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

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 presentation 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 these guys 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, 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 pitch or qualify or have a conversation with a prospect or client. Instead, follow this approach to the letter:

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

And 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 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! So let them know you respect their time and open your call this way:

“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.

And that’s how you handle prospecting calls.

For pitches 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. Well, {first name}, I’m excited to speak with you today and I know you’re going to love…”

And then get into your pitch…

And, as always, don’t take my 30+ years of experience for it, try it yourself! Your own experience will verify what I’m telling you. Happy selling!

And if you’d like over 500 more phrases, questions, and word for word proven scripts (all current and effective), then invest $28 in your career and get my new bestselling book: Power Phone Scripts.

The Three Keys to Handling Objections

I hear a lot of sales reps’ recordings, and when it comes to dealing with objections, you’d be surprised by the mistakes I hear! One of the biggest mistakes I hear is reps not even hearing their prospects out, and instead rushing in to answer what turns out not to be the real objection. This leads to other mistakes such as talking past the close and actually introducing new objections!

Because some reps don’t get to the real objection, once they do give a rebuttal, the prospect then just comes out with another – and another – objection, and soon the sales rep is worn out and only too glad to schedule another call.

Here’s the good news: all this can be avoided if you follow the three keys to handling objections. Here’s what they are:

First, learn to listen.  Don’t be so quick to interrupt your prospect because often times the way to overcome their objection is actually in the objection itself. In other words, make your prospect fully explain themselves, and listen for the real objection or the way to handle what it is they are telling you.

My favorite technique is simply to listen to what they say – whatever it is – and then to respond with “Oh?”

That’s it. Practice saying it with a giant question in your voice, and then hit your mute button and let your prospect explain away their objection. It works better than you think and is fun to do!

Second, ask your prospect if there is anything else holding them back. Often times, the first objection you get is just a smokescreen, so get them to clarify what else might be standing in the way.

An easy way to do that is to simply ask, “And besides _________, what else would prevent you from (buying, investing, purchasing), putting us to work for you today?”

Listen very carefully to what the real objection(s) is.

Third, after your prospect has clarified their real objection and you fully understand what it is, you should always isolate it before answering it!  Again, you must be patient and give your prospect every opportunity to help you deal with their objection before you launch into an attempted rebuttal.

Let’s use “The Price is too high” objection since it’s the most common.  Most sales reps have been taught to build value to justify their price, or drop close to a lesser amount, or try to negotiate in some other way.  While these techniques are valuable tools, they should only be used after you isolate the objection.  Here’s how to do that:

“I understand __________, and let’s put the price aside for a moment and make sure this (product or service) is really what you’re looking for.  Let me ask you, if price weren’t an issue here, in other words, if this fit in with what you were willing to pay, would you go ahead and put me and my company to work for you?”

This one technique is the most powerful closing tool you’ll ever use in dealing with objections.  Sadly, it’s used less than 10% of the time, and that’s the reason I keep getting emails asking me what the best way of dealing with objections is.

My suggestion to you today is to incorporate these three keys and so see for yourself how much easier objection handling becomes for you.

And, if you’d like over 500 other proven scripts, questions, and conversation starters, then invest in a copy of my new book, Power Phone Scripts.

You’ll be a better closer as soon as you do!

Don’t Answer Objections, Isolate Them

Most sales reps hate getting objections. Their hearts sink into their stomachs, their palms start to sweat, and they start wondering how they’re going to pay the rent. Sound familiar?

When sales reps ask me how they should handle objections, they are often surprised by my answer. I tell them they shouldn’t answer them, they should isolate them. When they look confused, I explain:

“Let’s face it,” I tell them, “most of the time objections are just smokescreens hiding real objections that your prospect doesn’t want to disclose. As soon as you begin answering objections, have you ever found that they have another and yet another?”

“Oh, yeah,” they say.

“So here’s the secret to handling objections: instead of answering an objection, you must first isolate and question it,” I tell them.

To show you all what I mean, let’s take two of the most common ones – “Your price is too high,” and “I need to speak with, talk to my wife/partner/etc…”

If your client says, “Your price is too high,” before you try to overcome it, isolate it first. Try either:

“Okay, and besides price, what else would prevent you from going with me today?”

This is great in that it gets a prospect to reveal what is hiding behind the price objection. This also works:

“I can understand that, and let me ask you a question — if this price was exactly what you were willing to pay, is this (your product/service, etc.) the solution you would go with today?”

Now that you’ve isolated the objection you will see if price really is the only objection. Any answer other than ‘yes’ means price isn’t what is stopping your prospect form moving forward (which means you have more work to do to find out what is!)

Same thing with the “I’ve got to speak to, talk this over with….” objection. You should say:

“I can totally understand that. And _________ let me ask you — if you did speak with ________ and they said whatever you thought was fine with them, what would you tend to do next?”

Again, any answer other than “yes” means this objection is just a stall. Answering it will get you nowhere.

Do you understand now why I say, “Don’t answer an objection, isolate it?” Doing so will enable you to uncover what is really holding your prospect back.

And until you find that out, there will be no deal.

So stop answering objections and start isolating them. You will become a much stronger closer, and you’ll begin making more sales. Oh, and if they do say no, then you’ll find over 500 other scripts and ways of dealing with objections in my new book, Power Phone Scripts.

Get it today and start closing more sales tomorrow!

Dealing Successfully With Gatekeepers

Every month, I get emails from my readers asking me how to deal with gatekeepers. They tell me the most frustrating part of prospecting is actually getting through to the decision maker. They get interrogating questions like:

“Will he know what this call is about?”

And

“Is she expecting your call?”

And

“Have you spoken to him before?”

These and other objections frustrate sales reps to the point of them developing some serious call reluctance. I’m sure you know what I mean…

Don’t you wish that you, and your team, had a proven approach that actually works?

There is, and here are the basics of it:

  1. First of all, be super polite to the receptionist as she gets sales calls every day! Believe me, a receptionist knows a sales rep almost the moment they open their mouth. And one of the surest “tells” is that most sales reps are demanding and borderline rude. So the first thing to do is to be polite. Use “please” and “thank you” a lot, and treat the receptionist like a person – not an obstacle to be overcome.
  2. Don’t pitch the gatekeeper! This is fundamental error number one, and too many sales reps are still making it. To start with, the receptionist doesn’t care what you are selling or how good it is. Instead, her/his job is to get you to the right person. Recognize that and get good at it.
  3. Give an instructional statement. Receptionists take a lot of direction and are most comfortable when they don’t have to make decisions about calls. Instead, they are there to route them. Learn how, and you’ll get a lot further.
  4. Be prepared for push back with a good script. Because you already know what’s coming, why not be prepared to deal with it successfully? Having a proven script for this part of your call (every part, actually!) is the make or break of being successful with it.

So here is the script you need that incorporates all of the above. Don’t take my word for it, rather, use it and see for yourself how much more successful you’ll be:

“Hi may I speak with {first name of prospect} please?

Receptionist: “May I tell him/her who is calling?”

“Yes please. Please tell him/her that ________ ________ is holding please.”

If you use this just as it is (using “please” three times), you will be put through an astounding 60%+ of the time without any additional screening!

Don’t believe me? Good. Try it for yourself and see.

And for the other 40% of the time when you are asked, “What’s this call regarding?” or, “Have you spoken to him/her before?” or even if you don’t have the prospect’s name, you can find these and other answers in my new book, Power Phone Scripts.

See it here.

Stop struggling and start closing more sales!

How to Handle the Objection, “We’re all set”

Let’s face it — prospecting by phone is hard.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve done your social media homework on LinkedIn and found a distant cousin in Utah, if you’re making, fill in the blank here (“unexpected calls”, “prospecting calls”, “discovery calls”, “cold calls”, etc.), you’re going to get resistance.

And if you want to be successful at overcoming it, then you’d better be prepared with solid, scripted responses to things like: “We’re not interested,” and “Just email me something,” and “We’re already taken care of,” etc.

I guarantee your job (and life) will go a lot better if you do.

In my new book, “Power Phone Scripts,” I list over 500 word-for-word responses to these and many other objections, stalls, and resistance statements you get day in and day out.

To give you a sample, here are 5 of 10 ways I list in the book on how to handle the “We’re all set for right now” objection. Variations of this include:

“We are O.K. with our present system”

OR

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

OR

“We’re fine for right now”

So here’s how you handle the “We’re all set” blow off or/and any of its variations:

“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.

As you can see, if you have any one of the proven responses at your disposal when prospecting, you’ll be much more effective at getting the next level with your prospect – instead of getting turned down.

And wouldn’t you want that?

If you liked what you just read and think responses like these would help you, or your team, get further with decision makers, then get over 500 more proven responses by ordering my new book: Power Phone Scripts.

How to Handle: “We’re happy with who we’re using…”

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for making my new book release a HUGE success on Amazon! Power Phone Scripts is the #1 New Release in the Retail Industry! If you haven’t had a chance to get your copy, then simply click on the book link at the bottom of this email.

Today’s article contains some scripts right from Power Phone Scripts that teach you how to deal with an objection you probably get often: “We’ve already got a supplier for that.” Variations are things like:

“I’m happy with who were using”

OR

“We’ve been doing business with our current supplier for a long time…”

AND

“My (brother/relative/friend) handles that…”

While all these objections or stalls may seem insurmountable, they aren’t! All you have to do is be prepared for them with a proven script and rebuttal. And you’ll find those below. Let’s start with:

Objection: “I’ve been doing business with my current supplier for a long time…”

Rebuttal:

“How long has that been?”

Layering question:

“And has it been that long since you’ve compared prices and services with another provider?”

OR

“You know, a lot has changed in that time; it sounds like this would be a good time to at least get another opinion/quote of services just so you know that you’re not only still getting the best deal and service, but also so you’ll know who to reach out to should you need additional help.

“Could I at least do a no cost/no obligation comparison quote for you?”

If your prospect says yes, then there’s an opportunity here and you’ve uncovered it.

How to Handle, “My supplier is my friend/brother/long term relationship, etc.”

While this is, at first glance, a seemingly difficult objection to overcome – and sometimes, if it’s true, won’t be overcome right away – there are ways to position yourself to earn some of the business either now, or to be the preferred vendor they reach out to if they need to consider making a change.

The way to do this effectively is to be prepared with proven scripts. Let’s take it one at a time:

Objection: “My supplier is my friend.”

“I understand, I also do business with people I consider friends as well. Tell me, how long have you been doing business with him/her/them?”

Layering question:

“And who were you doing business with prior to them?”

Layer:

“And when was the last time you did a comparison with another provider?”

[If never or a long time]

“Well then, it’s a good idea to at least get another opinion/quote of services just so you know that you’re not only still getting the best deal and service, but also so you’ll know who to reach out to should you need additional help.

“Could I at least do a no cost/no obligation comparison quote for you?”

If your prospect says yes, then there’s an opportunity here and you’ve uncovered it.

If they say no, then simply use the “Next in Line Script” below:

“O.K., no problem. One last question: Could I be the next in line person you reach out to in case you ever need to get another quote or service comparison?”

[If yes – take all their information and then]:

“Just out of curiosity, what would have to happen for you to even consider reaching out to someone else?”

Objection: “My supplier is my brother/relative.”

As above, your first job is to question and explore this objection.

Use:

“Hey that’s great. As you know, doing business with relatives can have its upside and downside, how’s your experience been?”

[If great]

“That’s good to hear. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been doing business with them?”

Layer:

“And who did you use before that?”

Layer:

“And what did you like about doing business with a non-relative that you miss now?”

[Regardless of what they say, Layer]:

“Well then, it’s a good idea to at least get another opinion/quote of services just so you know that you’re not only getting the best deal and service, but also so you’ll know who to reach out to should you need additional help. Could I at least do a no cost/no obligation comparison quote for you?”

If your prospect says yes, then there’s an opportunity here and you’ve uncovered it.

If they say no, then simply use the “Next in Line Script” above.

As you can see, handling objections become easy if you take the time to script out a best practice response to them.

If you’d like to get over 500 additional scripts, phrases and questions to help you overcome the resistance, stalls, and objections you get when selling over the phone (or in person!), then Click Here to order a hand signed copy of my new book: Power Phone Scripts!

(Note: this offer for signed copies is limited. If you would like a copy, then order today to ensure availability)

How to Overcome the Top Three Objections in Sales

There is a secret that every top selling professional knows and leverages. It’s what enables them to consistently out perform all other struggling sales reps in their company and in their industry. And here is what it is:

80% of the selling situations, the stalls, the resistance, the objections you get into today, you’ll get into tomorrow, next month, and next year. What top producers do is make a list of these repeatable selling situations, they then script out, memorize, and internalize the best practice way of handling them, and that’s why they succeed more of the time than their competition.

Think about it: If you made a list of the objections you get when prospecting, wouldn’t it contain things like:

“We’re not interested.”

“We already have a supplier for that.”

“Just email me something.”

How about for closing:

“I’m going to need to think about it.”

“The price is too high.”

“I’m going to have to talk to (someone else).”

You can probably add a few more, but very soon your list would end. You’d have your top 80%.

Now ask yourself: How much more effective would you be if you could ace each one of those objections or blow offs? How much more confident would you be?

Here’s the good news: I’ve just published a new book – Power Phone Scripts – that has over 500 word-for-word scripts, questions, phrases, and conversation starters that will give you the best practice responses used by the top selling professionals in all industries. And you can get it here

In Power Phone Scripts, there are 10 new ways to handle the “I need to think about it” objection alone! Here is one from the book:

“I need to think about it”

“_________, obviously there is something that either doesn’t make sense to you, or you need to check on something, I’m not sure which.  But procrastinating on this won’t help make this decision easier for you.  Let me ask you: What proof do I need to give you right now that this will work for you, to help you make that decision?”

Here’s another excerpt from the Power Phone Scripts that gives you a proven response to “The price is too high.” (Note: You get 5 new responses to this objection if it’s B2B, and 6 responses if it’s B2C – 11 total!):

“The price is too high,” (B to C):

“I understand and let me ask you: if price were not an issue on this – in other words, if this were more in alignment with what you could pay – is this something you would move forward with today?”

And here is a script from the book that gives you a response to “I need to talk to….”. (Note: You get 6 new responses to this objection in Power Phone Scripts):

“I need to talk to…”

“I understand _________.  Tell you what I’d be happy to do:  I know you are behind this, right?”

[Must get buy-in here first]

“Well, it’s not fair to ask you to do my job, so if it’s all right with you, I’ll be happy to reach out to (decision maker) directly and answer any questions they might have – would that be O.K.?”

[If NO]

“No problem.  Just out of curiosity, do you think they will go with this?”

[If NO or Don’t Know]:

“What would it take for them to say yes?”

Imagine how much more successful and confident you would be if you had these proven responses ready when you got one of these stalls or objections?

And now ask yourself how much more successful you’ll be when you have over 500 more!

If you like what you’re hearing, then I’ve got good news for you: Power Phone Scripts: 500 Phrases, Questions, and word-for-word scripts to Open and Close More Sales is now available!

BONUS: Plus, when you buy today, you’ll get hundreds of dollars in bonuses from some of the top selling professionals in the industry today like: Jeffrey Gitomer, Jeb Blount, Wendy Weiss, Tom Hopkins, Mark Hunter and many more!

See the offer here

Make Power Phone Scripts, your #1 Summer Read – and then get ready to make more money in the third and fourth quarter than you ever had!

And if you’re a sales leader, then invest in a copy for each member of your team! It’s the sure way to show them you care about their career – and your company’s success!

Order bulk copies here

Pre-Order Power Phone Scripts Today!

Great news! My brand new book, published by Wiley & Sons: Power Phone Scripts: 500 Word-for-Word Questions, Phrases, and Conversations to Open and Close More Sales, is now available for pre-order!

Get Yours Today: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million

Power Phone Scripts is packed with so many new and fresh scripts and approaches you and your team will not only close more sales after reading and applying these proven techniques, you’ll also be more motivated and confident as well!

Here are just five examples of cold call rebuttals (there are five more in the book PLUS examples from the other calls (call-in and existing accounts)!

For cold calling or prospecting calls:

I’m not interested—Response #1:
“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?”

I’m not interested—Response #2:
“Who else at your company do you think might have a need for something like this?”

I’m not interested—Response #3:
“I’m with you—quick question though: are you the right contact for this, or is there another department (or person) I should check with?”

I’m not interested—Response #4:
“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)

I’m not interested—Response #5:
“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?”

BAM! How much more successful would you and your team be if they finally had access to techniques that are fresh and actually work?

Now, imagine having over 500 more responses to help overcome other objections, get past gatekeepers, build rapport with decision makers, handle presentations and demos better, leave better voice mails, etc.?

Get Copies for your Entire Team & Get a Discount: Shop Here for multiple copy discounts and give your team the edge it needs to succeed!

Power Phone Scripts is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Get your summer reading NOW by Pre-Ordering today!

Getting Behind the Stall Objection

Last week I was speaking with a new prospect who had called in to inquire about one of my inside sales training programs. I went over her needs, matched up my training to fit those needs, gave her pricing options and then began closing on possible dates for the training.

And that’s when I got the old stall, “Well, let me run this by my boss, and I still have to hear back from some other vendors, etc..” Sound familiar?

Now all stalls are bad, but what was even worse was that a few days later she stopped returning my calls and didn’t respond to my emails. Now I can take a hint, and I knew that she probably wasn’t going to be a deal. I’m sure you can relate, and so I want to give you an effective technique that will allow you to:

1) Open up the dialogue again.
2) Find out why your prospect isn’t going with you.
3) Get them to tell you what you might be able to do to save the sale.

It’s called the “I love to learn” technique and here’s what you do:

First, you’re going to have to be persistent and keep calling your prospect until you get them on the phone. Don’t leave any more voice mails. And once you do get them to pick up the phone, say the following:

“Hi __________, I’m glad I reached you – how have you been?”

They will likely try to brush you off here, so you say:

“That’s perfectly OK. I’ve been in sales long enough to know when we might not be a match for a company. Just a quick question, though. You know, I love to learn, and I’m always trying to improve, what specifically about our (offer, quote, product or service) didn’t seem right for you at this time?”

Now be quiet and listen.

If you do this right, your prospect will tell you what was wrong with your proposal, and this will give you a chance to adjust or adapt it to fit their needs. Will it always work? Of course not, but if there is still a chance to get a sale, this technique will show you how.

If they aren’t going to be a deal this time, then you can ask any of the following questions to set up future business:

“What might you need to see from us next time you’re in the market again?”

AND

“Do you mind if I kept in touch with you every so often?”

AND

“How about someone in another department?”

Last resort:

“Do you know of anyone else in your industry this might be a fit for?”

This worked with my prospect, and I was able to set her team up for remote training. Try it for yourself and begin finding out what’s really behind the stall and what you can do to overcome it.

The Key To Building Value

You hear it all the time — if your price is higher than your competition you’re told to “build value.” You’re instructed to stress the quality, the warranty, the features, etc. But your prospects have heard all that before, haven’t they? Want a better way?

You also hear all the time that prospects will buy from people they like, know and trust. I would add that your enthusiasm for and belief in your product or service plays a big role in getting your prospects to choose you over your competition.

Knowing this, I’ve often used the following script to not only build value in my product or service, but also to build value in myself. Below you’ll find a script you can use – but, as always, I recommend you personalize it so you feel comfortable saying it:

If your prospects says, “I can get cheaper,” or “The ‘other’ company has something similar or for less money,” or anything like that, say:

“You know _________ I’m aware of all the other options for this (product or service) and quite frankly if I thought any of them were better for my clients, I’d be working there and selling them.

“When I got into this industry I did my own research, and I looked for the best company that not only offered the best (product or service) but also delivered the best customer service and follow-up. I chose (your company) because they give my clients the best overall value and the best customer experience, and that means they continue to do business with me and refer new business to me as well.

“If there was a better product or company for you to be doing business with, I’d be there and we’d be talking about that. But there isn’t.

“Bottom line — if you want the best overall value, results and experience with this (your product or service) then do what I do did – choose (your company) – believe me, you’ll be glad you did.

“Now, do you want to start with the X size order or would the Y size order be better?”

This technique builds value in the most important part of any sales transaction — you and your belief in your product or service. Use it each time you need to build real value, and watch as prospects follow your lead.

Remember, while prospects have a choice of products and companies, they can only get you when they purchase from your company.