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How to GAIN Permission and Avoid Resistance When Cold Calling

A recent LinkedIN Group Member asked if you should open your cold call with “Have I Caught You at a Good Time?” sales question. Below is my response.

For a first time call, it’s a simple formula really… Start by understanding what your objective of the call is… to qualify. Qualify the prospects role in the decision making process, qualify the need / potential size of the opportunity and eventually qualify if they can afford your solution should they decide they want to buy your solution… All too often sales people go in with the intent of setting the appointment or closing the sale or building rapport or doing a presentation. This is a costly mistake.

If you are an appointment setter, for example, start with the mindset of “before I set one of my guys/gals up for a face to face meeting, I want to make sure this prospect is qualified so both parties aren’t wasting their time.” After all you certainly don’t want a reputation that you set up bogus appointments etc…

So… With that said, understand that in order to qualify a prospect, we need to ask probing questions. Something they (the prospect) isn’t going to be too keen on if we approach it using the old way of selling by phone. After all, who likes playing 20 questions with sales people they don’t know?

In order to be able to ask questions you’ll need to:

  • Pique interest in your opening value statement
  • Lower their resistance and actually get them to WANT you to ask them questions.

You simply do this by knowing why your targeted audience would want to buy from you. What is their pain / problem / desire that you can solve for them? Once you have that, lead with it in your opening value statement and then gain permission to continue the call.


Hi Ken, Michael Pedone with SalesBuzz.com. The reason for my call is I might be able to help eliminate the top three objections you get when making outbound calls 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 interest to you, would that be OK?

99% of the time with a spot on-opening value statement you will get the “Sure” or “OK, what do ya got?” response. You still show respect for their time and you position yourself to be able to ask questions without having resistance. Plus you position yourself to ask questions instead of being compelled to do a mini-sales pitch or data dump, which often leads to… “ummm No thanks”, “Not Interested” or “We’re all set, thanks” click responses.

If you need help creating your opening value statement, my number is below.

Michael Pedone
(888) 264-0562 Ext. 1