Three Ways to Get a Prospect to Respond

B2B Sales, Cold Calling, Email, Frontline Reps, Phone Sales, Sales Tips, Appointment Setting, Best Practices, Communication, E-mail, Prospecting, Qualifying, Sales Skills,

I received this question from a reader of my blog last week:

“Mike, I have a question for you.

“Being that people are more accessible with iPhones, text, laptops, computers, email, messenger, FB, Instagram to name a few, why are business owners/decision makers so hard to reach? It’s almost like they are hiding. They don’t even acknowledge anymore.

“How do you get them to respond? Back in the day, you left $1 stapled to your card and they called back.

“I look forward to your response.”

B.M.

This is a good question and many sales reps are wondering the same thing: With so many ways of being contacted, why is it harder to reach them?

The answer is simple: Prospects now have more ways of identifying sales reps they don’t want to speak with, and now have more ways of evading them.

Think of your own life: You get a text. What do you do? The answer is: It depends. If it’s of interest to you AND if it’s urgently important, then you respond. If not, then you wait. Sometimes for days or weeks…

It’s the same for your prospects. And if they get a communication from a sales rep, guess how long they are going to wait before responding?

So here are three things I do to reach prospects who are in the habit of hiding and evading:

#1: Because prospects are pitched all the time, and because the majority of them are not going to be a buyer (at this time) for my services, a way I get them to reach back out to me is by offering them a way out.

That’s right. While it seems counter intuitive, I’d rather know up front if I’m wasting my time or if this is a real prospect.

So I always include in my communications (voicemail, email, text) the following “out”:

“And so I know how to follow up appropriately, please let me know if this is something that isn’t of interest to you right now, or when would be a good time to reach you this week.”

That’s it.

And guess what? By including this sentence my communications, I not only get more responses, but I remove the “beg” in my pitch/follow up. Nobody likes hearing from a salesperson who has “commission breath” as a manager once told me. And this method not only allows prospects to disqualify themselves, but it also gets those interested buyers to respond back to me with a time to reach them.

#2: Make more calls without leaving a message. Speaking about prospects hiding behind emails, etc., sales reps hide behind them too. They send email after email or leave a couple of voice mails and then give up.

I take the opposite approach: I call. Relentlessly. For weeks. And I don’t leave a message.

Oh sure, I send emails also, and I leave voicemails once in a while, but in between, I’ll call five to seven times a week—at different times, different days—and hang up if I don’t reach someone.

This kind of persistence has paid off (and still pays off) Big Time. So be relentless—remember: “The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.”

#3: Send a card—or 12. I’ve written in my book, Power Phone Scripts, about the success I’ve had using a greeting card campaign to send a personalized card every month for year. I’ve made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing this.

Visit this link to try this service for free, and then do what other sales reps are too lazy to do: Send a card, every month, and you’ll reach the buyers you’re looking for.

And don’t forget: The beautiful thing about this system is you create the cards and then forget about them! All you have to do is add a name and address and press a button. Then your cards go out like clockwork.

Remember: You want to be in front of your prospects when priorities change, and when they need your product or service. Sending a card and being in front of them each month will ensure they think of YOU first…

So there you have it. Three sure fire ways of getting your prospects to respond to you. Follow them and watch your contacts—and your sales—go through the roof!


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 Technique to Avoid Ghosting

B2B Sales, Appointment Setting, Closing Techniques, Frontline Reps, Phone Sales, Prospecting, Sales Tips, Sales Tools, Best Practices, Calender, Cold Calling, Effective, Presentations,  Qualifying, Sales Skills, scheduling, Scripts

We’ve all been through it: You set an amazing demo or presentation call and, and…they don’t show up!

Or, you have an amazing and, what you think is an, engaging demo call and you set a call back and, and…they don’t show up!

“What’s wrong?” you think. “Why didn’t I see that coming?”

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a surefire way to predict who was most likely to keep their appointments and who wasn’t? There is!

I’ve been using a technique for years now and teaching it to my clients, and I’d like to share it with you now. By using this technique, you’ll immediately be able to tell who is most cooperative, who is engaged, and who is willing to go out of their way (a little) to meet you half-way and set an appointment they are actually interested in attending.

The technique is that while setting the next call with your prospect, you direct them to open their calendar and look for a time that fits you both.

Now this may sound like a subtle distinction—and it is—but it makes a huge difference.

The way most sales reps set appointments now is to just ask when a day and time might be good for a prospect. If they get fancy, they do the alternative close: “Would Wednesday at 3 pm work, or is Thursday at 9 am better?”

That’s an old school technique that is taught to help keep control of the sales process, but it’s pretty worn out these days.

A better way is to test for engagement by seeing how cooperative a prospect is. And you do this by seeing if they are willing to open their calendar, look at their openings, and actually put you in it.

If they are willing to do that, I’ve found they are 70% more likely to show up for the appointment—or more likely to let you know if they need to reschedule.

And the opposite is also true: If someone isn’t willing to open their calendar, then it’s a Red Flag that warns of a prospect’s inherent uncooperativeness (and unreliability).

Here’s the script for how to do it right. While scheduling the call back, simply say:

“Okay, let’s get our next call on the calendar at a time that works best for both of us. I’ve got my calendar open here, can you go ahead and pull yours up for me?”

And then wait for them to do so.

Once they have, go ahead and agree to a day and time and simply say:

“I’ve gone ahead and put you in my calendar for Tuesday at 10:30 am EDT—have you got me in yours as well?”

It’s that simple. That extra step of confirmation makes all the difference in whether or not a prospect shows up.

As always, don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. But if you want to reduce the amount of ghosting you get, trust me, start using it 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

Gatekeeper Best Practices

gatekeeper best practices, sales tips, sales presentation,

Last week I was contacted by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals and asked if I would share my best practices for dealing with the gatekeeper. Sure! I said.

In under 10 minutes they recorded a slide presentation, and I want to share that with all of you. Do pass this on to others in your company who also may have problems navigating past the gatekeeper.

You can view it here.

By taking the time to script out what you’ll learn and making a commitment to practicing this for a couple of days, you’ll instantly avoid 70% of the gatekeeper screening you’re currently getting now.

And I know that will make a huge difference in both your attitude and your results. So check it out now!


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

Getting Buy-In Before Going Over Price

Best Practices, Effective, sales Meeting, Presentations, Sales Skills, Scripts, Techniques, B2B Sales, Closing Techniques, Cold Calling, Frontline Reps, Live Sales Meetings, Phone Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Tools,

Want to instantly make asking for the sale easier?

Then make sure and get buy in that your prospect is sold on your solution before you go over pricing options.

If your sale cycle involves giving a demo or presentation that includes showing pricing options, then a mistake you may be making is moving into the pricing before you have confirmed that your prospect is completely sold that your solution will give them what they want (or help them accomplish what they need).

There is simple to fix—but like many simple solutions, it can be overlooked in your rush to ask for the sale. Here’s how it works:

First: Give your presentation as you do now, making sure to build a “Yes” momentum by using appropriate tie-downs and, later on, trial closes.

Second, before you get to your pricing options, ask the following questions first:

“That’s how this program works, so let me ask you: What questions do you have for me?”

Always ask this in a leading way, “What questions do you have..” rather than in a closed ended way: “Do you have any…”

Then answer any questions—or if they don’t have any—then ask:

“From what you’ve learned today (or: ‘from what we’ve gone over’), do you feel this would bring you (whatever it is they want—more conversions, more leads, better results or cost savings, etc.)?”

And then hit MUTE and let them fully answer..

If they are noncommittal or uncertain, then do not show pricing yet! Instead, engage with them to find out why they are hesitant:

“Do you mind sharing with me what you mean?” OR

“You know, I love to learn: what part of this don’t you feel would work for you?” etc.

If they do give you buy in, then you can go to your rate card or pricing guide, or whatever it is you use.

But the key is to first get buy in.

Begin incorporating this at the end of your presentations and what as your control of the sale—and your results—improve.


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

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.

Why Phone Scripts Make You Better

To script or not to script? That is the question…

Whether you believe in scripts or not, you & your team are using one right now. Don’t believe me? Record what they say in a week, transcribe it out, and what will you be handing back to them? A script!

The right phone scripts make you better, and here’s how to improve yours today:

How to Successfully Deal with the Gatekeeper

Many sales reps don’t know how to deal successfully with the gatekeeper. If things like: “Will he know what this call is regarding?” keep you up at night, then you need to watch this video and use the proven techniques in it.

And if you’re a sales manager, you need to send this out to all of the reps on your team!

Most Popular Article of the Last Two Years!

most popular sales blog article, sales article about overcoming objections, phone scripts, sales scripts, cold calling scripts,

As a sales rep, you need solutions to the problems you face when selling over the phone. You don’t need theory, you need actual word-for-word responses that aren’t salesy.

Responses that work.

And that’s why my blog has thousands of subscribers and why more and more sales teams are added daily.

I thought you’d benefit from my most popular article I’ve published over the last two years. It’s no surprise it deals with objections you get while prospecting.

Study these and adapt them to your product or service and then use them to overcome the objection: “We’re all set.”

And happy Holidays!

BTW: A variation of this objection is anything along the lines of:

“We are okay with our present system.”

OR

“We’ve already got a company that handles that.”

OR

“We’re fine for right now.”

Here’s how to handle it:

“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:

“No problem. Let me ask you: the next time you’re in need of this, what’s number one on your wish list?”

Response Four:

“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 Five:

“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 timeframe, budget, etc.

Response Six:

“Understand, and let me ask you: When is your next buying season for this?”

Then keep the conversation going by asking additional qualifying questions.

Response Seven:

“That’s fine; I totally understand. And let me ask you—the next time you are in the market for this, how many companies are you going to reach out to?” 

And then ask how you can become one of them, what their budget is, who the decision makers are, etc.

Response Eight:

“No problem. What you might find helpful is to know about our special pricing and the additional services we provide. Did you know that….”

Then pitch one or two things you do that others don’t – and use a tie down!

Response Nine:

“I’m glad you said that. What I’ve found is that those companies who are already using a vendor for this are surprised to learn that….”

Give them a shocking statement about how you’ve just been rated number one, or that you give free delivery, etc. Something that will peak their interest…

Response Ten:

“No problem. Could I be the “next in line” company you call the next time you’re in the market for this?”

If yes,

“Great, let me get your email and send you my info…”

Then:

“And just out ofcuriosity, what would have to change for you to even begin looking at someoneelse?”

Look for an in here…

So there you have it: ten ways of handling this age old blow off.  Just remember, your goal isn’t to try to overcome this—rather, it’s to sidestep this resistance statement and get information you can use to create value and continue the conversation.

Now, it’s not too late to give yourself the best gift you’ll get this holiday season: Over 500 more word-for-word scripts, questions, and phrases that will help you make 2019 your Best Year Yet!

Order Power Phone Scripts here.

Note: There will not be a blog article next week on Christmas Day. Our next blog will come out on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Why Aren’t You Using More Tie Downs & Trial Closes?

sales technique best practice tie downs and trial closes

I don’t know why tie downs aren’t used more by sales reps selling over the phone. I was listening to an experienced rep the other day just pitch and ad-lib to a good prospect, and at the end of the call, she had no idea about the prospect’s level of interest, nor did she qualify the prospect.

Tie downs (and trial closes) serve several important functions, including:

Getting confirmation that the point you just made was understood and accepted by your prospect.  This is especially important when selling over the phone because you don’t have the physical clues to tell you how your presentation is going.

Using tie downs is also instrumental in building a yes momentum. If the prospect is agreeing with you, then you can feel confident at the end in asking for the sale.

Tie downs also give your prospect a chance to engage with you—when you use one, you actually have to wait for them to respond.

Trial closes are crucially important as well. If all is going well with the tie down responses you’re getting, then as you head toward asking for the sale, you can use a few well-placed trial closes to make asking the deal even easier.

There are many other value reasons for using tie downs, but let’s look at some of the most effective, and go over in what situations they work best:

#1: Whenever your prospect asks you a buying question (and any question a prospect asks you is a buying question), after you answer it you must use a tie-down.  Examples:

If a prospect asks you how much something is, after you give them the price—or the range of prices—you can use any of these tie downs:

“How does that price sound?”

OR

“Is that what you were looking to spend today?”

OR

“How does that compare with what you are paying now?”

OR

“Is that within the budget you have for this?”

OR (If selling a commodity)

“That’s a great value today, and I’d take as many as I could at that price—how many can I ship you today?”  (O.K., that’s a close, but I couldn’t help myself!  Do you see how tie-downs can lead to a close?)

If a prospect asks a question about a feature or a benefit, use any of the following: 

“Does that make sense?”

OR, better:

“How would you use that?”

OR

“Do you understand how that works?”

OR

“I think that’s a great benefit – how about you?”

If a prospect makes a statement that seems negative, use:

“How did you come to that?”

OR

“Compared to what?”

OR

“What do you mean exactly?”

OR

“How does your current vendor handle that?”

#2 Use tie downs throughout your presentation. Most sales reps power through their presentations and use far too few tie downs or check-ins (as the rep I listened to demonstrated last week). And when they do, they are usually closed ended which lead their prospect to reveal little. Use these more open-ended tie downs to engage AND learn crucial buying motives:

“That’s how we drive the leads…. now tell me about how you would get the most out of them?”

OR

“That’s one of our biggest selling points…. tell me: how would this impact how you’re currently doing things?”

OR

“Do you see how this works?”—And then: “How might this work for you?”

OR

“Are you with me there?”—And then: “What questions do you have?”

OR

“That’s a nice feature, don’t you think?”—And then: “How would that work for you?”

OR

“Is this sounding like it might work for you?”  (Now we’re branching into trial closes—did you notice that?)

#3: Tie downs can easily become trial closes. Customize from any of these to fit your product/service:

“What do you think of this so far?”

OR

“Would this location work for you?”

OR

“How many locations would this work for?”

OR

“How many departments would want one of these as well?”

OR

“That’s pretty special, isn’t it?”

OR

“Do you see why this is so popular?”

OR

“Tell me, would that fit into your budget?”

OR

“Most people like this—how does it sound to you?”

OR

“Will that work?”
OR

“What else do you need to know?”

OR

“What other areas are you interested in?”

OR

“Would that be enough for you to move forward with this?”

OR

“Tell me: how close are you to wanting to move forward with this?” (A great trial close!)

Let me reiterate that using tie downs & trial closes gives you the information you don’t have because you can’t see your prospect’s reaction (because you’re selling over the phone). Therefore, it’s critical for you to begin using more of the above tie downs & trial closes during every conversation.

Remember, the more you can get your prospect talking, the more you’ll learn what it will take to close them…

Want more solid scripts you can begin using today to make more money? Buy yourself the best Holiday Present you’ll ever gift yourself (or your sales team!): Power Phone Scripts: 500 Word-For-Word Questions, Phrases, And Conversations To Open And Close More Sales