Inside Sales Buzz Blog

Inside Sales, Scripts & Cold Call Techniques from Michael Pedone

How Many Times Should You Try and Contact a Prospect?

by MichaelPedone 21. December 2010 15:59

I’m often asked:

“How long should a sales person continue to contact a prospect who doesn’t return their calls / emails or voice mail messages?”

The first thing that needs to be established is: What kind of lead are we talking about here?

Is it a new lead or is this a prospect that you’ve been in communication with that has suddenly gone cold? You will have different strategies depending on which sales situation you are dealing with.

In either case, my philosophy is this:

I have no desire to “chase” a prospect that doesn’t want to be caught. The last thing I want is to be constantly calling a pipeline full of prospects that will never buy from me.

We Reap What We Sow

And all too often, sales people waste their most valuable resource (phone time) chasing prospects that aren’t going to produce revenue for them.

As the saying goes, “If you want corn, plant corn”…

Meaning, if you want to produce sales, you can’t do it while harvesting the wrong prospects. You are much better off cutting your losses and investing that time prospecting for higher probable opportunities, rather than continuously calling the same old contacts day in and day out and getting very little in return.


If you need a “magic” number of how many calls, come up with your own. What "feels right” to YOU?

As long as you are committing to replacing those closed / lost leads with new fresh ones that meet certain criteria, it won’t matter if your “cut bait” number is one, three, five or twenty.

But never cutting your losses will certainly sink your own ship.


Michael Pedone
(888) 264-0562 Ext. 1

Categories: Cold Calling


12/16/2010 5:57:20 PM #
Pingback from

Twitter Trackbacks for
        How Many Times Should You Try and Contact a Prospect?
12/16/2010 6:38:03 PM #
by Marc Zazeela United States
Great perspective, Michael.  All too often (I plead guilty) sales people hoard prospects waiting for the "whale" to finally smarten up and return a phone call.  I do not even want to consider the number of hours I have wasted chasing the prospect that will never be caught.

I have set a personal limit of 8 combined attempts before I will move on.  If they are a particularly desirable prospect, I usually won't abandon them completely and I may come back for a few tries in 6 - 8 months.
12/17/2010 12:16:57 AM #
If I haven't gotten a response by the third message I move along. There is a thin line between being persistent and being a pest and I don't want to be considered a pest.
2/5/2011 4:27:14 PM #
by Jon Rhiddlehoover United States
In the words of Winston Churchill..."Never give up!"  If this customer can produce revenue for your company and you cannot get a hold of the decision maker then maybe you need to take a different approach.  If you are working in a market in which your customers are present then if a call/email does not work, go by and see them.  This will work and many times it takes a while to gain their business. You might need to build a relationship with that customer and in time you will gain his business.
4/19/2011 12:08:39 AM #
Pingback from

traffic travis 4 bonus

Upcoming Workshops

8-Week Outbound Phone Skills Improvement - Online Program

Get Details Here

Free Sales Webinars

Get quick and easy on-demand solutions to increase sales now! Get Instant Access Here.

Follow Michael Pedone

Free Consultation

Get a Free Consultation & Proposal to see if our live, online interactive sales program is right for you! Request info here.

Contact SalesBuzz


About the Author

Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of Live Online Sales Training Company
Copyright © 2014 SalesBuzz. All rights reserved.