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Life Health > Running Your Business > Marketing and Lead Generation

How to make a prospect feel icky

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Recently I attended a webinar hosted by a software company. The next day, I received a call from a company sales rep, who said he was “following up.” I give the company credit for making these calls, because one of their goals is to generate new leads. However, the caller made a fatal mistake: In a 45-second call, he used my name six times. Six times! 

Obviously he had been taught to use a prospect’s name during a sales conversation, but his approach backfired. After he said my name for the third time, I began to focus on how many more times he would say it instead of what he was actually saying. Plus, I couldn’t wait to get him off the call. In 45 seconds, he managed to alienate me and come across as just plain sleazy. In short, he made me feel icky.

When you’re making calls to a new prospect, it’s important to use his name. However, reciting it repeatedly during your conversation will not create rapport. Instead, it may well cause him to retreat from you mentally, making it more difficult for you to move the conversation forward. This is not what you want to do.

Use your prospect’s name when it’s comfortable and natural, but don’t force it into a sales conversation thinking it will engage him. I assure you it will have the opposite effect.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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