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Have I Caught You at a Good Time – Cold Calling Debate

Should inside sales reps ask “Have I caught you at a good time?” or “Is now a good time?” when the contact first picks up the phone?

This was a recent question on a LinkedIn sales group. I was quite surprised at some of the answers/responses given by other sales reps/experts.

Here’s the correct answer if you want to be successful when cold calling:

The answer is “No, you shouldn’t ask if this is a good time (or any version of that) when the contact first picks up the phone.”

Why you shouldn’t ask this question when the prospect first picks up the phone…

Because you haven’t given the prospect a “reason” to give you their time of day yet!

What should be done for optimal results is to have an opening value statement that first piques the prospect’s interest and makes them want to know more, followed by…”And if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you just a few quick questions to see if what I have in mind may be of some help to you, would that be OK?”


“Hi (Prospects Name) this is Michael Pedone with SalesBuzz.com. Reason for my call, we recently helped (Competitor X’s) inside sales team overcome call reluctance and increased their talk time by more than an hour per day and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few questions to see if what we do would be of some help to you and your team as well, would that be OK?”

If the sales rep did the proper pre-call planning research and is calling on the right contact, and has the proper opening value statement, the above “closing” is all they will need to get their foot in the door and advance the sales call to the next level.

– 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.


Register Now for Our Next 8-Week Phone Skills Improvement Program!

  • Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills

Where: Online @ your desk, conference room, or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone