Three Ways to Handle the Price is Too High Objection

Are you still ad-libbing a response to the “your price is too high,” objection?

This is perhaps the oldest objection in the world, I mean think about it: In ancient Egypt (4,000+ years ago), at the open markets with all the vendors at their stalls selling everything from food to clothing to pots and pans, when a buyer asked how much an item was and was told the price, what do you think he/she automatically said?

“That’s way too much money for that!”

Sound familiar? Let’s face it, buyers have been using this objection way before you or your father or great grandfather got into sales, and you’d think that by now we’d all know how to effectively handle it. Some do, but with all the calls I listen to, there are still plenty of sales reps and companies that don’t…

So here are the best practice responses to the age old budget question or objection. Write these down, customize them so you are comfortable with them, and start moving past this objection once and for all.

Technique One: Avoid this objection from every coming up. What, you didn’t qualify for budget on your first call? This is a rookie mistake, and one that you need to fix right away. If you’re still getting the price objection when you’re presenting your product or solution, then that’s on you.

What you need to do is find a natural way to prequalify for budget as part of your qualifying questions. You know, the questions about decision making process, timeline, etc. Here are a few ways to do that:

“And {first name}, our solution ranges from $4,000 to $15,000 depending on the options you want. Is that range within a budget you have – again, if you like what you see?”

OR

“{first name}, I’m assuming you have a budget for this type of thing – if you feel that this will help you (do whatever it is your product or service does), right?

“And most of our new customers go for our premium package at $25,000 – is that something you could fit into your budget if this were a fit for you?”

There are many, many other ways to qualify for budget – if you need more, search this blog or pick up one of my books of phone scripts.

Technique Two: This is one of the easiest rebuttals to use, and I’m continually surprised more reps don’t automatically use it. The technique both challenges your prospect and helps you learn more about their buying process (and your possible competition) at the same time. It goes like this:

“Compared to what?”

And then hit your mute button and let them talk and reveal the way back into the close…

Technique Three: Here’s a way to isolate the price objection to make sure it’s the real and only objection there is. Nothing is more discouraging than overcoming it and then being told there are three more reasons they won’t buy.

“And besides price, what else would stop you from moving forward today?”

This is designed to draw out other objections. You can make it more positive by asking:

“And if the price were exactly where you’d want it, is everything else about our (product or service) okay? I mean, would you feel comfortable enough to take advantage of it today?”

As many of you know, I’m big on being prepared for the repeatable selling situations and objections you get day in and day out. This is what separates the top producers from everyone else, and it’s what makes sales easy and even enjoyable.

And let’s face it, an objection that has been around 4,000+ years is definitely a repeatable one.

Cold Calling: Stop Pitching the Gatekeeper

Note on today’s blog post: Due to the many requests I have received for more scripts on selling techniques, I am postponing my series on motivation and awareness. I hope you enjoy today’s cold calling tip.

I was talking with a client last week about some of his new employees. He told me that some of them are struggling to get through to decision makers, and he thought it was because they were “pitching the gatekeeper.” I listened to some of his calls, and he was right!

Here is the mistake: Many sales reps have never been taught the proper way to deal with gatekeepers, so after being screened out by them, they take the attitude that “If only they (the gatekeeper) knew how much this would benefit the (decision maker), then they’d put me through!” So they start pitching them….

How wrong that is…

Let’s recap the role of the receptionist/gatekeeper: The receptionist’s job is to answer calls and route them to the right person. They are trained to gather the information needed to give to the person they are transferring the call to, things like, name, company name, and sometimes, what the call is about.

Now here is something many sales reps misunderstand: The receptionist’s role is not to pry and grill and interrogate people who call in. They will only do this if the caller telegraphs him/herself as a salesperson. And many frustrated reps signal this by:

  • Only giving your first name and trying to trick the receptionist by pretending to be a “friend” of the person you’re trying to reach.
  • Not giving your company name. (May reps try to hide the fact they are calling from a company. This only arouses suspicion and raises a Red Flag.)
  • Not having a scripted approach to the question: “Will he/she know what this call is about?”
  • Not being polite and using the magic words: “Please” and “Thank You”
  • Not using an instructional statement.

Let me say this again: for the most part, receptionists, gatekeepers, etc., are not there to screen you out. They are there to capture basic information and then pass the call through. Notice I said, “for the most part.” There are certainly exceptions (in small offices, etc.) where they make it their job to screen you out, but you can still get past many of them as well if you use the best practice approach below.

Here is the script I was using as recently as last week to get through to some high powered decision makers. It works:

Gatekeeper: “XYZ company, how can I help you?”

YOU: “Hi, may I speak with {first name}, please?” (Say this with a bright, warm smile in your voice. Be confident and friendly.

Gatekeeper: “And what is your name please?”

YOU: “Please, tell him that {Your first & last name} is calling, please.”

Gatekeeper: “And may I tell him the company you are calling from?”

YOU: “Yes, please! Please tell him {Your first & last name again} with the {Your company name} is holding please.”

Again, smile, be friendly and confident. If you follow this exact script, you’ll get through 60% of the time without any further screening.

If they ask: “And what is this call regarding?”

YOU respond: “Please tell him/her it’s about {whatever your call is about – ‘His/her lead flow’}, and I’m happy to hold, please…”

Did you notice the “pleases”? How about the instructional statements? Did you notice the exact order?

These techniques will get you past the gatekeeper – without any further screening – over 75% of the time. Don’t believe me? Try it for a week (not just one or two calls!).

What doesn’t work is pitching the gatekeeper. That only identifies you as a sales person, and in many cases you start begging them to put you through. And that’s the last person they will put through – a begging sales person.

So, make a commitment to yourself this week and begin using this proven technique. You’ll be surprised by how many decision makers you begin getting through to.

Why Motivation Isn’t Enough

As the next week rolled around, I was very motivated to meet with my boss and find out what the missing ingredient to performance was. I had spent a few weeks identifying all the things I could do – that I had the ability and potential to do – if I choose to. And during the last week, I explored many areas where I had a lot more knowledge, and even training, than my results in those areas showed. I now had a strong desire to learn what was holding me back, and, as I said, I was motivated to finally learn how to use more of what I had.

This led me to think I knew what was missing: motivation. I obviously had lacked the proper motivation or a strong enough desire to put my ability and knowledge to use. I couldn’t wait to meet with him again, and that meeting took place on the following Monday. As usual, he asked me how my week’s experiment had gone. I told him I’d found that I knew a lot more about things than I was using. He smiled that smile again, and this time I smiled back. He asked me what I was thinking and I told him:

“What’s missing,” I announced proudly, “Was motivation! Obviously I just don’t want it badly enough, and so I lack the necessary desire to make it happen.” I rested my case and waited for his response. As usual, he started by asking me a question.

He asked, “Mike, do you now believe that you have the ability, the potential, that if you wanted to, you could get into good enough shape whereby you could complete a marathon?”

“Absolutely!” I said.

“And do you believe you know more about good fitness and proper diet than what your current weight, exercise, and eating habits would show?”

“Unfortunately, yes again,” I answered.

“Okay. Now let me ask you this. Have you ever joined a gym with the desire to get into top physical shape before?”

“Ah, yeah. I belong to a gym right now,” I said.

“And why do you belong to a gym?” he asked.

“Because I want to be in good shape and take care of myself,” I said.

“So in other words, you already have a desire to be fit?”

“Well sure. I think about eating better each time I order a meal, and I’m always thinking about getting back to the gym and starting working out again. In fact, each time my belt feels tighter, I’m really motivated to start working out again,” I said.

“And last question. Are you at your peak physical fitness level right now?” he asked me.

“Far from it, I’m afraid,” came my sorry answer.

“So, here we are,” he continued. “You have the ability, you have the knowledge, in other words you know what to do and even belong to a gym, and you have the desire to be in good physical shape. Am I right?”

He had me there. “Right,” I agreed.

“So the real question, Mike, is where is the follow through, the effectiveness? Why aren’t the results there in your life if you seem to have everything you need? What’s stopping you from achieving the performance and the result you truly want?”

We then went over a few other areas in my life where I seemed to have everything I needed as well. The biggest area was my performance in sales. I had to admit that, again, I had the ability, and I certainly had the training and I knew more than I was using. On top of that, each month I set a goal with my sales manager to achieve my numbers. We laid out how many calls I needed to make, and how many leads and presentations I needed to schedule.

Next, my sales manager laid out the compensation plan and we went over what achieving each additional level would mean to me. My manager even went so far as to show me what I could buy with the extra commission money I would make. After each goal planning session, I was pumped! But then the month began, and the calls got tough, and soon I was back where I secretly knew I would end up: in the bottom 25% of the sales team.

At this point, I threw up my hands and surrendered. I actually felt pretty down because I was convinced that I had everything I needed to perform better in my life, but for some unknown reason, I seemed destined to mediocrity. I started thinking about my family and wondered if underperformance was genetic…

My boss, sensing my despair, came to my rescue. He told me, “Mike, what I’m going to teach you over the next few weeks is not only why you haven’t reached more of your potential, training, and desire, but I’m going to show you exactly what you can start doing to change that. I’m going to give you proven methods and techniques for releasing more of what you have, more of what you know, and more of what you want.

“In fact,” he continued, “What you are going to learn is that it is actually easy to increase your effectiveness in any area of your life if you just understand the laws governing behavior and performance. And I guarantee that once you get in alignment with these laws of performance, you will be able to set and achieve any goal that has meaning to you. And you’ll be able to achieve it easily and enjoyably.”

Well, that sounded too good to be true. I had set goals before – especially at the beginning of each year (New Year’s resolutions). And while I continued them for a month or so, I soon gave up and went back to the old me. I even brought this up in terms of setting goals around getting into physical shape. I told him my willpower would last for a few weeks, but then I would falter, stop going to the gym, and then I would beat myself up each time I slipped and had a donut at the office.

He raised his eyebrows and said, “That’s actually a good example. In fact, did you ever notice that in January and February the parking lots of gyms around the city are full?” I agreed they were. “But by March and April, they go back to where were in November and December, and they stay that way the rest of year.” It was true, I had to agree.

He asked me how that dieting process was for me in the beginning of the year. I told him I had to gather all my willpower and determination and that for the first couple of weeks it worked. But after a while, I felt denied the tasty foods, and that despite how much I wanted to stay on my diet, soon I was back in the break room in the morning gorging on bagels and cream cheese. Soon I wondered where all my good intentions and willpower had gone to.

He said, “Mike, you’re not alone. Making changes by using lots and lots of willpower is how most people do it, but it rarely works for long. In fact, willpower is essentially useless for making long term changes. Trying hard never works for long. It just exhausts you, and it usually makes those around you annoyed.

“What you are going to learn is that trying hard to overcome your abiding, subconscious picture will never work for long term changes. There is a better way to make easier, life-long changes that are in alignment with the potential and ability you already have.”

He paused and let that sink in. He could see the many questions I was thinking and he continued, “Here’s the thing. Think of your subconscious mind, and all of your ability and potential, as an iceberg. Your current performance and results are simply the tip of the iceberg, but your potential, of course, is immense.

“I like to compare the human mind to a computer. A computer has lots and lots of programs and potential, but we use only a very small portion of them. Even the word processing program, Microsoft Word, has thousands of features, but most of us just know how to open a new document, type some copy, and then save it. But there are endless editing features, amazing templates and document options, even language translation features we don’t use or know much about. The totality of the program is the iceberg, and what we use is just the tip.

“So how do we expose more of that iceberg? How do we use more of what we already have in abundance? The answer is that we must find out what is holding us back, what is limiting our natural ability and potential. What are the limiting attitudes, and habits and blocks that keep much of that iceberg underwater?

“And, more importantly, how can we release more of our potential? How can we do it in a natural, easy, and empowering way? A way that doesn’t cause stress, and doesn’t require constant willpower and energy? In other words, how can we creatively, enjoyably, and consistently produce the results we’ve already acknowledged we are capable of? How do we achieve performance we see others enjoying regularly, easily, naturally?

“And, most importantly, how can we make these changes permanent?”

He paused and let that sink in. I said, ‘I don’t know, how do we?”

“That’s what I’m going to teach you. And once you learn it, it will change your life, just as it has mine and countless others. And we’re going to start next week by exploring the concept of awareness. We’re going to begin looking at your habits, your unconscious ways of thinking and feeling, and the default actions you take as a result. We’re going to look at where you have unconsciously placed limits on yourself, and, through your awareness, we’re going to begin challenging and changing them.

“What you’ll soon learn is that although you have immense potential, you’ll never be able to use all of it. Instead, you’ll only be able raise or lower the limits – that are self-imposed – on your potential and ability. And that’s why athletes and top producers realize that they are never competing against anyone else except their own, current, best versions of themselves.”

He paused briefly and continued, “Mike, you’re about to go on a journey of self-discovery, one that will forever change how you think about yourself, the world, and what’s possible for you and others. And if you follow the truth I’m about to lay out for you, you will achieve things you never imagined possible for yourself. Your life will keep changing, evolving, and expanding. You’ll begin achieving more and more, and as you do, you’ll keep raising the bar for your performance and exposing more of that iceberg of potential.

“Your life will become a self-fulfilling prophesy – as it always was – but the dreams you will begin to dream will go far beyond what you’ve ever imagined possible.”

Needless to say, I was inspired and excited to learn more. I hope you are, too.

Until next week….

Knowledge is Power – Or Is It?

The week after my first session with my boss was very interesting. I took his advice and began asking myself if I could do a variety of things. Could I actually become the top producer at the company? Could I go back to school and get my PhD? Could I write a bestselling book? Could I get into ideal physical shape and run that marathon one day, and many other things. Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exercise was listening to my self-talk as my initial answers came.

For example, when I asked myself if I could write a bestselling book, my automatic self-talk was, NO! I was amazed by the flurry of supporting thoughts – and by how quickly they came – as to why I couldn’t. Things like I had never written a book before; It was really who you know, not how well you can write; And I even thought that there are many, many other writers better than I was who never wrote a bestselling book.

After this initial onslaught of negativity, I then decided to do some research on authors whose first books did become bestsellers. The obvious example was John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, published in 1988. It took him four years to write that book, and not only did it become a bestseller, but he is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies of a first printing. As I continued to look, there were others whose first books became bestsellers as well.

So suddenly, I had to grudgingly admit that I had the ability and potential to write a bestselling book, but what I obviously lacked was the knowledge and training (writing experience) to do so. As I thought more about this, I was pretty certain that my next meeting with my mentor would be about learning what I was sure was the missing link to unleashing more of my ability and potential: knowledge and training.

When we next got together, we reviewed my experience with asking myself the “can I?” questions, and he pointed out how important my initial internal reactions were and especially my self-talk. He said we would be getting back to that in an upcoming session. When I told him my ‘aha’ moment about knowledge and training, he smiled again and asked me another question:

“Mike, what do you know about the importance of eating a lot of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet?”

Well, that was easy! I told him all about the studies I’d heard and read about emphasizing the importance of fruits and vegetables. I told him about the essential vitamins and minerals found in green leafy vegetables, about the disease-fighting phytochemicals found only in these foods. I then told him about the importance of dietary fiber which was crucial to maintaining a healthy intestinal track and, of course, and to preventing constipation and even reducing the risk of bowel cancer. I was prepared to go on even more until he stopped me and asked me another question:

“Mike, how many servings of fruits and vegetables did you have yesterday?”

I hesitated as I reviewed my eating that day. For breakfast I had bacon and eggs over easy with hash browns and white toast (lots of butter of course). I went out for Chinese food for lunch and had the lunch special of chicken fried rice. For dinner I had a steak sandwich with garlic mashed potatoes. Oh, and there was some broccoli as a side that I pushed around with my fork but ultimately ignored.

He then said, “So Mike, is it a fair assessment to say that you already have more knowledge about good eating habits than you’re using?” He had me there. He then went down the list. He asked me if I knew more about physical exercise than my daily workout routine (what daily workout routine?) would indicate? Yes. Did I know more about good organization habits than my garage at home or my closet might indicate? Yes. He asked about when I was in college if I knew more about good study habits and homework habits than I had practiced? Yes again!

And that’s when he lowered the boom on me. He said, “Mike, just like it isn’t about how much ability you have that determines your results, it’s also not about how much you know that determines your results either. Just like with potential, people have a lot more knowledge than their actions and results would indicate.”

So I brought up training. I told him that maybe if I had more training – essentially more knowledge – than maybe I’d use more of it. He immediately reminded me of the sales training I went through when I was first hired. He reminded me of all the phone scripts and proven techniques I had been given. He asked me how many of them I used on a daily basis. (Not many – I was still winging it.) He asked me where my script playbook was at that moment? Was it on my desk, opened up to the rebuttals I would need for my next call? No, I had to admit, it was in the middle drawer of my desk, under a pile of other neglected paperwork.

He asked me another question: He said, “Mike, do you know more about the importance of good qualifying techniques and skills than your last few sales lead calls might indicate?” Gee, this was getting annoying. YES! “Do you know more about closing skills and proper objection handling than your last few closes might indicate?” Okay, I surrender. I admitted right then that, yes, I knew more about most things than I my actions, behavior, and my results showed.

He told me that while knowledge and training were important, they were not drivers of actions nor of results. They were not what made someone more successful than someone else. He told me that knowledge was crucial, and that we could always use more training, but by themselves, they were not going to cause me to use more of the potential and ability that I already agreed I had. He told me that it’s not what I know, rather, it’s what I do with what I know that makes the difference.

All right, so how do I get motivated to use more of that I already know and to use more of my potential and ability? I was suddenly convinced the missing piece was motivation, right? When he heard me say this, that same little smile, now a smirk, I was sure, crept across his face. He told me we’d dive into that subject next week.

In the meantime, he challenged me again – and I’m going to challenge you – to come up with areas in my life where I wanted to achieve more, and then he asked me to begin making a list of the things I already knew in those areas and whether or not I was using my knowledge and training to maximize results in those areas. Whether or not that knowledge was influencing my behavior or allowing me to use more of my ability and potential.

It was the start of an interesting exercise, and I highly recommend you try it for yourself this week. Pick an area – as many areas as you choose – and ask yourself if you know more than you use. If fact, ask yourself how much, or how little, of the current knowledge you have in that area that you’re using. The answers for me were revealing, and I think they will be for you, too.

Do You Have What it Takes?

I remember my first sales job out of college. It was working for a company that sold investments – limited and general partnerships – to high net worth individuals around the country. My job was to make 150 cold calls a day, identify prospects, and then send out a brochure that I would follow up on a few days later to pitch and try to close. It was hard going, lots of resistance and lots of hang ups. Frankly, I wasn’t very good at it. Soon I began to long for the care-free days of college life.

One thing that always intrigued me, though, was that out of an office of 25 sales reps, there were always three top producers who seemed to easily make triple to quadruple the amount of sales that I was making. At the end of each month, these were the same reps who won the bonuses, and at the end of each quarter, they were the ones winning the trips, and making the president’s club. They were the ones who drove the Porches and Mercedes, and they were the ones who were buying nice houses. As I watched them easily excel at the same work I was doing, I wondered what I was missing. I began to ask myself whether I had what it took to perform like that.

The answer to that question began with a different question that was about to change my life. It was asked by my boss, who was a very forward thinking man, constantly on the lookout for tools, training, and technologies that would allow himself, and his company, to succeed. He had found a program that he was using in his own life to set personal goals and to help grow his company, and he decided he would mentor me and share this information with me. Each day, we got together in the mornings and he taught me the system that was not only changing his life, but that would change mine as well. And he started by asking me this question:

“Mike, can you run a marathon?”

I didn’t need to think about that because the answer was clearly “No.” I had a lot of evidence to back that up. Ever since I was a kid, I was never very athletic. I didn’t participate in team sports in school, and in P.E., I was the last kid picked on any team. I still remember the horrors of Junior High School when we were all forced to run four laps around the field. Four! After the first one I wanted to die, and by the third, I didn’t care if I got an F – I was through. I grew to dread P.E. more than any other class. So my answer was easy and clear: “No, I can’t.”

I can still remember the sly smile that crept over my boss’s face as he told me something that was forever to change the way I viewed my life and my ability to do things. He said, “Mike, you actually ‘can’ run a marathon – if you choose to – because ‘can’ actually refers to your ability to do something, your potential and capacity to do it, not whether you are doing it now.” That made no sense to me, so he explained.

He told me that I had the ability to run a marathon because of all the people, who are far worse off than I am physically, who run marathons now. He told me stories people who were born without feet and without legs who nonetheless train for and run marathons. He told me people with physical disabilities like M.S., and people who have had heart transplants, and people who are in their nineties and yet run marathons. He challenged me to do some research (and there are plenty of examples on the Internet right now), and to learn more about people with far less potential than I, that nonetheless had made decisions to train and now regularly run marathons. And then he said something that caused my first shift.

He said: “Mike, even though you may not run marathons now, what’s important for you to acknowledge is that, if you choose to, you can run a marathon. In fact, if I offered you a million dollars cash if you completed a marathon six months from now, could you do it?”

“Absolutely!” was my immediate response. When I looked at it that way, I realized that if I was going to be given one million dollars in six months for completing a marathon, I’d stop off at the nearest running store on the way home from work, and I’d buy the best shoes, work out pants, etc., and I’d start with jogging around the block that very night. In six months, I’d be ready and I would definitely complete a marathon. No problem. Maybe not at the best time, but I would!

And that’s when he explained this concept again. He told me that I have a lot more ability and potential than I use. And the word ‘can’ is just a measure of that untapped ability – and a measure of my attitude towards it. He told me that I should begin shifting my awareness and opening up to the true potential in my life. And he said that it would all start if I began answering any “Can you?” question with an immediate Yes. Because again, “can you” simply asks whether you have the ability or potential to do something, not whether you are doing it now.

My sister, for example, likes to play the game of Mahjong. Once I was over her house and one of her friends asked me if I could play Mahjong and, to my sister’s surprise, I said Yes! The friend than said they needed another player and invited me to sit down with them. And that’s when I said, “I can, but I haven’t learned how yet…”

They looked at me oddly, and I explained: “I can play Mahjong – in other words, I have the ability to play the game – but I haven’t learned how yet. But I ‘can’!” And that’s when another little shift occurred for me. I then told them that I had chosen not to learn because I wasn’t into games like that. But I could, if I wanted to. That change of awareness was huge for me because it gave me the power to acknowledge my true potential – to look beyond the limits I had set on myself – and it gave me the power of choice over my life.

My boss then explained the concept of potential to me. He said that we all have much more potential than we’re using. He defined potential as the sum of our natural ability – which we all have a lot of, though different amounts in different ways – and our training and knowledge. Another component to using or maximizing our potential, and one that many people think as the regulator or driver of potential, is our level of desire or motivation. We’ll examine these other components in a moment, but for right now, it’s important to recognize that we all have vast amounts of potential and ability that we don’t use.

And one of the big reasons we don’t use it is because of the beliefs and words we use. The “I cant’s” which simply aren’t true and that severely limit our natural ability and our – what some would say unlimited – potential. And these self-imposed limitations also limit our results in each and every area of our lives.

After we went through this first lesson, my boss asked me whether or not I had what it took to be a top producer at his company. As I waivered and began coming up with excuses for why I couldn’t, he quickly asked me, “If these other reps can do it, can you – if you choose to do it – can you become a top sales rep, too?”

He was asking if I had the ability to do it if I decided to. I immediately realized that I did. In fact, I made up my mind right then and developed the mantra, “If they can do it, I can do it better.” And in that instant, I decided I was going to outwork, outlearn, and do any and everything I needed to to become a top producer at that company. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I was committed to learning how.

My boss told me we would next examine that second component of potential – training and knowledge – and that I might be surprised by what I’d learn. I couldn’t wait. In the meantime, he gave me a challenge that I’ll give to you. He told me to start examining all the areas in my life where I had more ability than I was using. He challenged me to shift my thoughts from, “Oh, I can’t do that,” to “I could if I choose to.” He told me to begin measuring the difference this made in my attitude towards my life and the potential I had to make my life the way I might dream for it to be. He asked me:

“Can you speak French?”

“Can you live at the beach?”

“Can you have the ideal relationship?”

“Can you make as much money as you’d like to make?”

“Can you achieve the goals that truly inspire your heart?”

And on and on. This was an interesting exercise because it put me face to face with my limiting and negative attitudes, my self-image, and my old habits of thinking which, I was to learn, were the keys to either releasing or suppressing my ability and potential. I was to learn that I had many, many limits on my ability that were mostly self-imposed and unconsciously held, put there through previous conditioning and false beliefs.

I was to find that my success in using more of my potential, and achieving and enjoying a more fulfilling life, would be determined by how effective I was in transcending these limitations and developing empowering beliefs which would be more in alignment with the ability and potential I truly had.

And I would like to challenge you today to begin examining the “can’s and “can’ts’ in your own life. In fact, begin making a list of what you believe you can and can’t do and start asking yourself a different question: “If you choose to, what can you do in your life?”

Make a list this week of the things you’d really like to do, the things you’ve dreamed about doing, and the things you’ve been afraid of even attempting. And then ask yourself, “Can you” do them? And listen carefully to your automatic, internal response.

Then shift your thoughts and your question to, “Do you have the ability and potential to do them, if you choose to?” If you’re honest, you’ll see your entire life begin to open up for you. And with this first shift in your awareness, and in this process, that can and will change your life for the better.

It is the first step in releasing the enormous and untapped potential you truly have.

The Missing Ingredient to Top Performance in Sales

Have you ever wondered why some people excel in sales, while others don’t?

Have you ever questioned – if most other things are equal, like if you all have access to the same leads, the same sales training, the same number of hours in the day, etc. – why are there always top producers who hit or exceed their goals, while the rest of the team members struggle to varying degrees?

How about yourself? Are you a top producer at your company?

If you aren’t, then have you ever wondered what is keeping you from being in that elite group? (And if you are, have you ever asked yourself what is keeping you from earning even more?) And if you’ve struggled with consistency – perhaps one month you do well, then a couple of months you fall off, wouldn’t it be great to have the key to consistent performance?

I used to have all those thoughts. I watched with amazement the top sales producers win the bonuses and the trips over and over again. I used to think that I just didn’t have “it” and that I was probably better suited for a different career. Then something happened for me…

Years ago, I was introduced to a way of thinking that helped me understand how my current levels of belief, and my consistent ways of thinking and feeling were limiting my results – not only in sales – but in every other area of my life as well. At first I was highly skeptical, but I was also pretty fed up with how things were going for me. So I was willing to use these new tools to see if it could make a difference in my life.

Some of you who know my story know that after 90 days of following this new way of thinking, affirming and imaging, I literally doubled my income. And nine months later, I was the number one sales rep out of five branch offices.

What you may not know, though, is that I changed other areas of my life as well. I lost a tremendous amount of weight and took my fitness level to a place I had never achieved before. I used this program to achieve a deep level of happiness and purpose in my life. And I was able to do it all easily, without struggling.

And that was huge. I didn’t have to resist eating “yummy” but unhealthy foods or force myself to go to the gym, etc. Suddenly, with the use of this program, these and other things came to me naturally and became a “want to,” rather than a “have to.” I had found a remarkably effective way to easily make changes in my life.

I have been using and teaching this program for living for over 30 years, and it is still the most important ingredient to my success today. Today, when I set goals for achievement, and implement this proven approach, things automatically “happen” for me. Resources appear, opportunities show up, and it’s as if the entire Universe has conspired to help me achieve my goals.

And you know? I believe it has…

What I have decided to do is to share this program with all of you over the coming months through my blog. Each week, I am going to explain, little by little, how this approach works, why it works, and I’m going to give you specific, actionable steps you can take each week to begin implementing this into your life.

I know it works because it’s not only worked for me, but it’s worked for the thousands of business leaders, professional sales reps, and personal friends I’ve coached and shared it with as well. And it will work for you, too.

I’m excited, and you should be, too. So stay tuned and be on the lookout for the first installment here next week.

Your life is about to get a whole lot better.

5 Ways to Get Better at Handling Objections

Want to make 2018 your best year ever? Want to instantly improve your ability to handle the objections you get, day in and day out? (And, by the way, that you’re going to get all year long.)

I guarantee you that if you just take the time to follow the step by step advice you’ll read below, you will – within 30 days – be a more confident, competition, and successful sales professional.

Guaranteed.

Step Number one:  Take time to carefully script out word-for-word rebuttals to the common objections you get repeatedly. Remember, the best thing about sales is that you get the same objections, stalls and put offs over and over again. You already know what’s coming – that’s a huge advantage!

True pros recognize this and take the time to script out best practice responses to them, so when they get them, they can confidently and effectively handle them.

Other sales reps still choose to adlib their responses which means they are making up one poor response after another. This is why they are discouraged and not as successful as they could be.

So take some time right now and script out your best practice responses so you’ll never have to scramble for what to say again!

Step number two:  Memorize your best practice responses. Don Shula – the famous Miami Dolphin coach – once said that his players practiced, drilled and rehearsed their plays and techniques over and over again so they could internalize them and act automatically when they needed to.

He said that football moves so fast that: “If you get into a situation and have to think about what to do next, it’s already too late.”

Same thing in sales. By internalizing your best practice responses to objections, you’ll be able to handle them automatically, without thinking or stressing.

Step number three: To effectively memorize your rebuttals, you’ll need to put in some time.  The most effective way to memorize and internalize them is to record them into a recording device (and you’re already carrying one of these around in your pocket – all smart phones have one), and then listen to them 30 to 50 times.

This is the same thing you did with your favorite song, and it works for rebuttals to objections as well. In fact, you’ll even remember the exact inflection and pacing as well, so record several until you find the one you like!

Step number four: Record yourself and listen to how you sound when delivering your rebuttals.  Listen for if you’re using the right rebuttal to the objection your prospect or client just gave you.

By recording yourself, you’ll learn tons of things that will make you better, including how to deliver your rebuttals more convincingly. You’ll also learn whether or not your rebuttal is the best one to use – which leads me to step number five.

Step number five: Be prepared to revise your rebuttals as needed. After listening to your sales calls over and over again, you’ll find ways to improve. Perhaps a rebuttal can be shortened? Maybe it can include a few key words or phrases? Perhaps you could deliver it with a bit more energy? Or less energy?

Never stop learning, critiquing and getting better. When you stop learning, you stop earning. The top professionals in any industry are always adapting, always learning, and always improving.  You should, too.

So there you have it: the five ways to get better at handling objections and improve your 2018 sales experience. If you’re truly committed to becoming one of the best producers in your company or industry, then commit to following the steps above.

If you do, your career and your life will change in exciting and fulfilling ways.

P.S.: If you’re at a loss for what to say with your rebuttals or how to script them out, then you can buy a book that over 500 word-for-word scripts, questions, and phrases already written for you!

See my bestselling book, Power Phone Scripts, and make your life easier starting today!

From Hero to Zero

Being in sales is kind of like being a professional football player…

In football, each result can either be celebrated (or not) for a very short time. If you win the game, you get about a day to enjoy the victory, and then it’s on to the next game where you need to win and prove yourself all over again.

Same in sales. Each month you shoot for a victory (making your numbers), and, if you hit them – great….for about a day. Because suddenly it’s a new month, and you have a new quota. What you did last month (or last game, if it’s football), doesn’t matter this month (or this week).

You may have been the top producer last month, a hero, but now you’re at zero again.

Years ago when I was struggling, this used to wear me out. Each month I’d barely do enough to keep my job – like a team going 8-8 – and then I’d be at zero again and have to climb back up the hill.

What happened for me – and what I wish for everyone that I work with – is that I made a commitment one day to get out of this constant struggle and learn how to perform like the top producers in my company.

Each month, the same three reps would win all the awards for being the top producers, and each time the new month would begin, they would already have deals on the board. Everyone in the company expected them to win, and win they did.

Kind of like the New England Patriots…

So if you are sick and tired of acting like Sisyphus (look it up if you don’t remember your Greek mythology), then make a commitment this year to do the things that other top producers do.

And that is really what it starts with: A commitment. The question you have to ask yourself this January is: Are you ready to do what it takes to finally change your career and your life?

I love what Bear Bryant (football coach) once said: “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

If you are willing to do the prep work it takes to succeed, then you can change your career.

If you’re not sure what (“prep work”) means, then pick up a copy of my book: Power Phone Scripts. In it, I list the “Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Performers.” Read that first section and commit to doing that work.

If you do, then soon you’ll find the fastest way to go from Zero back to Hero again – month after month!

And wouldn’t that make your 2018 better?

Handling the, “I Need to Speak With….” Objection

The holidays are upon us and guess what? The teams I’m working with are still getting the stall, “I need to speak with (my partner, my boss, purchasing, etc.).”

Oh by gosh, by golly, you’d think they’d cut you a break at the holidays and just buy all ready 🙂

Here’s the good news: Because this is a recurring selling situation, you shouldn’t have any problem dealing with this. In fact, you should be able to recite at least four different, best practice responses to this, right?

Surprisingly, many sales reps still stumble with this, but you don’t have to because I’m going to give you a gift for the holidays: A proven way to overcome this stall.

The following script is just one of the proven ways I outline in my book, Power Phone Scripts. And after you begin using it, you will finally be able to move past this stall/objection the next time you get it.

So here it is:

“I’m going to have to run this by…..” 

“Of course and I understand – we talked before about your decision process.  Let me ask you this, though: is getting their approval the ONLY thing holding us back from doing business together?”

[Listen carefully – if YES then]:

“Will you have time to talk to them before we next speak at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon?

“Great!  Then because you’re onboard with this, I’ll go ahead and prepare the paperwork, I’ll email it to you, and I’ll even reserve a spot for you.”

[Give a brief pause here and wait for push back.  If none]:

“I’ll look forward to us moving forward tomorrow…”

Now when you look at this and break it down, you’ll notice a few things:

1) The first thing we do is isolate the objection to make sure there isn’t anything else holding the prospect back: “Is this the ONLY thing holding us back?”

You must listen carefully here because if there are other reasons, then speaking with someone else is not the real objection and you’ll need to deal with whatever else they bring up.

2) Do you see how you already have a call back appointment? (The “…next speak at 2:30?”)

You absolutely have to have this scheduled before you get off the phone – if indeed you get a “Yes, that’s the only thing holding me back…”

3) And the trial/assumptive close at the end. If everything else is a go, then offering to prepare the paperwork or shipping, or set up, or whatever is required, you are assuming the deal.

By following this best practice approach (just one of several you’ll find in Power Phone Scripts), you will be able to determine how much of a stall or real objection this is. And, you’ll learn how to look behind it to uncover what is really holding your prospect back.

Give yourself a gift of over 500 more scripts, phrases, and questions to help you open and close more sales?

Order your signed copy of Power Phone Scripts here.

Avoid this “Ghost” of Christmas Future

When was the last time you read the classic book: “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens? If it’s been a while, I highly recommend it. Dickens is a superb story teller, and there is a reason this is a “classic.”

While reading this, it reminded me of an encounter I had that was a chilling reminder of the bad “Ghost of Christmas Future” I narrowly avoided all those years ago. Here’s what happened:

I was on my way to work with a new client one day when I stopped at my local Starbucks for a cup of coffee.

As I stood in line, I saw a city bus stop and a bunch of people get off. One guy – mid 40’s, tall and lanky – started walking towards the Starbucks, and there was something about the way he was walking that was familiar to me.

When he entered the store, I recognized him from many years before when we were both struggling inside sales reps trying to sell investments over the phone.

His name was John. After I got my coffee, and he got his, he came up to me and said, “You’re Mike Brooks, right?” “Yes” I said. “Hey, we used to work together!” he said. “I remember,” I said.

He asked me what I was up to these days, and I told him I had become a consultant in inside sales, and that I was off to work with a new client. I asked him what he was up to and this is when the chill hit me.

He said he was starting a new sales job today, and then he rolled his eyes as if to say, “And this one will suck, too.”

We walked out of the store together, and said goodbye and went our separate ways. He went to wait at the next bus bench, and I got into my Mercedes and drove away.

As I sipped my coffee and listened to the tunes in my plush car, I thought about how different our lives had turned out and wondered what happened to make them so different. As I did, I knew exactly what it was.

During our time together, the owners of the company brought in a sales trainer to motivate us. He spoke to us for an hour about what makes the difference between the top money earners in sales versus all the other sales reps.

He said that you have a choice to either commit to learning and using proven scripts and sales techniques that would double or triple your income, or you could just keep doing what you were doing (ad-libbing), and then you’d just keep getting what you had been getting.

He said: “If you are willing to do what most sales reps aren’t willing to do, then soon you’ll be able to enjoy the things, the lifestyle, and the future that most sales reps will never be able to enjoy.”

I was sold. John wasn’t.

I invested in this sales trainer’s cassette series, “Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone.” I committed to learning, practicing, and doing what he suggested.

Soon afterwards, my sales and income soared.

John thought what the trainer taught was just a bunch of old sales techniques that wouldn’t work for him.

John thought he knew better.

John didn’t believe in using scripts.

“I’ll sound like a telemarkerter,” he said. “I have to go with the flow because each prospect is different,” he persisted.

John didn’t believe in putting in the time, energy, or money to get better.

So he didn’t.

Fast forward to our Starbucks encounter. Over 20 years had passed between that sales trainer’s talk, and I realized, that seminar was the moment I made the decision to change my life.

When John showed up that day, he was the Ghost of Christmas Past that could have become my Ghost of Christmas Future.

My life has changed because of other sales trainer’s material, my commitment to investing in other sales material, and then learning and using all of it diligently.

My life is infinitely better because I did, and I have no doubt that had I not invested, learned, and used proven selling techniques, it would have been me that was taking a bus to my next, new job.

It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.

The moral here is that you, too, can avoid the Ghost of Christmas Past from becoming your future. There are a lot of great sales training books, CD’s, and courses you and your team can take advantage of to get better.

One of the best (in my humble opinion) is my new book “Power Phone Scripts.” Over 500 word-for-word phrases, questions, and scripts that will make you better in just about any situation you find yourself in.

So why not give yourself a gift this season?

Get it here

If you don’t want to invest in my material, no problem. Find someone else you respect and invest in theirs.

Make this best holiday season you’ve ever had, and give yourself a gift that will repay you for the rest of your career.