Prospecting—3 Mistakes You Need to Avoid Now

What’s the biggest mistake sales reps make with prospecting or cold calling?

They call with what a client of mine once called, “commission breath.”

You know, that desperation sales people have when they finally get someone on the phone.

It’s the same kind of attitude that you feel and don’t like when a salesperson gets you on the phone.

How do you avoid that?

You avoid the three mistakes below. Read them, compare them to how you make calls, and then refrain from making these mistakes in the future.

Your prospecting will go a lot better if you do!

Cold calling mistake #1: Don’t pitch the gatekeeper. A big mistake many sales reps make (both new and senior alike) is to immediately begin pitching the gatekeeper in the hopes that, once they understand how great your product or service is, they will put you through to the decision maker. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To start with, the gatekeeper doesn’t want to hear your pitch. His or her job is simply to find out your name and company name, and maybe the reason for your call, and then to hand you off so he/she can go back to doing their job. They don’t care who you are or what you’re selling. So, stop pitching them.

The moment you pitch them, you just annoy them, and they then want to get rid of you. Also, by pitching, you identify yourself as a salesperson, and that kicks in a reaction to screen you out. So, don’t do it.

Instead, let them know your full name, your company name, and then ask to speak with the person on your list. And use, “please.” If you need more specific advice on this, see these gatekeeper scripts here.

Cold calling mistake #2: Don’t pitch your prospect—yet. The second biggest mistake sales reps make when prospecting is to immediately dump a pitch on someone as soon as they pick up the phone (think, commission breath). Or after they tell you they are doing fine and ask you how you are doing, you don’t even respond with a “Thanks for asking,” instead, you just launch into your pitch.

The reason for this should be pretty clear: Nobody likes to be pitched. Instead, your first goal is to try to make a connection with the person you are speaking with and build some rapport. Ask them how they are (especially with the amid the Covid-19 situation) and listen to what they say.

And then quickly get into a question early (“I understand you handle the XYZ, is that right?) and allow your prospect to engage with you. Absolutely resist the temptation to give them a two-paragraph dump on what you do, why you’re so great, and what you can do for them. Just stop it.

Cold calling mistake #3: Stop winging it. I know you think you sound so much better when you ad-lib and go with the flow, but you don’t. And if you don’t believe me, then record yourself and listen to your last ten calls.

Here’s the deal: Even if you wouldn’t be caught dead using a “script,” you already are. When you listen to those last ten calls, aren’t you saying the same thing over and over again? That’s your script.

Instead, do what all top pros do when prospecting or cold calling: script out a best practice approach, complete with rebuttals to common blow offs you get all the time (like, “Just email me something”), and then start practicing and using a better approach.

Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect, it just makes permanent. Stop practicing poor sales skills and commit to getting better on each call.

Now if you’re thinking, “Well, this is all good, but what exactly do I say in all this?” then the good news is that I’ve written many word for word scripts you can get by searching my blog.

Or, you can get 500 word-for-word scripts in my latest book, Power Phone Scripts.

If you learn to avoid the three mistakes above, then prospecting by phone will get a lot easier for you and your team.


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


ON DEMAND SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then get instant access to our On Demand training today. 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.

Unlimited License: One to 100 reps can attend for one low price!

Perfect for 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

5 Questions to Ask Every Inbound Lead

A company I’ve been working with for over a year now gets a portion of their leads via inbound email requests for information on their services.

Another company recently reached out to me wondering if there is a best practice approach for handling inbound leads.

There is!

I’ve written on this subject before but let me remind you of what I said: New marketing funnels and lead nurturing campaigns have created what has always been a salesperson’s dream: more inbound leads.

Sales reps love receiving these leads and tell me all the time that these “warm” leads must be better because they called or emailed requesting more information. 

“These leads are more qualified because they reached out to us,” I hear over and over. But we all know this isn’t necessarily true is it?

In fact, this attitude leads to one of the biggest mistakes 80% of sales teams make when they receive warm leads—they go into pitch mode rather than qualification mode.

80% of your competition mistake the “implied interest” of an inbound lead to mean they are already qualified, and all they need to do is email specs, or prepare quotes, or just explain their product or service.

Wrong!

Top reps, on the other hand, know that inbound leads can be some of the biggest time wasters of all, so they do what they always do—thoroughly qualify the leads to understand both the buying motives of the lead, as well as the “red flags”—those reasons why a call in lead might not buy.

By separating out people who are “just looking,” sales reps can identify and spend more time with the real buyers.

And this means higher closing rates, more sales, and less time, energy and resources wasted on unqualified leads.

And they do this by asking questions instead of pitching.

Here are some great questions to ask the next time you get an inbound lead:

#1: How to ask for the buying motive:

“Thank you for contacting us today, what was it about our ad/promotion/website that motivated you to call us today?”

#2: How to determine just a shopper:

“Who else are you looking into?”

#3: How to determine further motivation:

“How long have you been thinking about (buying, investing, changing) something like this?”  Then,

#4: How to determine the possible objections:

“What has kept you from acting on this?

#5: How to determine time frame:

“What is your timeframe for needing this?”

There are many other questions you could ask, based on your product or service. But the bottom line is that you need to ask these types of questions if you want to increase your closing percentage.

To be a Top 20% sales producer, you have to begin finding buyers—whatever the lead source. So, stop pitching your inbound leads and start qualifying instead.


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


ON DEMAND SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then get instant access to our On Demand training today. 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.

Unlimited License: One to 100 reps can attend for one low price!

Perfect for 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

Stalls During Covid-19—How to Handle Them

“We’re just not doing anything right now….”

“We’re ‘on hold’ until things settle down.”

“We’re not spending any money right now.”

These are common stalls that you get all the time, but now it seems harder to overcome them.

Why is that?

It’s because salespeople are now buying into them.

And why not? It makes sense, doesn’t it? People are losing their jobs, working from home, business is down…

Seems like the end of the world, doesn’t it?

Well, it isn’t. It’s temporary, and guess what? Companies and people are still buying. You probably wrote a sale just last week, and the top producers in your office are still writing business.

True story: I was walking in my neighborhood the other day, and a home went on sale—you know, the sign in the front yard, etc.

Less than a week later, there was a red “sold” sign on it. That was quick.

So, what do you do to overcome the stalls at the beginning of this article?

You go back to basics: you acknowledge them, and then go around them to either earn the right to have a conversation, or to qualify the prospect. Use these scripts:

“We’re just not doing anything right now….”

Response:

“I totally understand. How are you doing with the whole Covid-19 situation?”

[Listen & build rapport]

“I’m with you—very different times indeed! A lot of other companies I’m speaking to are going through the same thing.

“And some of them have come up with some really interesting ways of handling this. Tell you what I’d like to do: Let’s set up a 10-minute call, and I’ll share some of those solutions with you and let you know what we’re doing to help them.

“Don’t worry: I won’t try to sell you anything…just give you some information. Does that sound fair?”

“We’re ‘on hold’ until things settle down.”

Response:

“Right?! I know just what you mean.

“Let me ask you this: When things settle down and you get back into the office, and back to doing business again, what does your ideal vendor look like?”

OR

“Right?! I know just what you mean.

“Here’s the good news: we’re on hold here, too. But we are still having lots of conversations and letting people know what’s available to them once this clears up.

“If you’re open to this, all I’d like to do is quickly show you the things we’re doing to help companies prepare for re-opening—would you find that valuable?”

“We’re not spending any money right now.”

Response:

“I totally get that—things are tight all over!

“The good news is that it doesn’t cost anything to have a conversation with us, and we even have some amazing deals going on as a result of what’s going on right now.

“And don’t worry: I’m not going to try to sell you anything you can’t afford; instead, I’ll just let you know what some of the options are so when you are ready to make a move, you’ll know the best option out there—fair enough?”

There you have it. Proven ways to try to get around these stalls and earn the right to have a conversation.

Try them, adapt them, have fun with them. They’ll work if you use them…


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


ON DEMAND SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then get instant access to our On Demand training today. 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.

Unlimited License: One to 100 reps can attend for one low price!

Perfect for 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

Overcoming Covid-19 Common Objections

I’d like to thank you, my readers, for your kind comments on my blog series: “Handling the Coronavirus Selling Environment.” I’ve received some useful pointers that I’ll continue to pass on to you all as well as answer some of your direct questions.

Several readers sent in COVID-19 specific objections and stalls they’ve received over the last two weeks, and I encourage you to send in any other questions or difficult selling situations you or your team come across. I’ll do my best to provide you with solutions to help you deal with them.

Here are some objections and situations that readers submitted to me last week, as well as comments and actions I suggest you take:

Objection: “I am so sorry – we are dealing with Coronavirus impacts to our business. It is best to reschedule this call. We have had school closures, illnesses, work from home concerns.”

Comment: This isn’t an objection, it’s the truth. And it’s happening to most companies right now. The good part is this prospect isn’t saying no, rather, he/she is saying, “It is best to reschedule this call.” That means there is still interest here.

What to do: Empathize—don’t pressure. As I wrote in my first blog article, now is the time to take your salesperson’s hat off and connect with people. Follow the word-for-word scripting I outline in that article to deal with this objection.

Objection: “Please remove me from your distribution list. We are in the middle of a pandemic and find your email as a firm completely out of touch.”

Comment: Examine if your email really is out of touch! Many sales reps and companies have not adapted to the current situation and are, instead, carrying on as if business is normal. That won’t work. You need to adapt to what is happening in the world right now.

What to do: Read and follow my blog article on “Covid-19 Email Responses to Use Now.”

Objection/stall: “Good morning! Can we follow up with this once things settle down with the COVID-19? {Prospect name} is really booked right now with very little down time. Thank you for understanding.”

Comment: What a nice, understanding, and respectful response to get from someone! This person isn’t saying no, they are saying not right this moment. You need to emphasize with them when you get them back on the phone….

What to do: Pick from these email responses…

Objection: “______, thanks for following up. I don’t think we’ll have bandwidth to discuss further for a while. We are still focusing on transitioning our workforce to remote work and other COVID issues. Thanks.”

Comment: Another honest and realistic response based on what this—and many other—prospects are dealing with. Again, don’t lose heart; they aren’t saying no, they’re saying not right now. Big difference!

What to do: I’d send this prospect an email saying something along the lines of, “I totally understand; I hope you are staying safe! Our company has already transitioned to working from home and I have some tips that may make it easier on you and on your team. If you’d like, I’d be willing to take 10 minutes and share those with you. Any interest?”

Anything like that is your best option right now.

Also: Read and use/adapt any of these email responses.

Objection: “______, I did receive it.  Thank you. For now, we are holding steady on current suppliers while we figure out how we work with this new virus situation.”

Comment: Again, pretty common—and understandable—response. Prospect isn’t saying no, they’re saying not now.

What to do: Try to re-engage by offering something of value. Something along the lines of, “Totally understand. Many companies are “waiting and seeing.” Meantime, I’ve had some really good conversations with my clients and they are getting pretty creative with ways of using this time.

“I’d be happy to share some of their strategies if you’re interested. Can we connect for 10 minutes next Tuesday? I think you’ll find it valuable to hear some of the things they’re doing.

Say about 10 am?”

Objection: “______, Thanks for reaching out, but this is possibly the worst time to connect given that we’re a health insurance nonprofit.”

Comment: You think? Health company and nonprofit? How can you be of service to them?

What to do: Send an email back letting them know that you totally understand and are thinking

about them and all your clients. Ask them what you can do right now to help them. Offer them some tips on working from home, on staying sane, on the latest YouTube video you saw on staying fit at home. Get creative. Connect. Empathize. Be real…

Ultimately, we’re all in this together, and your best strategy now is to just be yourself. Be interested in what other people are going through and strive more to connect right now and share solutions to working from home, on what your company is doing to conduct business, and how other clients and prospects are taking advantage of this time to come out strong once it passes. Which it will. Remind your prospects—and yourself—that this, too, shall pass.


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


ON DEMAND SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then get instant access to our On Demand training today. 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.

Unlimited License: One to 100 reps can attend for one low price!

Perfect for 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 Selling Techniques to Use During Covid-19

Things have changed—have you noticed?

Of course you have; you’re probably working from home right now…

The question is: Have you changed the way you’re approaching your prospects and clients?

Believe it or not, I’m still getting the same old emails and the same old phone calls from companies trying to sell me their products and services in the same old way.

It’s not working for them.

If you’re frustrated right now, and if your sales results are ticking down, then you might want to consider adjusting your approach.

Here are three things to do right now to help you connect with people and to help you get back on track from a sales and momentum perspective.

Number One: Try being kind rather than being a salesperson. Face it: People are scared right now and things are not normal. This is a scary time!

Because of this, people don’t want to be pitched; instead, they want to be listened to and acknowledged. This is the time to practice your “soft sales skills” as in learning to empathize and listen to people.

Remember the old adage: “People buy from people they like, know, and trust.” It’s time to show people how much you truly care about them, and in doing so you’ll begin building that trust.

Action step: Be more concerned with getting someone to share with you how they and their family are doing rather than how you can make a sale today. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to the sales part soon. For now, focus on making a true connection.)

Number Two: Gently move into exploring their company’s plans for when this is all over. Obviously, every company you speak with has some kind of plan in place for when this situation resolves itself. Ask about it.

It’s helpful to share examples from other companies you’re working with. For example, if a current client or prospect has shared with you that they plan on resuming work full time at the end of this quarter and are committed to having a strong next quarter, then share this with the person you are speaking with. And then ask them what their plan is. Share some details from your other prospects or clients.

In other words: Get them thinking about the future and uncover their plans for that.

Number Three: Set yourself up as a trusted resource to help them move forward with their plans.

If you have done number one properly, then you will have created a safe and comfortable environment for them to trust you. Make a recommendation that this is a perfect time to “do the appropriate research” into your product or service.

Now do your job: Book that demo or give that presentation.

Always listen to and respect your prospect’s timeline, but also always be selling (gently, of course!).

Remind your client or prospect that other companies are still planning, buying, and carrying on business the best they can right now. That you can also help them remain competitive and take advantage of an improving business environment when the time is right for them.

And then, book and give demos or presentations, and close sales.

The important thing right now is to not get discouraged, and the way to avoid that is to continue taking action. The key is to take different action.

Use the three techniques above and watch your call reluctance subside and your confidence—and sales—return.


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


ON DEMAND SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then get instant access to our On Demand training today. 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.

Unlimited License: One to 100 reps can attend for one low price!

Perfect for 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

Script to Deal with the Covid-19 Objection

“We’re just not doing anything until this virus situation is settled…”

Sound familiar? It should. You probably get this objection, or some version of it, every day now.

And for good reason. We’re all in unchartered territory now. Some of you reading this are working from home—a whole new challenge—some stores and companies are closing for now, and freeways as clear as they were in 1965 (see, it isn’t all doom and gloom.)

Anyway, how do you handle this objection when you’re prospecting? Here are some practical tips and a word-for-word way to handle this current objection:

First: Take your “salesman hat” off. Nobody wants to be pitched hard right now. Instead, what they want is to be listened to.

I always teach reps that one of the most important soft skills they can learn is to just talk to & listen to someone. Sales reps have a hard time with this, but now is the perfect time to practice this skill.

Second: It’s important to stress to prospects and clients that what we’re going through now is temporary. This will pass.

Third: This is the perfect time to evaluate (your product or service) and to be ready to make the move ahead of their competition. In other words, what they do now will either position them to be ahead of or behind the other companies in their market space.

And you can help them do that…

Here is your script to use while prospecting and setting demos:

Prospect: “We’re just not doing anything until this virus situation is settled…”

You: “I completely understand. We’ve never seen anything like this before, tell me, how are you dealing with it?”

[Hit MUTE. Let your prospect or client vent. They want to be heard right now—not pitched—and you will separate yourself from all the other desperate salespeople out there if you act as a trusted advisor right now. Share how you’re dealing with it as well.]

After they have gotten it all out:

“You know _________, we all know one thing for certain: While this is scary, and while we may have several weeks before things calm down, ultimately, it’s temporary. And that’s at least comforting—you know?”

[Get their buy in on this.]

“In the meantime, let me tell you what other companies I’m speaking with are doing. They are using this downtime to evaluate and compare services like ours so when the time comes to make a buying decision, they won’t lose any time to their competitors.

“What I’d suggest is that we schedule some time so I can show you what your options are and what other companies are leaning towards—are you at least open to that?”

NOTE: If you want to use a stronger tie down than, “are you at least open to that?” you can use any of the following:

“Let’s schedule something for later this week so I can show you…do you have your calendar open?”

OR

“In fact, if you have a few minutes right now, let me take you to our website…”

OR

“What time and day might be good for you later this week…?”

OR

“By the way, are you the right person to speak to about this?”

Regardless of which tie down you choose, now start qualifying and set an appointment for a demo.

As always, the best way to overcome any objection or stall is to be prepared for it in advance. Use/adapt/personalize this script so it works for you and your industry.

Additional help with rebuttals to the Covid-19 situation:

  1. Have other objections you would like scripts for? Send them to me: Mike@mrinsidesales.com and I’ll include them in next week’s blog.
  2. Make sure and pass the script above out to all your work mates and managers. If they haven’t joined my blog yet, they can sign up here.
  3. If you have found scripting or wording that is helping you, send it to me so I can share with others!

And finally, if you are a manager or company owner who has had to send your sales team to work from home, then now is the perfect time to give them access to my new on-demand inside sales training.

Working from home can be a lonely experience and they need motivation, skills and help to succeed! Check it out here—it’s affordable, effective, and will pay for itself within two weeks…

In the meantime, “Wash your hands, and Carry On!”


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


ON DEMAND SALES TRAINING THAT GETS RESULTS!

If your team is struggling with call reluctance and is tired of the endless rejection they face, then get instant access to our On Demand training today. 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.

Unlimited License: One to 100 reps can attend for one low price!

Perfect for 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

5 Transition Statements to Requalify Existing Prospects and Clients

How good are you at requalify existing accounts, or prospects you haven’t spoken with in a while?  And why would you even want to do this?

The first reason is that things change. In fact, someone once said that the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. And that means that just because a prospect or client was in charge of a certain function last month or 6 months ago, it doesn’t mean they are in charge of it today.

In addition to their duties or job description changing, their areas of responsibilities change also. Someone who was responsible for handling lead flow may now also be in charge of ordering those leads.

Or someone who was responsible for one area of the business (and ordering) may have given that responsibility to someone else. 

The bottom line is that it’s important to do more than just call and say: “Oh hi, just calling to see if you need anything?” 

Today, it’s important that you requalify the person you are speaking with and try to find as many opportunities as possible to sell your product or service.

To do that, it’s helpful to know how to transition into requalifying.

Here are some examples of transition sentences. Remember to adapt them to fit your personality, your product and service:

Transition sentence one:

“________, since it has been a few months since we’ve spoken, let me just make sure my information is correct. Besides yourself, who else handles…”

[This is an assumptive way to find other decision makers in the company…]

 Transition sentence two:

“___________, let me get up to date on things with you. I know that last time we spoke you said you handled (X); what else are you responsible for these days?”

Transition sentence three:

“Because things change all the time, let me just ask you a couple of quick questions to make sure I’m up on things on your end. For example, what other products are you handing these days?”

Transition sentence four:

“___________ I’m updating the information on all my accounts this month – do you mind if I just verify a few things?

Great! What is your current extension?

How about your direct phone number? Cell? Email?

And are you still the only contact for all the printing needs there?

What other things are you handling?

How about other departments—who would I want to speak with?

How about your need for (X)—where have you been sourcing that these days?

What would you need to see from us to begin placing an order for that also?

[Rep: I’m sure you can think of more…]

Transition sentence five:

“_________, I know the last time we spoke you told me you handled (X), is that still correct? 

Great. What else are you in charge of?

How are you handling your (XYZ)?

What other departments are handling the (ABC’s)?

And what other products are you in charge of?

And remind me again of the decision process there?

How about timeline? 

And besides yourself, who else would weigh in on this?

And so on…

As you can see, just because you think you know something about a prospect or customer, you can still learn more. Think about it: When was the last time you were able to thoroughly qualify someone on the very first call? It probably took a few, didn’t it?

When you use these kinds of requalifying questions, you will be in a much better position to completely qualify an opportunity. And that can only lead to more business.

Buying Questions? Here’s What to Do

I was listening to a client’s closing call last week, and when the prospect asked a buying question, the rep answered it and then just remained quiet.

What should she have done?

What would you have done?

The proper technique here was to 1) Answer the question, 2) Get buy in that this was what the prospect was looking for, and then 3) Either ask for the order OR use a trial close to see if she was getting close to closing the sale.

What did happen, however, is something I hear way too much: Either sales reps pause after answering a buying question, thus waiting for more questions, or they keep talking and pitching—technically known as “talking past the close.”

If you find yourself answering buying questions and then either remaining quiet or find yourself nervously talking, then use any of the following technique:

“Is that what you were hoping/looking for?”

[If Yes]

“Great. Does this then sound like what you’re looking for?”

[If Yes again]

“Great! Then let me show you how easy it is to take advantage of our solution…”

Now direct them to the signup paperwork, online form, or whatever you use to sign new clients up.

This technique of confirming your answer after answering a buying question, and then using either a trial close or a straight out “call to action” is what separates top sales reps from all the others.

Remember: You are the one directing the sale and that means asking for the deal at the right moment—which is often at the end of a buying question.

If you or your team wants to get better at closing more sales, then get better at the fundamentals. And that means training.

Two quick ways to do that are to either invest in my latest book, Power Phone Scripts, or enroll your team in my next online, 7-week training.

Either way, you’ll learn valuable training skills that will make the difference between your making your monthly numbers or missing them and wondering why…


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

This is the Most Important Qualifying Question

If I asked you what the most important qualifying question was, what would you (or your team) say?

Budget?

Decision making process?

Buying motives?

Needs or pain points?

These are all important, of course, but they aren’t what—in my mind—is most important of all. And that is:

Timeline for making a decision to move forward.

The reason timeline is the most important is that it encompasses all of the above. If a prospect is looking to move forward “as soon as possible,” for example, it means that budget is in place.

It also means that the decision makers have all agreed that their buying motives (needs) are such that a decision needs to be made now. Everybody is onboard.

In addition, what is also important about timeline is that if the prospect you’re speaking to isn’t in the market at this moment, it means you can relax behind your pitch.

For example, if your prospect isn’t looking to make a decision until the next quarter or two, this changes the way you pitch your product or service. Now, instead of moving toward the close, you can adjust and move toward other issues like other decision makers and exactly what is going to change at that time, and what they’ll need to see and hear to choose you.

Conversely, if a prospect has a burning need to purchase as soon as possible, this also helps you adjust your pitch and your follow up actions. Perhaps you need to get in front of the other decision makers (like today!), or perhaps you can make an offer that has a timeline attached to it.

One of the biggest mistakes I see many reps making is to neglect asking about timeline and instead just keep pitching their product or service. The problem with this is that when they get to the end, they don’t have a clear idea how to drive the close. What do they do next? Is there urgency or not?

If you don’t know the proper timeline, it’s hard to make the right next suggestions and plan the best next steps.

The next time you’re qualifying a prospect, always ask this question:

“Assuming you like what you see during our presentation next week, walk me through the process to get this approved and what your timeline is for putting us to work for you?”

Trust me, this question will change everything for you and your team…


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

Is Cold Calling Dead?

I received an email last week from a real estate rep asking me if cold calling was dead. If you’re wondering the same thing, ask yourself this question:

Think about all the times you pick up your phone to reach out to new buyers: those people you see on social media who you think would be a good fit, all the leads that your company generates that request more information, all your clients whom you call to upsell, the “qualified” leads you or your company pay for that you call, etc.

Then ask yourself: if your phone were taken away, would it affect your sales? Would you be as successful if you couldn’t reach out to these prospects and introduce yourself and your company?

If your answer is Yes, then guess what? Cold calling isn’t dead. Oh, you may call it warm calling or prospecting, but the fact remains, you still have to reach out to people you don’t know to connect with them, introduce yourself and your company, and qualify them for a fit for your product or service.

The real question should be: how can you “cold call” more effectively?

In terms of this real estate agent, one suggestion I had was to do what others in his industry are doing. And that is to call local homeowners and offer them something of value first, and if they want to take advantage of it, then to gently qualify for interest in a service they are offering.

For example: many real estate agents have put together an up to date, free market analysis of comps of other homes in the area and call local homeowners to give this away. They call and ask the homeowner if they would like a current report of the worth of other homes in their area (including their own).

Now who wouldn’t want that?

After the homeowner says yes, they gather their email address and promise to forward the report on to them. They then go on to qualify the homeowner by asking any of the following questions in order to generate a lead:

“And would you be interested in a no obligation customized assessment of the current value of your home?”

OR

“Are you by chance going to be in the market to sell your home within the next 6 to 12 months?”

OR

“Are you looking to downsize anytime within the next 5 years?”

And so on. If you’re in real estate, I’m sure you can come up with many other questions. The point is to uncover a potential customer, and these questions help reveal who that might be.

Obviously, you can adapt this strategy to any other industry, i.e., yours! The point is that you will find this information out by cold calling prospects.

So, is cold calling dead? Disconnect your phone for a month and see if your sales suffer. If they do, then it isn’t dead—you may just not be doing it right.

If you’d like to get better at prospecting, considering joining our 7-week, online inside sales training that starts this afternoon at 1 pm EDT.

All sessions are recorded so you don’t even have to attend the live sessions—you and your team can watch this proven and valuable training any time during the 7-week period.

Check it out 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