Stop Talking Past the Close

tie-downs and trial closes used in sales presentations, sales tips, sales objections, sales prospecting,

How many tie-downs and trial closes do you or your team use during their presentations?

If you’re thinking, “What’s a tie-down? What’s a trial close?” then you’re in trouble…

In an earlier blog, I introduced the term, “Spray and Pray” as way to describe how many sales rep’s presentations go. They get the prospect on the phone, go through a PowerPoint slide presentation, drone on and on for a half hour or more, rarely checking in their prospect—and if they do, it’s a weak, “does that make sense?”–and at the end they might use a tepid, “So, what do you think?”

There are obviously many problems with this kind of approach, but the one I want to focus on today is ‘talking past the close.’ In an attempt to throw endless features and benefits at a prospect in the hope that one of them may be the one thing they are looking for, what happens is that sales reps often disclose too much information, and this actually introduces objections.

For example, a sales rep may continue pitching and say, “And our warranty covers 90 days of live support, and if you want to continue that afterwards, it’s only $49 a month.”

What?

What we’ve now done is introduce a string of potential objections: “Only 90 days?” and “You mean there is an upsell I didn’t know about?” “What other upsells are there?” “And why do I even need live customer support after 90 days?” And on and on.

This is just one small example of introducing an objecting by pitching past the close.

So why do reps do this? Why do they talk past the close?

Fear, of course.

Many reps are scared of asking for the sale because they have no idea how the prospect is reacting to the presentation because they haven’t used tie-downs and trial closes throughout the presentation. As such, they are ‘flying blind’ and have no idea what the prospect is thinking throughout and at the end of their demo.

Solution? You must engage your prospect at the beginning of the presentation, re-qualify as much as possible, and use tie-down’s and escalating trial closes throughout your demo so you know exactly when your prospect is ready to buy.

Or, if they aren’t…

And then you need to have the tools, the scripts, the techniques to deal with how your prospect is reacting to your presentation.

The last thing you want to do is keep talking past the close. Because if you do, you’ll be in danger of introducing more objections and getting even further away from the sale.

If you need help in understanding the sales process and improving your skill set so you can avoid this, then search my blog, or invest in my new online training program for yourself or your team.

Remember: Sales is a set a recurring situation, and when you apply a proven approach to them you not only succeed more of the time, but it becomes easier and even fun to do.

And when was the last time you heard those two words, “easy & fun” in the same sentence as “sales”?


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

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We’ve all been taught that practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t. If it did, then we’d all be great golfers, tennis players, and sales reps. But we aren’t, are we?

The truth is: Practice only makes permanent. If you practice poor technique—then you’re going to get really good at being what? Poor at what you’re practicing…

And, unfortunately, this is what happens to so many sales teams. Instead of improving their skills, improving and practicing better techniques, many sales reps either keep using poor techniques, or they constantly ad-lib and make up new, poor, techniques and responses over and over again.

And guess what they make perfect? Poor performance. And this is compounded when managers and business owners think the answer is more activity. “Just make more calls, stuff more leads into the pipeline!”  And guess what you get?

More ad-libbing, more poor techniques, and more unqualified leads in the pipeline. This results in more frustration, and more money spent on leads that don’t close.

The solution is that if you want to get better—even perfect—at dealing with the recurring selling situations you face, day in and day out, you need to spend some time and energy learning the best responses and skills to these situations and then practice these skills and responses on each and every call.

Does it take more focus and attention and commitment? You bet. Does it pay off in the long run in terms of a more enjoyable career and a whole lot more money from making more sales? Absolutely! Will most sales people and managers reading this start improving their skills and begin practicing perfection? In my experience, sadly, no.

But those who do—and it only takes about 90 days to change a habit and get immeasurably better—enjoy a lifetime of benefits. I’ve seen sales reps go from the bottom rung to the top, buying homes, driving luxury cars, and providing for their families like they’ve always wanted to.

And it all starts by practicing perfection—rather than poor sales skills.

There are a lot of ways to get better: great books on sales, audio programs, pod casts, etc. It’s all available if you’re ready and willing to get better. I hope you are.

Speaking of which: I just launched a brand new, online inside sales training program presented live over seven weeks. See it here.

When you’re ready to get better, to change your sales results and your life, then join me.

I’ll teach you how to practice perfection in 90% of the sales situations you may be struggling in today. And that will change your life.


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Catch & Release: Not a Closing Strategy

sales prospecting best practice don't catch and release but catch and close, close more sales, sales tips, sales training, best practice,

I was onsite training in Montreal, Canada last week—a software company, hi everyone! —and one of the sales reps brought up today’s quote as we were reviewing calls during the training.

The call was a closing presentation—a demo, really—and after about an hour of slides and features and benefits, the rep was anxious to set next steps: schedule another demo call, schedule another Q & A session, etc.

What was blatantly missing was any kind of a close attempt! There was no attempt to see what they thought so far, no attempt at a trial close, and not even a discussion about timeline and next steps toward moving towards a decision…

Instead, the rep commented that it was essentially a “catch & release” call! The conference room burst out laughing and knowing nods of recognition spread around the room. 

He explained that he had “caught” the prospect, finally, and delivered a presentation. But at the end, instead of closing, he simply “released” them without any kind of resolution!

Sadly, this scenario was endemic in their sales culture (hence the reason I was hired to change it), and, sadder still, this scenario repeats itself throughout countless sales teams worldwide. Think of your own company’s sales presentations. Ask yourself: How many closing attempts do you or your team make at the end?

One of the solutions I introduced was the concept of using a combination of tie-downs and trial closes throughout the presentation. Tie-downs to get an idea of how the presentation is going, and then trial closes so asking for the deal—or at least an agreement that the sale is progressing towards a close—can be determined in advance of the end of the call (so real, meaningful “next steps” can be scheduled).

Sample trial closes that you should be using include:

“Is this sounding like the solution you were looking for?”

“Do you think this will accomplish XYZ for you?”

“Are you getting a feeling that this is what you are looking for?”

(For more trial closes & tie downs, get a copy of our latest book: Power Phone Scripts)

Unlike fishing, closing a sale should lead to a catch that isn’t released. And you will have more confidence in accomplishing this if you’re building a yes momentum throughout your presentation. And you can do this buy using the strategies we’ve just written about.

Want to be trained how to sell better?

If you or your team would like a structured, online training program (presented live by Mike Brooks), then check out our new, online training program. You’ll learn how to double and even triple your sales in the next 12 months!


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

3 Ways to Overcome Call Reluctance

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Do you or your team suffer from call reluctance?

Would you rather send emails than make calls?

If you have to pick up the phone for a living, then I’ll bet making cold calls isn’t one of your favorite activities. And if you struggle making those calls, then take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Speaking in public used to be the biggest fear someone could face (even before dying), but I think that for salespeople it’s making outbound calls. No one likes to be rejected, and the resistance you get from gatekeepers, receptionists, decision makers, etc., can quickly result in call reluctance.

There are many things you can do to be more prepared to make successful calls, and here are my top three:

#1: Be prepared with proven scripts or “talk tracks” to handle the inevitable rejection and responses you’re going to get. If you don’t have proven answers that automatically flow out of your mouth when you get things like:

  • “Will he know what this call is regarding?”
  • “We’re all set,”
  • “I wouldn’t be interested.”
  • “Just email me something.”

And more, then this is job one. You must have proven and effective responses ready for these, otherwise you’ll struggle on each and every call…

#2: Have all your leads/phone numbers/contacts ready in advance. Do your research and then compile a list of 50 – 100 names and numbers you can dive into. If not, then you’ll spend your time between calls researching, reading blog posts, looking at websites, taking lunch, and then not calling enough prospects to make a difference.

Being prepared in advance to sit down and dial repeatedly not only builds momentum, but gets you results.

#3: Take the pressure off yourself. Not everyone you’re going to speak to is going to be interested or even a fit, so don’t set your expectations too high. You’re not trying to sell or convert each person you speak to; instead, you’re just looking for an opportunity.

When you look at this this way, you’ll be much less likely to take the inevitable rejection you face personally. Instead, just tell yourself that if someone isn’t interested, then you’ve moved that much closer to finding the person who is.

If you can take care of the three items above, then you’ll be removing a lot of the “internal resistance” you have around making calls. And the good thing is that once you do get into a groove of making successful calls, your confidence will grow as will your sales.

If you’d like to learn even more strategies or get the tools and skills you need to get better selling over the phone, then see our new online training program.

Sign up for it today and get ready to double or even triple your sales this year….


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

One Powerful Way to Learn More About a Prospect

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Let’s start with the obvious: Sales reps talk too much. Whether it’s nervousness, fear, inexperience, or just the conviction that if they stop talking the prospect will say “Not interested” and hang up, it doesn’t matter.

If you listen to calls from your sales reps, you’ll find that they simply talk past the close. They talk over their prospects. They talk after they ask a question (and don’t even let their prospect answer).

And then they talk some more…

The dangers of talking so much are many. Often times, when talking past the close, sales reps will actually introduce objections. This is a common problem and one entirely of their own making.

Another problem is they talk over their prospects and so appear rude and give the impression that they don’t care about what the prospect has to say. This makes them seem pushy and salesy, and makes the prospect want to disconnect with them.

As if all these problems aren’t enough, by talking so much they aren’t learning anything about the prospect, their needs, their pain, or about what they would like help with. I have always taught that the prospect has all the answers: why they’ll buy, why they won’t buy, what you need to say to sell them, etc. But if you aren’t listening, you’ll never hear any of this.

And that means you’re tempted to just keep talking and pitching…

The good news is that there is a powerful way to learn more about a prospect. When I give this to you, it’ll appear simple—and it is—but it is difficult to practice because most sales reps are so invested in talking.

Here’s what it is: At any point in a conversation with a prospect, if they either give you what appears to be an objection (like, “We wouldn’t be interested…”) or are just not volunteering much information, all you have to do is say:

“Oh?”

And then be quiet and hit your MUTE button.

When you say it, say it in a way that expresses a question—let your tone of voice rise slightly. Practice it now: “OH??”

Do not disregard this as being silly or too simple to have much effect. It’s one of the most advanced and powerful tools a real closer has in his/her arsenal.

This week I challenge you to talk less and listen more. And the technique you’ll use is the “Oh?” technique. Try it and see for yourself how much more you learn from your prospects. Remember, they have all the answers…


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

5 Quick Secrets to Compelling Emails

how to write sales emails, best email writing secrets, emailing tips, how to draw attention on your emails,

Want to get your emails returned? Who doesn’t…

Many of us would settle for just getting our emails read!

Let’s face it: prospects get hundreds of emails per week and there is a slim chance they are going to read – let alone respond to – an email from a sales rep.

Luckily, there are 5 quick secrets to help your emails stand out and give you the best chance of getting them read and returned. Here’s what they are:

Secret #1: Put the prospect’s first name in the subject line.

Everyone is drawn to their first name, so if you make your subject line something like:

“John, just left you a VM…”

Your email will stand out in their inbox and they will open it.

Secret #2: Personalize the first sentence of your email.

Draw your prospect’s attention to something that is happening now and current in their situation. This will snap your prospect out of his/her rote reading of emails. Things like:

“Hope you’re staying warm on this winter day!”

OR

“I’m sure you’re buried in your new project, so I’ll keep this brief…”

By taking the time to personalize your first sentence, you’ll draw your reader in and that will give you the best chance to get your email read.

Secret #3: Break your paragraphs up into sentences.

Nothing will turn your prospect off more than long, information packed paragraphs.

Their eyes will glaze over!

Break up your sentences into paragraphs if possible to make them easy to read and accessible.

I say no more than 2 sentences per paragraph.

Just like this example is written – easy to read, isn’t it?!

Secret #4: Ask for a return response – whether they are interested or not.

Give your prospect a chance to “op out” of further communication with you.

Thank them in advance for their consideration and ask them to let you know if they’re interested – or not.

And let them know you’ll remove their name if they aren’t.

Special Hint: Also give them the option of referring you to the right department or another person who might be more appropriate. This also gives them an out – and you an in.

Secret #5: Promise to follow up by phone if they don’t respond.

Let them know that you understand they are busy, and that out of consideration if you don’t hear from them, you’ll follow up with a call in a day or two.

This really increases your response rate, and don’t be unhappy if they ask to “op-out.” Those prospects who do have just disqualified themselves and saved you a ton of time.

And for those you don’t hear from – start calling! Suddenly, when they do pick up, they’ll be a warm call.

Try implementing these 5 secrets today and watch as your emails suddenly become relevant again.


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Just Email Me Something….

What do you say when you get this objection while prospecting?

If you’re like many sales reps, you accept this stall and become a willing participant in the follow up drama that ensues. And you know how frustrating that is.

Let’s face it: This blow off is just a variation that prospects have been using for years. It used to be: “Can you send me something in the mail?” or “Just send me a brochure,” etc. Then email started and guess what? A new stall was born.

So, what’s the best way of handling it? The first thing you want to do is find out whether it is a blow off (80% of the time it is), or whether your prospect is truly interested in what you have and wants to know just a little bit more before they speak with you.

There is an easy way to find out.

All you have to do is have an email already prepared while you’re prospecting. If someone tells you to email them something, simply ask them what their email address is and the send it! Right then!

Simply say:

“Okay, I’ve just sent it to you. Let me know when it pops up, and I’ll show you a couple of links you’ll want to explore later.

“Meantime let me ask you…”

And then ask a qualifying question. The point here is whether or not your prospect will:

  1. Give you the time to speak further with them. (If not, they weren’t going to open your email anyway, and if they will, then you know there is a legitimate chance they are interested.)
  2. Actually open the email. (This tells you how cooperative your prospect is, and so how cooperative they will be throughout the sales cycle.)
  3. Blow you off with another objection. (This is actually great because it tells you that you won’t need to follow up on the email—they aren’t buying!)
  4. Allow you to set a definite follow up appointment. (Which is what you want.)

Any of these responses will get you a lot further—and give you the intel you need as to how to pursue this lead—than sending an email after you hang up and then putting this prospect into your follow up queue.

Try it this week, and watch your leads get more qualified as you put less “wood” into your pipeline. And then watch as more deals roll out of it!


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

Agenda 7-Week, Comprehensive B2B & B2C Inside Sales Training Program
Training dates: Every Tuesday, from Tuesday, May 21, 2019, to Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Training start time: 11:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time (New York)
Duration: 60-minutes per session (7 sessions total)
Total sessions: 7
Presenter: Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 5/15/2019


PROVEN SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Four Proven Responses to: “We’re all set”

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Many sales reps still have trouble handling the initial resistance statement: “We’re all set,” or “We already have a dealer/supplier/vendor for that.”

If you struggle, too, then you’ll love the proven response below. Adapt them to your style and product or service, and start getting past this common objection.

“We’re all set”

Response One:

“That’s great, and I’d just like to see if we could get on your vendor list for the next time you’re in the market. Let me ask you…”

Now get into your qualifying questions…

Response Two:

“Most companies I speak with are ‘all set’ and that’s why I’m reaching out to you now—I want to give you an option for the next time you’re in need of this. Let me ask you…”

Back to qualifying…

Response Three:

“I understand—I didn’t expect to catch you in the market right now. Instead, let me get an idea of your perfect profile, and then I’ll send you some information you can keep on file next time you need this…”

Now re-engage by asking a qualifying question.

Response Four:

“Got it.  Let me ask you: the next time you are in need of this, are you the right person to speak to about it?”

If yes, then qualify them for that next time – especially asking about time frame, budget, etc.

As with all selling situations, it’s easy to handle objections and stalls if you’re prepared with a good response.


Need More Proven Responses to the Selling Situations You Face Every Day?

Join Our Next Training:

Agenda 7-Week, Comprehensive B2B & B2C Inside Sales Training Program
Training dates: Every Tuesday, from Tuesday, May 21, 2019, to Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Training start time: 11:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time (New York)
Duration: 60-minutes per session (7 sessions total)
Total sessions: 7
Presenter: Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 5/15/2019


PROVEN SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then this live, interactive online B2B & B2C inside sales training is exactly what they need to get excited & confident about selling again! We provide the exact talk tracks, templates, and proven tools your team will be motivated to apply, all structured around an award winning comprehensive inside sales approach that gives your team the confidence to succeed in every selling situation they face today.

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

  • Reps struggling with call reluctance
  • Getting screened out by the gatekeeper
  • Overcoming blow off objections like, “Just email me something”
  • Identifying decision makers
  • Qualifying prospects
  • Setting call back appointments that stick
  • Giving successful presentations and dealing with objections
  • Staying motivated

Gatekeepers: Six Things NOT to Do

gatekeepers what not to do, prospecting, sales tips,

If you’re getting screened out by gatekeepers, then chances are you’re probably causing that screening. Before we get into the things you may be doing to cause them to begin interrogating you, let’s quickly define some terms.

First, not all gatekeepers are the same. About 30% of the gatekeepers you get are closer to being assistants, or office managers, or influencers. The other 70% are straight receptionists or operators. With both groups, you shouldn’t do any of the six things you’re going to learn today, but adjustments will need to be made in the kind—and amount—of information you give (to the 30% group).

That said, we’re going to concentrate on the 70% of the gatekeepers you get, and I bet you would love to learn what not to do to antagonize or encourage that 70% to screen you out.

Key Point: The vast majority of receptionists and operators would prefer not to screen you or interrogate you. Their job isn’t to “vet” you, but rather, it’s to find out your name, company name, and a brief reason why you’re calling. They need this complete info to give to the person you’re trying to reach.

Failure to give this complete info—coupled with not being polite and not using instructional statements—is what triggers the screening you get now.

The first step to getting put through to decision makers is to make the receptionist’s job easy. And that means you need to stop doing some (or all) of the six things you’re about to learn next.

Each of these six points just cause the gatekeeper to begin interrogating you, so if you stop doing these things, you’ll have a much better chance at being put through—without screening! As you read these, ask yourself which of them (or most of them!) you’re doing now and adjust your approach accordingly. You’ll be amazed by how much easier it will be to get through:

#1: Only giving your name when asked who is calling (and not giving your company name). If you only give your name, the natural thing the gatekeeper is thinking is, “And from what company??”

Making the gatekeeper ask you what company you’re from immediately triggers her/him to begin screening you. And why would you want that?

#2: Pausing after giving any information (like your name or company name, or even the reason for the call). As soon as you stop or pause without giving an instructional statement, you’re handing control over to the gatekeeper. And guess what? She will begin interrogating you!

#3: Pitching the gatekeeper. With the other 30%, a little bit of info must be given, but with receptionists, the moment you start pitching, that’s the moment you raise a big Red Flag that says, “I’m a salesperson!” As that point, they will begin to screen you out…

#4: Just giving your first name (and then pausing). Every gatekeeper knows this trick, and nothing will get them interrogating you faster than this.

#5: Being pushy or rude. Some sales people think that if they just bully their way in, the gatekeeper will step aside and let them through. Yeah, right. How’s that going for you? Truth is, being courteous and polite will get you much further than almost anything, and you’d do well to get on their good side—right away.

#6: Opening your call with, “Hi, how are you?” This puts gatekeepers (and everyone else) on the immediate defensive because they don’t know who you are! And it also triggers them to begin screening you because it telegraphs that you are a salesperson. By the way, it’s especially annoying when you greet the decision maker this way as well.

So, how many of these mistakes are you making every day? The more mistakes you’re making, the more you’re getting screened out.

If you’d like to know exactly what you could be doing and saying, then you can view a special (short) webinar I put together to teach you, word-for-word, what you should be doing instead.

Once you watch that, and begin using the scripts and technique in it, you’ll immediately begin breezing past gatekeepers 70% of the time. And I know that will make your life easier and improve your results!

So watch the video today.

Qualifying: Why Timeline is So Important

Want to know how qualified a prospect is? Then simply make sure you get a definitive answer to their timeline for purchasing or implementing your product or solution.

There are several ways to ask for this. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Again, thanks for reaching out to us and I’ll definitely get you more information on this. Question: What does your review process look like? In other words, after you go through everything, if you thought we were the best fit for you, what would be an approximate start date for you?”

OR

“Great! I’ve got us on the calendar for next (confirm day and time). One more thing: If after the demo you like what you see, when would you want to get this implemented?”

OR

“Great! I’ve got us on the calendar for next (confirm day and time). One more thing: If after the demo you like what you see, would you be in a position to go ahead and schedule an install date?”

AND

“I understand there are several layers to getting this approved, but let me ask you: If you feel that we are the best overall solution, what would be the soonest that you personally would like to get this going?”

AND

“__________, sounds like this would be a good fit for you. Let me ask you: If everything checks out next week, is there anything that would prevent us from moving forward with this in the next two weeks?”

The power of understanding timeline is that it gives you insight into how much urgency there is on the part of your prospect. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best solution in the world. If there are steps or processes or other decision makers on their end (or competition they are evaluating), then these are the real roadblocks that will stall your deal.

And the way to find out is to qualify for timeline.

Any of these scripts will help you do that, so copy them down, put them in your own language, and begin qualifying for this most important of all “tells.”

The sooner you understand their timing, the sooner you’ll know how to drive the sale.