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May I have a minute of your time?

When phone prospecting and speaking with the desired person, is it beneficial to ask "May I have a minute of your time?" After introducing yourself and company and before going into your message?

I have recently been doing alot of phone prospecting, with not much luck and I am trying to improve my solicitation message.

Thanks, I look forward to you replies! - by tebanks
My recommendation is not to say, "May I have a moment of your time?" Instead, simply say what you have to say and make it succinct and to the point focusing on the value that your provide for customers.

Remember that telephone prospecting is a communication skill. And like any communication skill, it can be learned and improved upon. Educate yourself. Read books, attend teleseminars or live seminars, talk to colleagues, hire a coach... Do what ever it takes to gain the skills that you need. - by Wendy Weiss
I would be direct and compassionate at the same time. Introduce yourself, let them know the reason you're calling. That reason needs to be a compelling business reason.

For example, "Hi, I'm calling today to let you know about the many benefits of working with our company." is not a compelling business reason.

A compelling business reason would be more like, "Hi, I'm your next door neighbor and I'm calling to let you know that your house is on fire." Now would you use the above line, of course not. But, if you noticed something in the newspaper, trade publication, web or other newsworthy article that would be of extreme importance to the person, then I would tie that into the conversation.

For example, "I'm George Smith from the Error Recovery company. I noticed that your company XYZ has just discovered a huge error in your manufacturing process. Our service helps companies turn these types of errors into profitable outcomes. I would like to meet with you to discuss in more detail how we can help your company accomplish the same thing."

This approach requires you to do more homework upfront. If you're just dialing for dollars, your ratio of appointments per dial is going to be very low. If you use the approach above, you'll increase that ration significantly. As Wendy says this is communication that takes practice. - by gstebbins
First of all - remember - they don't have a clue who you are, what you do and there is ZERO relationship.

And I would bet - most people are either screening your call or not returning your voice-mail. Why? They are too busy, not interested or they are thinking about their next holiday!

So how do you cut through the proverbial cold-calling wasteland?

Don't do it.

Instead - hit the internet and do some research on WHO you might know that ALSO knows the person you want to connect with.

Ask for an introduction. Join the same associations as your target customers. Ask your current clients if anyone knows the individuals you want to connect to. Ask your new prospect if they would be interested in doing a mutual news release to the media regarding a topic where both of you could benefit. (This Sales Diva is a former media gal and I know how easy it is to get into the media!)

Worst case scenario? Say " Hi Bill - this is So and So from Blah and Blah, you don't know me, however I was referred to you/saw you in the paper/ etc. and I have an idea that I think would ie/save you money/double your profits/get you on TV (be creative!)

Get creative and make people curious!

Good Luck!

Kim Duke - by Kim Duke
When trying to secure an appointment with a prospect most of the focus should be on securing attention and interest. Nothing about your question, "May I have a minute of your time?", expresses that premise. - by justintime
I've coached sales professionals on prospecting skills for over 10 years and I've