It’s fascinating how small the difference is between a top salesman and an average salesman. Being a step above your competitors in the smallest of areas can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars of difference. Of these little steps, none may be more important than getting prospects to return calls. Here are six simple questions you can ask yourself to increase the chances of getting a returned call.

  1. Who referred you? Face it: the business world is a lot about who you know. If you were told to call an individual through some kind of mutual connection, don’t leave that out. In fact, you should probably mention that mutual connection more than once in your initial phone call.
  2. Why are you calling? Keep in mind that your prospects are probably bombarded with phone calls each day. The last thing they want is another lengthy call. Have a specific purpose to the call, and stick to that purpose.
  3. What’s in it for them? Don’t just make a pitch and move on. If this prospect is going to be involved with you, they want to benefit from it. Tell them in this initial call the benefits they will reap by working with you.
  4. When can they call you back? Daunting games of phone tag might contribute to losing the prospect. In your call, tell the prospect the best times to reach you. Be sure you are available during those times. If you tell the prospect it’s a good time, and you’re not available, they may become annoyed.
  5. Is there an alternate method to reach you? Give the prospect the opportunity to reach you in another way; perhaps text messaging or e-mail. This shows the prospect your commitment to connecting with them.
  6. Can you keep the returned call brief? When the prospect calls you back, odds are they will want to keep the call brief. Alleviate any hesitation to call you back by insisting that you will keep the return call brief, and you are not interested in wasting their time.

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Josh Mellberg is founder and president of JD Mellberg, a financial planning firm specializing in wealth preservation portfolios and estate planning, and Ultimate Advisor Training, a financial sales training company. For more information, go to http://www.jdmellberg.com or visit his blog at http://www.alphaadvisoracademy.com/blog.