Would you call a prospect on his mobile phone?

Would you call a prospect on his mobile phone?

Let’s say a receptionist gave you a prospect’s mobile phone number. You have been trying for weeks to reach the prospect using his regular business landline, but you haven’t been able to get through. You left several voicemails and sent him emails, but no luck. You’re getting frustrated. Now, finally, you have an “in”. You have the prospect’s mobile phone number. That’s great news! Because in most cases, people are more likely to answer their mobile phone than their business land line.

angry prospect receiving phone callBut wait! Before you dial, is that a wise move on your part?

My answer – No.

Here’s why – put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. If he hasn’t returned your messages by now, how do you think he’s going to respond to you calling him on his mobile phone and catching him off guard? You may catch him at a bad or inconvenient time. Maybe he’s grocery shopping, or sitting in the doctor’s office, or driving in congested traffic. Maybe he’s heading to the emergency room because his daughter is hurt, or heading to school for an important parent/teacher conference.

Sure, you may score some points by reaching him on his mobile phone, but you would have won the battle and not the war.

When you call someone on their business phone line, you expect them to…well be doing business. Sure, you may still catch them at an inconvenient time (maybe he’s playing solitaire or eating a late lunch), but he’s at a place of business, so you would expect him to at least talk to you for a couple of minutes. The prospect may still brush you off, or he will tell you to call him back later, but in most cases, he’s not going to be angry with you calling him at work. He knows that comes with the territory.

But when you call a prospect on his mobile phone, you are opening yourself up to all kinds of trouble.

The only time that I’ve called prospects on their mobile phone is if they have given me permission to do so, or if we have a good relationship and I need to reach him because of an emergency. For example, the prospect has given me his mobile phone number and wants me to contact him ASAP when his company has approved a P.O. for an order. Or, maybe I need to quickly contact him because there’s a problem with his order, and I know from experience, that the prospect would want me to notify him.

In some rare cases, I’ve had receptionists tell me that the “only way” I can reach a prospect is on his mobile phone. Even under those circumstances, I would confirm with her that it’s OK for me to call him. If she gives me the OK, then I will call.

But calling a prospect on his mobile phone when you haven’t even spoken to him yet, is a nonstarter for me. That screams desperation, which is a major turnoff. Take your time. Be persistent. Be patient. You can always focus on other prospects and circle back later.


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