Mailbag: Would Someone PLEASE Return My Call?

From Phillip C: Butch, I sell advertising and have a quota of new calls I have to make each month. I can’t get my boss to understand that some people won’t call me back. I leave voice mail after voice mail after voice mail and never get a returned call. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


I am going out on a limb and saying your boss probably knows there are people that won’t call you back. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gotten to be the boss. I assume they’ve been in the same position you’re in now.

With that having been said, you bring up a great point and one we’ve talked about here  and here before.

Though you didn’t specify in your email, I was able to track back through your email address and find you represent a television station. That is great because having worked with salespeople in TV before I know a lot of companies feel that the medium is out of their price range when in fact it can be very affordable. But, you have to be able to get in front of them to have that discussion. Hence the reason for the email in the first place, right?

My concern here is that your focus is strictly on getting those calls in. Ultimately, what you want are sales, right? So how many calls do you have to make to reach your sales goal? I don’t mind the fact your manager has a call quota—I’m sure that was done to get you in front of new prospects. But, don’t forget your ultimate goal is to make a sale—not make a call.

First, follow the link above and use that strategy for voice mails. It works—I’m living proof of it. Secondly, let’s “back” into your quota numbers. By that I mean, let’s work backwards: if you have to make X amount of new calls per month, how many different people do you have to call to get on their calendars?

For example, if you call 10 people and set 1 meeting then we know you are going to have to call 100 people to get 10 meetings and so forth.

You can make 500 calls in a month, but if you don’t sell anything basically you probably just burned through some good prospects.

Work out your own numbers. But, don’t stop with CALLS. Work toward sales! You may find the call quota your boss gave you is too low for you to achieve the goals you want to achieve.

Bottom line: don’t lose sight of what you are paid to do and what benefits your customers. Not one single prospect is going to see their business increase by having Phillip call on them, are they? But, if they put together an advertising schedule that is affordable and targets the right clients at the right time with a creative, memorable message then everybody wins!

Good luck. Let me know how it goes.


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