciation before a cold call

In case number one you have a set territory, say 100 banks in Massachusetts. In this case you will check the names of the people you are cold calling before you go out on calls. If there are any names you do not know how to pronounce, the best approach is to call the company’s main number and say, “Hello. I have a message here and I’m having trouble reading the handwriting. The name on the message looks like (you then begin to spell the name you’re having trouble with) Mr. P-E-R-F something or other.”

Invariably, the receptionist will say the person’s full name. Repeat it back, and then say, “And how do you spell that?” (Even though you have it right in front of you.) Once they spell it, you can ask them to pronounce it again if you still don’t have it completely down. Next, make your own phonetic spelling of the name so you know how to pronounce it when you cold call.

Playing the odds with names when cold calling

In case number two you basically have an unlimited territory, say tens of thousands of people you can cold call. Perhaps you are an investment advisor who is cleared to do business in 17 states and you are cold calling for leads in the evening where your objective is to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible. In this case, you’ll simply play the odds when making the cold call.

If you are cold calling a business and are unsure of the pronunciation of either the first or last name, simply ask for the person by the name you can pronounce, either the first or last name.

If cold calling a residence, again ask for the first name. If you can’t pronounce it for some reason, ask for Mr. / Ms. Last Name.

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