Why Won’t You Take My Call?

It is prime sales season again.  Marketers are beginning to plan for next year and time is of the essence.  So why can’t I get you to take my call?  Why can’t we schedule a time to talk?  I can’t sell you something unless you talk to me!!!  Sound familiar?  We’ve all probably been here at some point in our careers.  Having worked on both sides of the table, I can empathize with most of you.


Now picture this.  You are at home after a long day’s work and trying to get dinner ready for the kids.  The phone rings and you don’t recognize the number, but for some reason you answer it anyway.  “Hello Mr. Klein, are you happy with your current Internet provider?  We have a great trial offer right now, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?……”.  Ugh!!! Why did I answer the phone!!!!!  Even after adding our number to the ‘Do not call’ list, somehow telemarketers still manage to get through.


This same blindsided feeling is often the reaction when you answer the phone at work and it’s a cold call to pitch you a sponsorship.  I’m not saying I do this (wink wink), but a lot of people won’t answer the phone at all if it’s an unrecognizable number.


Brand marketers receive dozens of solicitations each week.  Do you really think they have time to talk to everyone who thinks they have the “perfect” opportunity for them to sponsor?  Keep in mind sponsorships may only be part of their overall responsibilities.  Here is another little secret….. Everyone thinks what they are selling is a “perfect fit”.  


Some things are non-starters and no matter how much talking won’t make a difference.  Time is precious so we need to be selective on how it is spent.  If a marketer agrees to a “quick call” with every salesperson, they could spend endless hours on the phone and this just isn’t realistic.


So to start, forget about cold calling or leaving messages.  It’s a waste of time.  It is much more efficient and appreciated to send a brief email to introduce yourself, summarize the opportunity, and ask if there is any interest.  Three or four sentences max will do.  A three-paragraph email is also a kiss of death.  Remember time is scarce.  A one-sheet attachment is always good with more detail.  When possible, a referral from a mutual contact can be a big help.


Most good salespeople believe it is essential to learn more about a company’s objectives in order to put together a decent proposal, which is very true.  However, you are not there yet.  When a buyer says “send me something to look at”, they are not expecting a detailed proposal.  They want to learn a little more about the property, see if it may be worth exploring, and then decide if they want to spend more time on it with you.  If the opportunity does pique interest or it may be a good fit, then most buyers will agree to a call or a meeting.  The trick is being concise and including enough to grab their attention.  A little data relating to the sponsor category or even an idea or two on how they might be able to activate will help.  Here are a few more tips to help guide you.


  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • Don’t take it personally.
  • Try again, if you don’t hear back.
  • Don’t e-blast the entire company or department.
  • Don’t go on the attack, if you receive a “no”.
  • Remember it’s a numbers game.
  • Turn a cold email into a new contact.


Enjoy the Summer and good luck!