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Cold Calling Defensive Prospects


“My prospects are investors in the stock market. I am cold calling people at home. They are already defensive knowing they are being called at their house. How can I address this defense mechanism immediately?”

What strikes me first is your pre-conditioned idea that your prospects are going to be “defensive” right out of the gate. Then you assume that the reason they are going to be defensive is that you are calling them at home. This belief or expectation that they are going to be defensive has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not Good! And it is probably causing you added, unnecessary pre-call jitters!!

Now I understand you may have a long history of cold calling prospects that you can use to build your case that they are defensive however I strongly encourage you to look deeper into the problem of what is CAUSING them to be defensive.


Now I’m not suggesting that the way to solve this problem is to use the typical sales training advice of “just think positive” mumbo jumbo.

I’m simply pointing out that if you really want to solve the problem (which is getting more prospects willing to have a meaningful conversation with you) and not have a brick wall to deal with right out of the gate, one needs to realize that your prospects aren’t defensive because you are calling them at home. They are defensive because of what you are saying to them after “Hello, my name is…”.

If you simply believe that they are “defensive” because they are at home you are going to try and come up with a solution that will ultimately fail because you are not working on solving what is truly causing the problem at hand. It’s the equivalent of going to a chiropractor when you need a heart surgeon.

So step one: Identify the true reason why your sales calls aren’t producing the level of success you want. It isn’t the leads. It isn’t because you are calling them at home. It’s because what you are saying in your opener.

Step two: Fix your opener. You can’t expect to keep saying the same thing over an over again and expect a different result. And as true as that statement is, you also can’t say something new and different for every sales call.

Step three: Once you fix your opener to where you are piquing interest (rather than resistance) in the first few seconds of the call, start learning how to use LinkedIn, Drip Email Marketing and Webinars to help build your self-brand as a trusted advisor. When you combine knowing exactly what to say to open your sales call while using self-branding social media tools, you’ll notice prospects will be a lot less defensive and much more willing to take your calls and have meaningful conversations.

EDITORS NOTE: I asked the salesperson to email me their opening value statement so I could see what was being said that was causing the resistance. I was told she didn’t have a set script and “kinda just made it up” as she went.

So after learning a little bit about who her target audience is, I offered the two following options to try.

Option 1:

“Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME). Reason for my call is we help investors who have $250,000 or more in the market but saw less than an 8% return last year and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few quick questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you, would that be OK?”

Option 2:

“Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME). Reason for my call is we help investors who have $75,000 or more in the market but saw less than an 8% return last year. If that’s you, there’s a possibility we may be able to help you GET A BETTER RETURN THIS YEAR without using traditional high-risk strategies but I would need to ask you a few quick questions first to be sure, would that be OK?”

Now once you have a solid opening value statement, the next step is to ROLE-PLAY AND OR RECORD yourself using it.

What you say is important. HOW you say it is equally important. Take the initiative and role-play as well as record yourself with your new opener and make the necessary adjustments until you have it down with the right tone, speed, and voice inflection and you’ll be all set!

Michael Pedone –

Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Get pricing here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!