Last week, I was working at my office and received the following voicemail message: “Hi, it’s Dan. I was just looking at your website and I’m interested in learning about your training.” As you might imagine, I returned this call pretty quickly.

“Hi, Dan speaking.”

“Dan, it’s Kelley Robertson returning your call.”

“Hey, thanks for getting back to me. I was on your website and saw that you do training. I work for [a company that provides online printing services] and was wondering if you’ve heard of us.”

“Sure have. A couple of people from your company reached out to me a few months ago. So, would I be correct in assuming that you’re not actually interested in training but want to sell me your services?”

“Yeah! Are you interested in booking an online demo?”

During my previous encounter with Dan’s company, one salesperson missed a scheduled online demo, while the other called me “Rick” in her voicemail and email. This, combined with the fact that Dan had left a misleading voicemail simply to get a return call, resulted in the conversation going downhill fast.

I despise salespeople who use manipulative tactics to get appointments or return calls. In my opinion, individuals such as this one give professional salespeople a bad reputation.

Misleading people to get them to return calls is not an effective long-term strategy—and, as my experience showed, not even an effective short-term strategy. You might get a return call, but it’s going to be really tough to earn your prospect’s trust and close the deal.

Do yourself a favor: Be honest, open and direct in your prospect communications. Otherwise you’re just wasting their time—and yours.

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