As a business, let alone personally, we receive a literal ton of calls each day. We hope those are customers who want something we have to offer and will pay us for it. All too often though it is a company trying to sell you some service or product. This is as old as the time since phones started appearing in businesses and frankly, it’s how a company like mine and yours makes money to survive.

Unfortunately, the rise of voice-over-IP phone systems means that someone from literally any country in the world or in your backyard can now offer their service as a call center. This is the dark side of what we do not because they are international folks but because it makes sales calls so ubiquitous that you don’t want ANY of them because you are overloaded. This begs the question though of which types of sales calls will you respond to?

Since being in the business growth “business” I have tried to become a better reviewer of businesses and services or products. These are good reviews and bad reviews alike because I know how important they are. I now find myself trying to answer my own question above so I put it out there for comment because, I want to know.

Yes, the reason is selfish because I want to know which calls you might respond to or which approaches cut through the noise to give someone like my company a chance. However, this is also for the business community as a whole and our collective well-being including my own responses. How does someone with something legitimate to offer get through to you? After some thought, here are my answers to this question.

I am a small business and, at present, have solved most of my needs. Any new opportunities I have I will research so no really means no. However, in my case I like to find ways to pivot to the pipeline. I may not need what you offer but if you’re offer is convincing enough I may save it for one of my clients who do need it. The smart salesperson, upon hearing no from me, might do well to say okay, how can I partner with you to show you the value of what I bring to those you know. I am starting to look for affiliate programs in the services I do use, but would entertain such programs for services I don’t use, or don’t use right now. Like a referral program, affiliate payments can add up as they reduce or eliminate the cost of the service that company offers.

This is similar to my approach toward referrals. If you call a business to sell what you have, do you pivot if they say “no” or “not right now” to come alongside them instead of walking away? What other offers do you respond to? Which tactics work for you? If they work on you, might they work on your prospects for your business?