Why Won’t They Return My Call?

Probably the most asked question when discussing frustrating situations for salespeople.  My response is; “Why?  Why should they return your call?  What’s in it for them?”

You had a conversation with them.  They asked you some questions.  You asked them some questions.  But did you work with them to uncover and  discover their reasons to take another step in the sales process towards their desired outcome?  Let me stress – their reasons – to continue – not yours.

Prospects are motivated to act based on their reasons, not yours.  They are selfish that way.  And they should be. They are guarded, cautious, protective, defensive, offensive and skeptical.  More importantly, they are cheap, frugal, tight, and prudent.  All of which can work towards your advantage, if you position yourself correctly.  Let me explain, but first, ask you a question.

man waiting for a callWhat are the consequences if a prospect does not buy from you now?  Those consequences are risks and costs.  If your prospect is cheap and frugal, do they want to reduce their risks and costs?  YES!  Did you ask the right questions for them to uncover and  discover the cost of not buying from you today – in the previous step of your sales process?  The one just before you called and left a message.  That message they won’t return.  Probably not.

Did they discover their reasons to continue the sales process or did you concentrate on how great your solutions are when no reasons to buy was identified?  Translated to prospect talk = no value was determined.  No reason to continue the sales process.  No reason to return your call.

We need to constantly remember and remind ourselves that people are going to act based on their reasons and not others.  Their self-interest is their primary motivation.

If you have not heard them share 3 reasons to work together on a solution, you are not done with that step.  If you leave without uncovering the costs of not buying from you, chances of them returning your voice mail message go down significantly.

Bottom line is they are not returning your voice mail based on the message you left, rather basing it on the last conversation you had with them, when no value was determined.

Let’s keep our focus on them and what they need and want – they are selfish.  Not on what you have and offer.  Commit to listening and asking questions.  Uncover the costs, which will be compared to your price. The difference is value.  Their definition of value, and their reasons to buy – not yours.




  1. Well said Scott. Thanks for the great insight. Now to figure out how to uncover their needs…

  2. Getting them on the phone, getting past the gatekeeper, that is the issue. My value proposition is easy!

  3. Uncovering needs is easy if… you are so interesting and exciting that they are very nosy and seduced by your persona, personhood, personality, vocal sincerity, sense of caring, humor and kindness. Your ability for them to be excited to be talking to YOU is the answer. I discovered this long ago and developed some VERY INTERESTING TECHNIQUES to get to the decision makers.