Skip to main content

Differentiate to Leave the Door Open

By February 12, 2019May 12th, 2019No Comments
set of open doors, white walls, differentiate to demonstrate importance of keeping the relationship open

Like many of you, I receive my share of “cold calls” from sales people who believe their product or service is the solution to what keeps me up at night. And, like many of you, I find myself declining their offers to speak or meet with me long before they even have their foot in the door. Why? They don’t differentiate.

Let’s assume for a moment you are the sales person. Let’s also assume the product or service you are selling really does hold some perceived value to your prospect. The reasons your prospect is not interested may have more to do with timing, budgets, or competing priorities.

If your cold calls are being met with rejection, how then do you keep the door open to potential sales opportunities in the future? Differentiate yourself.

How do you keep the door open to potential sales opportunities?


For starters, differentiate yourself. Remain positive, even in the face of rejection. Thank your prospect for his or her time, add a personal touch to your message and offer to be of assistance – if not now, then in the future.

Here’s an example of where this was done well. Mark (name changed) was cold calling me. I politely decline via email. This is his response…


Thank you for your note and kind follow-up.

Have a terrific weekend and please do not be a stranger. We’d be happy to help any way we can.



The tone, the content, and the offer to help, made me feel good about the idea of potentially working with him in the future.

While I do not know if it will ever happen, what I do know is, I will be more receptive to any future communications I receive from Mark and his company, because he took the time to respond with a personalized note, thereby differentiating himself.


Photography Source:  Unsplash, Filip Kominik

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.