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.

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!

Current Prospecting Tips that Work

Do you hate prospecting by phone? “Who doesn’t?” is probably your answer. And who can blame you. First you have to deal with gatekeepers, receptionists, office managers, etc.

Then, if you do finally get through to someone, you get blow offs, resistance, and the old, “Just email me something, and I’ll look at it.” Yeah, right.

Imagine if I told you many of the ways you’re approaching your prospects are actually causing the objections you’re getting? Some of the wrong things to say are:

“Did I reach you at a good time?”

And

“I’m just calling to learn a little more about your company…”

Many sales reps think they are being polite when they use these kinds of openings, but in reality they’re just making it easy for prospects to blow them off.

Wouldn’t you like to know:

  • Better ways of opening your conversations?
  • Proven ways to deal with gatekeepers?
  • Word for word scripts to deal with common blow offs like “Just email me something?”

If you’ve read this far, then you’re in luck. By clicking the link below, you’ll get access to a 34 page sample of my new book, “Power Phone Scripts: 500 Questions, Phrases, and Word-For-Word Scripts to Help You Open and Close More Sales.”

And in this sample, you’ll get all the scripts and techniques to help you deal with the situations above. All for free.

Get your sample here.

And if you like what you read, why not get a copy of this powerful handbook for all your team members and yourself. Keep it near the phone to instantly improve your effectiveness on the phones. Increase your sales and build your confidence. All for $28!

Also, if you’d like a limited edition signed copy of the book, use this link to order.

Either way, invest in yourself, in your team and company, and start winning more sales, more easily.

Get yours today!

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

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.

Why Qualifying for Timeline is Important

Okay. So I’ve been in sales longer than some of my clients have been on the planet.

I’ve made thousands and thousands of prospecting calls, and thousands and thousands of closing calls.

I teach, train, write books on phone scripts, and develop customized phone scripts and inside sales training programs for sales teams worldwide.

You’d think that I would never get tripped up by or neglect the fundamentals of sales, right?

Wrong.

Just this morning (April 28, 2017), I was on the phone with a new prospect and he was asking me about my background, my training methods, etc. We had good rapport. He was an inbound lead. We really connected and he was interested. This was a slam dunk, right?

As we got to the end of the call, I was positive I’d be getting on a plane in the next couple of weeks to work with this prospect. And that’s when I asked a qualifying question that I neglected to ask upfront: “What is your timeline for this training?” He told me, “Sometime in the Fall.”

So, after a ½ hour on the phone, this call went….nowhere. Where did I go wrong? When he asked me what my process was when working with companies, I should not have assumed he was ready to go. Instead, I should have done what I teach: Qualify.

And the first thing I should have qualified for was his urgency to make a decision. By the way, I normally do this, but because the rapport was so strong, and, again, he was a call in lead, I assumed he was all set. He wasn’t…

Here are some ways to qualify for timeline:

For an inbound call, what I should have done (and will not be skipping again!) is ask:

“First off, I generally book several months in advance, so let’s talk about when you need this training – if everything goes well during your discovery process, when is the soonest you’d like to have this training delivered to your team?”

If he then told me it was six months off (“in the Fall”), I’d have given him an abbreviated pitch, and then told him I’d circle around with him in September.

If you are prospecting to set an appointment or a demo, then the following scripts to qualify for timeline are what you use:

“If you like what you see after the demo, what would be the next steps on your side?”

OR

“If you think this solution is what you’re looking for, what would be your timeline for putting something like this to work for you?”

AND

“If after the demo this is something you’re interested in taking advantage of, could you implement this in the next couple of weeks?”

Qualifying for timeline upfront is crucial to not only closing more sales, but also to avoiding objections at the end like, “I want to think about it…”

Use any of the scripts above, or rewrite them to fit your personality, product or service.

Take my word for it: It’s MUCH better to know in advance when your prospect is thinking of buying.

How to Handle: I looked it over and not interested

Don’t you hate it when you get back to your prospect, you’re ready to give a great pitch, you need the sale, and…and….they tell you they looked it over and they’re not interested!

Wait a minute! You want to scream. Just give me a chance….

Believe it or not, there is a way to deal with this. And it’s the same way to deal with every other recurring sales situations you get: Be prepared with a solid script – or two or three.

The secret to getting past this objection/resistance statement is to not only be prepared for it, but more importantly, to be prepared to overcome it two or three times. Sometimes it takes that kind of perseverance to get into your pitch and get the sale.

So 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 understand, and that’s perfectly OK. At first a lot of people I speak with don’t fully understand all the ins and outs of this and that’s why I’m here. Before you make a decision though, let’s do this. I’ll take just a few minutes to explain how this might help you, and if, after you understand it, you still think it’s not for you, we’ll part friends. Do you have that information handy?”

Response #2:

“I didn’t expect you to be interested; heck, our marketing department hasn’t yet figured out a way to get our prospects to call us back – and that’s why they hired me!

But seriously, this (product/service/investment) has some great features that aren’t readily available in the (demo/material/information) I sent you, and it’ll only take a couple of minutes to find out if they would be a fit or benefit for you.

Tell you what, do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes with me to find out how and if this would be right for you. Grab the information/quote/brochure and let me cover a few things – do you have it handy?

Response #3:

“I understand, and believe me, I get that a lot. In fact some of my best clients said that at the beginning as well. But I’m sure you’d agree that any decision you make, whether it’s a yes or a no – and I can take either one – is best made once you understand all the facts, isn’t that right?

Well ________ I’m here to help you learn those, so do yourself a favor and grab that information, and let’s briefly go over it. If at the end it’s not for you we’ll part friends. Do you have it handy?”

Now, take some time and reword them slightly to fit your personality, your product or service. Then get in the habit of using them over and over again. What you’ll find is that more and more prospects will actually let you pitch them, and some of those will buy!

If you found this article 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/completescripts.htm and find out why Jeffrey Gitomer, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins and many others recommend Mike’s ebook of Phone Scripts!