Sales Advice from Pablo Picasso

I read a great quote from Picasso (yes, the famous painter) the other day, and it really resonated with my sales philosophy. Here it is:

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

You’re probably wondering what that has to do with sales, and it’s simple: Most sales reps’ instincts are to adlib when they get an objection or when they get into a sales situation that isn’t going their way.

The problem with this is they haven’t first learned the rules of proper objection handling—like questioning an objection first, or isolating an objection, etc.—so instead they just wing it. And if your team is doing this now, then I’ll bet you’re not meeting your monthly revenue targets.

For years, I’ve been teaching and training sales teams to put in the time and effort to learn the proper sales techniques first, and then, after they understand and have mastered the fundamentals, they can “adapt” them to each particular prospect or situation.

Here is a quick example:

A common objection in sales is the, “I have to show this to my (boss, manager, partner, etc.).” How does your sales team handle this?

The “rule” a pro follows is to isolate this objection to make sure it isn’t a smokescreen hiding other objections like, “It’s too much money,” or “I can get a better deal elsewhere,” etc.

Because pros know the rule above, they can then “break it like an artist,” by adapting their rebuttal to each prospect. This can include:

“I understand, just out of curiosity, what is your take on this now?”

OR

“I’m with you, let me ask you this, though: If your partner says ‘do whatever you think is best’, what would you tend to do?”

OR

“If your partner could go either way, which way are you leaning now?”

OR

“And if your partner asked you what you thought he should do, what would your answer be?”

This is the “art” of handling objections. Unfortunately, most sales reps and sales teams have never been taught the rules or fundamentals of proper selling by phone, so they adlib, lose sales, and get discouraged. And as a result, your company misses its revenue numbers.

The solution to this is to invest the time, money, and effort to learn and master core inside sales techniques.

One easy and fast way to do this is to enroll your team in my upcoming 7-week, live, online inside sales training webinar course. Check it out here.

If you’d like a sample of what you’re learn—and a proven and effective way to deal with gatekeepers—then view a sample here.

This proven sales training is affordable (as low as just $399 per rep if you enroll five reps), and can pay for itself in the first week, and deliver a return on your investment each and every week after that for years to come.

So, are you ready for your team to become artists at what they do? Or would you prefer that they keep making it up and painting poor results month after month?

It’s up to you!


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

Sound Like a Professional in 2020

How good (or bad) does your sales team sound when prospecting over the phone?

Have you recorded and listened to their calls lately?

On Friday, (Jan 3rd), I received a sales call that went like this:

Me: “Good morning, Mike Brooks here, how can I help you?”

Rep: “Ah, could I speak to the owner of the business?”

Me: (I was in a good mood, otherwise I would have hung up right there): “That’s me, Mike Brooks, how can I help you today?”

Rep: “I’m calling with Jackson Tax Prep Services (Not the real company name), and what we do is simplify tax preparation for companies with 25 employees or more. We’ve been in business for over 15 years and I want to know how I can set up an appointment to speak with the owner about this?”

Me: (My good mood fading quickly), “As I said, I’m the owner.”

Rep: “Oh, ah, do you have time right now?

Me: “Well, I’m kinda busy…”

Rep: “What about tomorrow?”

I won’t go on (although this sales rep was willing to…).

In this day and age, with all the voice recording technology, the sales training and scripting, the A.I. technology, there is simply no reason for sales reps to be so totally unprepared.

And yet many of them are. What gives?

Sadly, in my 35+ years of inside sales management and training, what I find is that companies still spend more time on training sales reps on their products and services then than do on actual sales training and messaging.

In fact, actual, structured, word for word messaging is largely ignored, and sales reps are encouraged to “go with the flow” by following a suggested, bulleted outline of features and benefits.

And when they do, what you get is a version of the call listed above.

Want to change your results this year? Want to make your 2020 the absolute best year of your career or company?

You can. And one proven way to do that is to enroll your team in my upcoming, 7-week, live, inside sales training. It’s affordable (as low as $399 per rep when you register 5 reps), and it will provide your team with proven and effective messaging to handle both prospecting calls and closing sales.

Next course starts on Tuesday, January 28th. See it here.

Another way is to script out proven openings and responses to the common sales situations you get into over and over again. Search my blog for tons of word for word messaging that can make your very next call better.

If you want to sound more professional in 2020 (and make more income), then you’re going to have to put in some effort and make an investment to get better. But don’t worry: It will pay you huge dividends for years to come.


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

Join Our Next Training:

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

Who Should Attend?

Any sales reps dealing with the following issues:

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

3 Secrets to Reaching Your Financial Goals in 2020

Now that December is here (by golly, half over…), it’s time for me to solidify my goals for 2020. I always balance my goals in all areas to maximize my growth both as a person and as a professional.

I have goals for health that include a targeted lifetime eating plan (vegetable based); goals for my business that emphasize professional growth; goals for creative expression that include writing and photography; goals for relaxation that include 3-day weekends and some Pickleball trips!

When it comes to setting and reaching these goals, I use a simple and proven 3 step process that has worked for over 30 years. I’m going to use a financial goal as an example but recognize that this method applies to the success of reaching ANY goal.  Here’s what to do:

Secret #1: The first step is to be absolutely precise on the desired goal. While you may have heard this before, it’s still amazing that many people I work with don’t practice this. For example, when I ask people what their financial goal is, they tell me, “Earn more money than I made last year.”

Here’s the problem with that: If you earn $1.50 more in 2020, then you will have reached your goal, won’t you?

Instead, define the exact amount. In determining that number, I always look at each month and factor in vacations, holidays, projects, etc., and then I add up each month and come up with an EXACT figure.

And then I add 20% more!

Once I have that “stretch goal,” I break it down again per month and write each month’s specific dollar goal everywhere so I’m looking at it each day of every month. I post it on my desk, in my car, in the bathroom; I know exactly what I’m going to accomplish each and every day. 

I’ve found that doing so turns each day into a magnet for that amount. If I don’t make that daily goal one day, I simply carry it over to the next day. And boy, what a day that will be!

If you haven’t done this yet, then do it before January 1, 2020. You’ll be amazed how much this will keep you motivated and into action. And you’ll love your increased production!

Secret #2: Get clear on where every dollar of that income is going to go. Ask yourself: “What am I going to do with all the money I’m going to earn this year?” How much are you going to save by the end of the year? How much debt are you going to pay off? Are you going to buy a new car? Pay for your kid’s education? How much do you have budgeted for vacation?  How about taxes? How about retirement? 

These are just some of the questions you should get in the habit of asking yourself this month here in December. Having this kind of clarity and purpose helps keep you focused and disciplined, and it has a magical effect on how the Universe helps you accomplish your specific financial goal.

Secret #3:  Once you are clear on your exact financial goal and know what you are going to get as a result of it, you can now practice one of the most important parts of any goal accomplishment: Acting as if you’ve already attained your goal. 

If you’ve ever read any book on the Law of Attraction, then you know all about the importance of accepting and believing on a subconscious level that you already have what it is you’re trying to accomplish. 

The Law is simple: The Universe responds to what you feel and believe to be true.

If you think you’re broke or that your territory is poor or that you can’t do something, then you’ll find evidence to support your belief and you’ll act (or not act!) accordingly. If you believe the opposite, then you’ll find a way to keep taking actions to accomplish what you believe is possible, and the Universe will provide you with the opportunities to confirm what you believe.

But the key is to believe it has already happened.  

By acting as if you are already the top producer at your company, or by going to sleep at night already feeling the feelings of having accomplished your goal, you’ll act like a magnet for the success you’ve already determined is yours. 

I have found that this ALWAYS works. Whether I believe I can or I can’t, I’m always right. 

I encourage you to use this month to put these secrets into your goal planning for 2020. If you do, then next year at this time you will be reaching for even more aggressive goals because you’ll have discovered the real secrets to performance in life. 

All the best for the new decade!


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

Avoid this “Ghost” of Christmas Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said he was starting a new sales job today, and then he rolled his eyes as if to say, “And this one will suck, too.” I gave him my card and offered to help with any scripting he may need, but he rolled his eyes again as if to say: “Scripts don’t work.” I had heard him say this before…

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

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

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

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

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

I was sold. John wasn’t. 

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

Soon afterwards, my sales and income soared. 

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

John thought he knew better.

John didn’t believe in using scripts.

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

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

So, he didn’t.

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

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

My life has changed because of other sales trainer’s material, and my commitment to consistently learning and using it.

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

It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.

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

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

So why not give yourself (and your sales team) a gift this season?

Get it here

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

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


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

“Can You Email That to Me?”

What’s the number one blow off/stall prospects use these days?

“Can you email that to me?”

They aren’t saying no, but they are still getting rid of you, aren’t they? And unfortunately, chasing down busy professionals—especially people who don’t want to be followed up with—will make reaching these prospects very frustrating…

The solution? Be prepared with a good script and a good strategy. The one I like most is to prepare an initial email in advance (it can be generic or it can include an initial quote of services) and have it ready to send at the touch of the send button.

And then when a prospect blows you off with, “Can you email that to me?” use the following script from the bestselling book of phone scripts: Power Phone Scripts:

“I’d be more than happy to do that—where would you like me to email that?” 

[Take their email down and then send your information right away.]

“O.K., it’s on the way to you. What I’d like to do right now is take just two minutes to get an idea of what’s important to you, and then I can direct you to that part of the information when you get around to it. Let me ask you:

“How do you get involved in ordering/handling/working with the XYZ?”

OR

“From a needs standpoint, how motivated is (your company/department/are you) to change/fix/replace/buy XYZ right now?”

OR

“What would you need to see in the information I just sent you for you to become interested in learning more?”  

If you follow this strategy, you’ll be ready to side step the email stall and get right back into qualifying. How great will that be?

Try this technique yourself and watch as you begin qualifying more buyers, or disqualifying those who just want to get you off the phone…

And if you’d like more scripted rebuttals to this and many other objections and selling situations, then pick up a copy of Power Phone Scripts. You’ll get over 500 word-for-word scripts, questions, and phrases to help you open and close more sales starting 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

The Only Black Friday Sale that Matters

black friday sale

It’s that time of year again–the time when every company has a black Friday sale.  

I’m going to make this easy for you: We’re offering just one product on sale–the best product we have at the lowest price it has EVER been offered. 

It’s my bestselling 5-CD Series: How to Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone, and this audio series (available as in MP3 instant download as well), has made many sales professionals more money than they thought possible.  

By following this proven blueprint for success, you can double or even triple your income in the next 12 months. That is what happened for me and many others. 

Just think of what that would do for your career and your life… 

In addition (I did say this is the only Black Friday sale you’ll need), I’m also throwing in my bestselling ebook of scripts: The Complete Book of Phone Scripts. The regular price for this proven program is $249 + $49 for the script book (previous sale price for both $149), but for this sale, you can get both of these invaluable resources for just $79

Just use the coupon code: “Black” during checkout and you’ll be on your way to prospecting better, overcoming objections easier, and making more money than anyone in your office.  

How’s that for a Black Friday sale? Order Now 

Note: This sale begins now through Sunday, December 1st, Midnight.  

Here’s to making more money than you’ve ever made before! 


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 Handle: I looked it over and not interested

Don’t you hate when this happens?

You felt like you had a really qualified and interested prospect, set the demo call, looked forward to what you thought was for sure your next sale, and…

Right out of the gate, they won’t even give you the chance to pitch them!

The good news is that this is a repeatable selling situation, and if you’re prepared for it with good scripted response (or three!), you’ll be that much closer to overcoming it and getting into your demo.

Here are three proven scripts you can use the next time your prospect tells you “I looked it over and I’m not interested…

Response #1:

“I was hoping you’d say that!

“Most companies that do, have skipped over the (explain a feature: your guarantee, or your top of class rating, etc.).

“But once they understand it, they actually find that they can benefit the most.

“Let’s do this…”

[Dive into your demo…]

Response #2: 

“I understand, and that’s perfectly OK. This may or may not be for you and that’s fine.

“Before you decide though, let me show you our pricing options and some of the features that would be most helpful for you. After that, you’ll be able to make the best decision.

“Do me a quick favor and open that email up that has the…”

[Must end by directing them to take an action…]

Response #3:

“Oh?…”

[Now Mute yourself and let them tell you why and in their answer you’ll find the opening you need to begin your pitch. Don’t underestimate the power of this technique—while it appears simple, it’s hard to use. Takes discipline, patience and confidence…]

Print these closes out and have them handy the next time you get this objection. Practice using them and find the one that works best for you!

If you found these script helpful, then you’ll love my Completely Updated and Revised eBook, “The Complete Book of Phone Scripts.” Now over 200 powerful and effective scripts to help you easily get past the gatekeeper, set appointments, overcome objections and close more money!

Visit: http://mrinsidesales.com/products/complete-book-phone-scripts/ and find out why Jeffrey Gitomer, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins and many others recommend my ebook of Phone Scripts! Download it now and be a better sales professional by this afternoon!


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

Stop “Following Up,” and Start Closing

Closing Techniques, Cold Calling, Frontline Reps, Phone Sales, Prospecting, Sales Tips, Frontline Reps, sales scripts, Assume for Sale, Best Practices, Follow up

How do you open your 2nd or 3rd call to prospects whom you’ve already pitched? Is it something like:

“I’m just calling to follow up on our proposal….”

OR

“I’m just calling to see what you thought about our bid?”

OR

“I was just seeing if you had time to speak with (your boss, partner, committee) yet?”

What do all of these openings have in common? They put the control of the call in your prospect’s hands.

Moreover, they are uninspiring, a bit weak, and, frankly, don’t inspire much confidence or excitement, do they?

Why not be more convincing and enthusiastic? Why not lead your prospect into the sale by referring back to the benefits he or she is going to get by working with you?

Try this:

“{Prospect}, great speaking with you again. You know, I’m looking forward to sending you the X number of RFQ’s our program can generate for you, and to helping you achieve (whatever their buying motive was). What is the best way for us to start working together today?”

OR

“{Prospect}, I’ve been excited to get back to you today. I know you were meeting with your boss about our proposal, and I know you were recommending this to him. I’m sure he saw the value in what we do, and I’m sure he is looking forward to (reinforce their buying motive here—’getting those additional XYZ every month.’).

“So tell me, what package have you both decided to move forward with today?”

As you can see, what you’re doing here is reinforcing and assuming the positive outcome here—rather than opening your closing call with doubt and uncertainty.

And don’t worry: If your prospect says they don’t have the money, then you know what to do, right? You isolate that stall!

Try:

“And let me ask you: If you did have the budget today, then is this something you would go with, right?”

OR

“Besides budget, what else is holding you back today?”

You get the idea.

Bottom line: As I explain in my book, Power Phone Scripts, the secret of sales is that 80 to 90% of the selling situations and objections you get are the same. The way to overcome them is to have proven, best practice responses on hand so you can practice perfection and close more sales.

And that’s what using the scripts above will help you do.

Want more? Invest in Power Phone Scripts today and watch your sales—and confidence—soar!


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

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

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