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Getting Prospects To Open Up

“I sell a bunch of different IT solutions. When cold calling, I’m wondering how to pique the prospects interest and identify their needs. I sell so many different solutions, and I don’t want to lead in with one product and have their pain point be another, and end up missing the sale. So I need to get them to open up and be willing to talk. Any suggestions?”

Getting Prospects To Open Up

Your question of how to “pique the prospect’s interest” and get them to open up comes down to the lead source.

Where and how the lead was generated will set the stage for your sales call (even in cold calling – every lead has a lead source).
So my question to you is, what is the lead source you are getting these contacts from?

Editors Note: Found out that the salesperson is using a contact prospecting tool that creates a list of contacts based on filters by vertical / title / SIC code etc.


If you are using a contact-prospecting tool (which is a program that gives you the names, numbers, and sometimes an email address of someone matching the criteria you specified), you need to develop your niche and get focused.

Just because you can sell “a little something” to “everyone” doesn’t mean you should try and do so. It’s better to find verticals that your company has success/experience in (and it’s OK BTW to develop more than one vertical for you to work in).

So, for example: Let’s say you offer a full suite of IT services, and one of the verticals your company has a track record of helping is hotel resort chains, and one of the key (Titles) people involved in the decision making process is the IT Director.

After creating your list of IT Directors in the Hotel Resort Industry, to get them to open up and have a discussion (for you to uncover if an opportunity exists), you could use an opener like:

“Hi (PROSPECTS NAME) this is (YOUR NAME) with (YOUR COMPANY NAME). Reason for my call is we recently helped (HOTEL 1, 2 AND 3) complete their IT projects ON-TIME and UNDER BUDGET. If I’ve caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few quick questions to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you as well, would that be OK?”


This type of opener piques interest by Credibility (you mention other hotels that are HAPPILY using you now)

It’s SPECIFIC & CONCISE (as opposed to listing all the different services/products you offer)

It has a PERSONAL BENEFIT to THEM: “complete IT projects ON-TIME and UNDER BUDGET.”

Notice how the opener doesn’t focus on any “one” product or service but hits the overall WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM personal benefit?

Doing it this way will allow you to land that appointment to ask questions and identify if a potential opportunity may exist.

Or you can continue to use what all of the other sales reps are using and say something like:

“We offer everything from Telephone systems / Network Security / WiFi Access points / Video Conferencing / IP Surveillance cameras / Data Switches & Routing and wanted to learn a little bit about what you do and see what needs you may have” and get labeled as “just another pesky salesperson trying to sell stuff.”