Metrics: Why Most Companies Get it Wrong

B2B Sales, Appointment Setting, Closing Techniques, Cold Calling, Frontline Reps, Metrics, Phone Sales, Sales Process, Sales Tips, Sales Training, Best Practices, Benchmarks, Sales Skills

If you’re in inside sales management, then you know all about metrics. In fact, whenever I consult with new clients the owners and managers automatically begin showing me their call monitoring reports. They show me metrics on how many calls a rep is making, how much average time each rep spends on the phone, what their conversion rate is, and on and on.

When they ask me what I think, I tell them I think they’re measuring the wrong things. 

Now don’t get me wrong—those things are important and they should be monitored. The problem though is that those metrics are not what drive sales. 

You see, it isn’t the activity around the sale that’s most important (and that everyone measures), but rather, it’s the activity that happens during the sale that matters most. 

In other words, as a manager or business owner you need to know exactly what and how your reps are responding and dealing with objections, stalls, and other selling situations during the sales call.

This is what’s most important and it’s exactly what most managers don’t focus on…

 The good news is that this is easy to fix because there are two times when you can monitor and coach this:

  1. You can either monitor your reps while they’re actually on the phone with a prospect or client (by listening in), or:
  2. You can record the call and spend time reviewing and coaching your rep as you go over their actual call with them during your one-on-one coaching with them.

Both of these methods will give you the most important information of all: Are your reps using the best practice approaches to successfully handle the sales situations they run into 80% of the time when trying to sell your product or service? 

If your reps either don’t know how to best handle these sales situations, or if they simply aren’t using effective techniques and skills, or worse, if they just don’t have the talent or willingness to consistently use proven best practices, then it doesn’t matter how much time they spend on calls, or how many calls they make or how many demos they set.

They won’t improve.

Again, what’s important is how they perform during a sales call that matters. And your number one goal as a manager or business owner is to know how each of your reps performs while in the sale, and then to teach them the most effective, best practice techniques to win more sales. 

Once you’ve given your team the skills and techniques they need to succeed in your selling environment—and you’ve trained them thoroughly on them—then managing simply becomes a job of coaching adherence to these best practices and measuring that adherence.  

Bottom line: It isn’t the activity around the sale that’s most important, but rather, it’s the activity during the sale that matters.

And if you’d like help putting a proven system together to measure, monitor and correct that, then click here.


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 Question to Close More Demos

Closing Techniques, Frontline Reps, Sales Process, Sales Tips, Best Practices, Sales Presentations, Sales Skills, sales scripts

Have you ever gotten to the end of your demo and wondered how it was going to end?

Wondered not only if the prospect was going to move forward, but also what it would take and how long that might take?

If you have, then you’re probably missing one of the most important “pre-qualifying” questions you should be asking on each and every demo call before you launch into your actual presentation.

Let’s review briefly: We all know that “you can’t close an unqualified lead.” Yet that’s still what many sales reps and teams are trying to do. If you weren’t able to fully qualify a prospect during the initial call, then remember: You can and should be starting your demo call with a brief “re-qualification” set of questions.

And the most important of these questions is this:

After you’ve asked the other qualifying questions (for a full treatment of this subject, see my book, Power Phone Scripts), you should end with this question:

“And last question: If, after the end of this presentation, you say to yourself, ‘Yes! This is exactly what I’m looking for,’ when would you want to start working with us, and what is the process you’d have to go through to get approval?”

Simple, yet powerful question, isn’t it?

And wouldn’t you rather know now than wait until the end?

Knowing what your prospect is thinking in advance eliminates the surprise of the inevitable stall at the end. It also gives you the leverage you need to tailor your presentation, build value, get buy in, and of finding ways of working together sooner.

Try this today and this week during the beginning of your demos and listen to how your prospects respond. You’ll be more in charge and you’ll become a better closer as a result!


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

Should You Use: “Is this a good time”—Yes or No?

B2B Sales, B2C sales, Appointment Setting, Closing Techniques, Cold Calling, Frontline Reps, Phone Sales, Prospecting, Sales Tips, Best Practices, sales scripts

The debate of whether to open your calls asking, “Did I catch you at a good time?” or “Is this time still good for you?” (for demo call backs), is alive and well—unfortunately.

Just last week, I received this email question from a reader:

“Hi Mike, question: After I send out information to prospects, and I come back to them with an idea do I ask them if they have a minute before going into my pitch?”

Have you ever wondered the same thing? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve heard this question for the last 30+ years, and I’ve also heard arguments for both sides. Some people think it’s respectful to ask if the prospect has time, and others feel they are setting themselves up for a stall.

So, what should you do?

I’ve been making calls—both prospecting calls and closing calls—for a long time. In fact, I still make them today. And in my experience (note I said experience, not “theory”), the answer is clear. What you should do is this:

Never ask if it’s a good time to deliver your demo or have a conversation with a prospect or client. Instead, follow this approach:

Always greet your prospect: “Hi {first name}, hope your day is going well….” (or whatever other opening you like).

Then listen carefully not only to what they say, but, more importantly, to how they say it. Ask yourself:

“Is this person happy to hear from me?”

“Does this person sound rushed?”

“Do they sound upset that I’ve interrupted them?”

“Are they unhappy they picked up the phone and now have to talk to me?”

Or,

“Do they sound relaxed?”

“Are they willing to engage; did they ask me how I’m doing?”

“Is there a smile in their voice?” (Or a frown?)

In other words, rather than ask if you caught them at a good time, listen to their voice and to how they answer the phone to see what their mood is. If you actually listen, you can always tell…

Then, regardless of what they say, acknowledge what you know to be true: they are busy! Let them know you respect their time and open your call this way:

“{first name} I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll be brief….”

And then engage quickly and, if you’re prospecting or qualifying, ask them a question as soon as possible so you can give them an opportunity to tell you whether they have the time to speak to you or not.

That’s how you handle prospecting calls.

For demos where you have an appointment, don’t ask if this is still a good time for them. You’ve made an appointment in advance, and if you’ve truly qualified them, they are expecting your call and should be ready for it.

For these calls, you open this way:

“Hi {first name}, how’s your (Tuesday, etc.) going?”

[Listen here and respond accordingly.]

“Good to hear. {first name}, I’m excited to speak with you today and I know you’re going to love…”

And then get into your demo…

And, as always, don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! Your own experience will verify what I’m telling you. Happy selling!


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

Continuing Education: The Key to Immediate & Long-Term Success

Best Practices, Confidence, Performance, Motivation, Attitude, Optimism in sales, Sales tips, Sales training, continuing education, sales quotes, sales skills, online training program, sales training program, Coaching, Frontline Reps,

“Selling is a skill, and like all skills, it must be learned through study and practice.”Thomas J. Watson

“A salesperson’s education is never completed: each day offers new opportunities to learn. Part of a salesperson’s training comes from nose-to-nose selling; in sales, there is no substitute for practical experience. But an integral part of one’s training comes from books, recordings, sales meetings and training courses.

“If you intend to make a lifetime (successful) career in sales, make a lifetime commitment to learning. And never make the mistake of believing that you know everything there is to know about the art of selling. For the savvy salesperson, school is always in session.”

From: The Salesman’s Book of Wisdom, Dr. Criswall Freeman

Another great truth in the profession of sales. For my own growth and success, I found that the moment I made a commitment to improving my sales skills—from call to call—that was the moment I produced bigger and bigger revenues, month after month.

Enjoy the quotes below and remember that you can still save 15% on our award winning inside sales training that is conducted online starting next Wednesday, September 11th, at 4 pm EDT. Use the coupon code: “early” and get ready to crush your fourth quarter numbers!

Register Here

Quotes on continuing education you might enjoy:

“Only the most exceptional salespeople seek sales training. Only the best people invest in themselves.” Brian Tracy

“Know your business and keep on knowing your business.” Frank Bettger

“A salesman should never rationalize away sales failures. He should carefully analyze his approach and correct mistakes.” George M. Kahn

“Many receive advice, few profit by it.” Publilius Syrus

“No man ever became wise by chance.” Seneca

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” Henry Ford

“What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” Eleanor Powell

“Learn from the skillful. He that teaches himself hath a fool for his master.” Ben Franklin

“It is what you learn after you know it all that counts.” Harry S. Truman

“When you’re green you’re growing; when you’re ripe you rot.” Ray Kroc

If you’re ready to take your sales to the next level, then save 15% by clicking here and registering your team for next week’s Online Training Program for inside sales!

Better training = better income. It’s that simple


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

How to Overcome the “I’m not interested” objection

overcoming objections, sales tips, sales training, phone sales, phone scripts, sales scripts, cold calling

Top sales reps—the ones making the most sales and commissions—know how to handle repeatable selling situations. Instead of ad-libbing, they have learned, internalized, and use best practice responses to the objections and stalls they get over and over again.

[Special Offer: If you and your team would like to learn these techniques and save 15% on our upcoming 7-week online inside sales training, Click Here and use the coupon code: EARLY]

Here is an example of the kinds of proven scripts and techniques you’ll learn to handle all the selling situations you and your team face:

If, while prospecting, your prospect tells you, “We wouldn’t be interested,” you can more effectively respond with:

“I’m not interested”

Response #1

 “That’s fine _________, and I’m simply calling to update your information for our records. Quick question: Are you still the right contact person who handles ordering the ________ for your company?”

Response #2

 “Oh that’s O.K., I’m not calling to sell you anything today. Just want to make sure you still know we’re here in case you do need something down the road. By the way, do you guys still carry/use/order ________?”

Response #3

 “I get that all the time, and just know that the only reason I’m calling is to introduce myself as your contact should you ever need to check pricing or availability on an item. Quick question: are you still the right contact for _________?”

Response #4

 “No problem _________. I’ll simply email you my contact information in case you ever do need anything, and then I’ll get out of your hair. By the way, would you be the best person to email this to, or is there someone else who is handling ________ now?”

Response #5

 “That’s no problem at all – quick question: is it that you don’t need anything just now, or do you even order/carry/use ________ anymore at all?”

[“We do order, we just don’t need any now”]

“Great.  When you are in the market again, could I be one of the vendors/suppliers/sources you go to for a quote?”

Response #6

 “Quick question: Does that mean you’re not interested at this moment, but in a few months things could change, and I should keep in touch?”

“When should I check back with you?”

[If given a date]

“Great.  So I can be more prepared for that, quick question: are you the right contact for this?” (Then add other qualifying questions) 

Response #7

 “If you were to be interested, what is the typical (volume, amount, frequency, etc.) that you normally order/use/need?”

[If they tell you]

“And who do you normally get that from?”

Response #8

 “When was the last time you were interested in something like this?”

Response #9

 “And what would have to change for you to be more open to something like this in the future?”

Response #10

 “Should I lose your number or put you on a 6-month follow up call?” (Say with a BIG smile!)

[If call back in 6 months]

“Great.  What should I keep an eye out for in between then?”

Regardless of your product or service, I’m sure you can adapt one of these 10 proven responses to deal with the “I’m not interested” blow off.

And if you’d like more proven solutions, like this, then use the coupon code EARLY to save 15% on our AA-ISP Award Winning inside sales training.

New online, 7-week training starts Wednesday, September 11th, at 4 pm Eastern.

All courses are recorded and come with all handouts, scripts, and information you need to instantly upgrade your sales skills and sales results.

For companies registering up 5 or more reps, your average investment is less than $399 per rep!

Read more here.

Look forward to having you in the training!


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

How to Overcome the “I’m not interested” objection

overcoming objections, sales tips, sales training, phone sales, phone scripts, sales scripts, cold calling

Top sales reps—the ones making the most sales and commissions—know how to handle repeatable selling situations. Instead of ad-libbing, they have learned, internalized, and use best practice responses to the objections and stalls they get over and over again.

[Special Offer: If you and your team would like to learn these techniques and save 15% on our upcoming 7-week online inside sales training, Click Here and use the coupon code: Gitomer]

Here is an example of the kinds of proven scripts and techniques you’ll learn to handle all the selling situations you and your team face:

If, while prospecting, your prospect tells you, “We wouldn’t be interested,” you can more effectively respond with:

“I’m not interested”

Response #1

 “That’s fine _________, and I’m simply calling to update your information for our records. Quick question: Are you still the right contact person who handles ordering the ________ for your company?”

Response #2

 “Oh that’s O.K., I’m not calling to sell you anything today. Just want to make sure you still know we’re here in case you do need something down the road. By the way, do you guys still carry/use/order ________?”

Response #3

 “I get that all the time, and just know that the only reason I’m calling is to introduce myself as your contact should you ever need to check pricing or availability on an item. Quick question: are you still the right contact for _________?”

Response #4

 “No problem _________. I’ll simply email you my contact information in case you ever do need anything, and then I’ll get out of your hair. By the way, would you be the best person to email this to, or is there someone else who is handling ________ now?”

Response #5

 “That’s no problem at all – quick question: is it that you don’t need anything just now, or do you even order/carry/use ________ anymore at all?”

[“We do order, we just don’t need any now”]

“Great.  When you are in the market again, could I be one of the vendors/suppliers/sources you go to for a quote?”

Response #6

 “Quick question: Does that mean you’re not interested at this moment, but in a few months things could change, and I should keep in touch?”

“When should I check back with you?”

[If given a date]

“Great.  So I can be more prepared for that, quick question: are you the right contact for this?” (Then add other qualifying questions) 

Response #7

 “If you were to be interested, what is the typical (volume, amount, frequency, etc.) that you normally order/use/need?”

[If they tell you]

“And who do you normally get that from?”

Response #8

 “When was the last time you were interested in something like this?”

Response #9

 “And what would have to change for you to be more open to something like this in the future?”

Response #10

 “Should I lose your number or put you on a 6-month follow up call?” (Say with a BIG smile!)

[If call back in 6 months]

“Great.  What should I keep an eye out for in between then?”

Regardless of your product or service, I’m sure you can adapt one of these 10 proven responses to deal with the “I’m not interested” blow off.

And if you’d like more proven solutions, like this, then use the coupon code Gitomer to save 15% on our AA-ISP Award Winning inside sales training. This code expires on Monday, September 9th.

New online, 7-week training starts Wednesday, September 11th, at 4 pm Eastern.

All courses are recorded and come with all handouts, scripts, and information you need to instantly upgrade your sales skills and sales results.

For companies registering up 5 or more reps, your average investment is less than $399 per rep!

Read more here.

Look forward to having you in the training!


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

How to Negotiate to Close More Deals

Closing Techniques, Frontline Reps, Objection Handling, Phone Sales, Sales Process, Sales Tips, Sales Training, Best Practices, Cold Calling, Communication, Problem solving, Qualifying, sales Scripts, Negotiations

There is a disturbing trend I’ve heard with the companies I’m working with. And it starts when prospects begin asking for a lower price or a “deal,” or for a reference before committing, or for a free trial to demo services or products.

The problem I’m hearing is that sales reps—both newer reps and even some seasoned reps—immediately drop the price or offer a trial, or readily hand out references thinking that this is what will close the sale.

If you’ve done this yourself, then you know all too well the sickening feeling of “giving away the store” only to have the prospect then refuse to do business with you. It’s not an effective sales strategy…

The answer is to learn the fine art of negotiating. In a nutshell, the basic point of negotiating is that you both have something the other party wants, so you give to get. And this is the problem for most sales reps: they just give away things (like a free trial or lower price) without getting anything in return.

Here’s how to change that. Let’s do a quick role play:

Example One:

Prospect: “Do you offer a free trial?”

Rep: “We generally don’t offer a ‘free’ trial, but there are some options I may be able to offer in terms of a free month at the beginning of your contract with us. I’d have to speak to my director about this.

“Before I do, I know he’ll want to know that you’re set and ready to go before we put together something. So let me ask you…”

Now qualify for budget, timeframe, and start date before you offer that free trial.

Example Two:

Prospect: “That price is too high. Can we buy half a position to try it out?”

Rep: “That’s something I’d need to get approval on. Just out of curiosity, if I did take this to my director and he approved it, would you be ready to give us the go ahead and begin service today?”

Here again is the basis of negotiation. You never give away a free trial nor do you drop the price without first getting something from your prospect in return. In this case, a commitment.

If they say they are willing to commit, then you can get the approval from your manager. If they say they still need to think about it, it’s up to you to keep closing and isolate the real objection.

Example Three:

Prospect: “I need a reference.”

Rep: “I’d be happy to provide you with one. Before I do, however, I want to make sure that if, after speaking with them, you’re then ready to begin working with us. As you can imagine, all our clients—like yourself—are busy and don’t want to be bothered with people taking their time if they aren’t sold on our solution.

“So let me ask you this: What price point are you ready to commit to if the reference works out?

“And how about a start date?” etc.

Again, you must get something from your prospect before you give something to them. This is negotiation.

There are many advantages of working your close this way, but the biggest one is verifying that you’re dealing with a buyer and not someone who is just a ‘maybe.’ You know as well as I do that those “so-so” leads almost never buy and by giving in to them, you’re getting weaker and weaker as a sales rep.

So try the techniques above and start negotiating rather than giving control of your sale away.

You’ll close more sales and feel better about yourself!

Need more training and tip? If you or your sales team need to learn even more proven and effective sales skills for selling over the phone, then sign up for our upcoming (September 11th) 7-week online training for inside sales.

By signing up 5 reps, your pricing is just $399 per rep! Read more about it here.


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

A Gift to Our Readers: MIS Wins 2019 Service Provider Award!

Mr. inside sales award 2019,

Chicago: AA-ISP Leadership Summit:

I’d like to take a quick moment to acknowledge all my readers and clients who nominated MIS in two categories this year, 2019.

At the Summit in Chicago last week, MIS was awarded (for the third year in a row!) the “2018 Service Provider of the Year Award”! We are deeply honored to be singled out as the top inside sales training and coaching firm among the many other fine companies in this space.

In addition, I was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals”—for the ninth year in a row!

It was an honor to be recognized in this way, and even more so because I was nominated and voted on by you—my clients and readers! So thank you very much! (Visit my AA-ISP page to view some of your comments.)

For all of you who have supported me over the years, I’d like to give you a free sample from my new book, Power Phone Scripts. In this sample, you will get word-for-word scripts on a variety of cold calling subjects such as:

  • A brand new prospecting approach
  • A better opening than “How are you today?”
  • Don’t say that, say this!
  • How to develop an effective elevator pitch
  • Four ways to get past the gatekeeper
  • Why asking for help is a great way to get information
  • Stop pitching the gatekeeper – and what to do instead
  • What to do if the prospect takes only emails

You can access your free sample with all these scripts here.

Thank you again for all your support. I look forward to continuing to create great content, and word-for-word scripts that you can use every day to become more successful selling over the phone.

By the way: Did you know that I have created a new, online 7-week inside sales training course so you and your team can get my award-winning training right from your office? Check it out here.

This is the fastest way to improve your skill sets and even double or triple your sales over the next 12 months. New course starts on Tuesday, May 21st! Sign up today!


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?

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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

Overcome ALL Objections with This ONE Question

Want to know a secret about objections? There are really only two types:

  1. Real concerns that need to be addressed, and, once you do, you can then close on, and,
  2. Smokescreen objections hiding something else (like the real reason your prospect isn’t buying).

Now here’s the trouble for many sales reps and teams: The most frequent objections they get are smokescreens and yet they try to overcome them as if they were real objections.

And that never works.

So, the question is: How do you know if you’re dealing with a real objection (one you can actually deal with and have a chance of overcoming), versus a smokescreen objection that you will never be able to overcome? (Unless you find out what is hiding behind it.)

And that’s easy if you use the technique you’ll see in today’s article. Before you read it though, let me quickly remind you what a smokescreen is: It’s when your prospect gives you an objection, like price, when in fact, there is something else holding them back (like they aren’t sold on your solution, or their partner isn’t sold, or they are looking at other options, etc.).

So, the smokescreen is really just a dodge hiding the real objection.

The first step to dealing with a smokescreen is to first figure out that is that you’re dealing with one!

So here is your technique:

Whenever you get an objection—no matter what it is—always say:

“And in addition to that, what else is holding you back today?”

That’s it! Simplicity is always best, and what this technique does is isolate the objection….

Any other answer than, “Nothing really,” means that the objection they just gave was indeed just a smokescreen. And you’ve got to now dig deeper to find out what is really holding them back.

If, however, they say “Nothing,” then you need to have a few proven closes ready to deal with and overcome the objection and “sell” them on your solution.

As with all our techniques, don’t take our word for how effective this is—use it and see for yourself how much further into the sale you get.

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Happy selling!