One Difference Between Top Sales Reps and You

Each time I work with a new company, the first thing I ask for are recordings of both their top two or three sales reps, and then recordings of everyone else.

And each time I do, I immediately identify one thing that the top reps are doing that the other reps aren’t.

I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, and things have remained constant during that time: top sales reps are better for many different reasons (personality, work effort, etc.), but they all share this one thing.

And it is…

They are assumptive.

Most sales reps beat around the bush and are timid, hesitant, and resistant to taking control of the call.

In other words, they often ask for permission, rather than be assumptive.

An example is how most sales reps open their calls. When greeted by the receptionist, they’ll ask:

“Ah, would it be possible to speak with Dave Anderson?”

OR

“Is Dave Anderson available?”

What these approaches have in common is they are passive, and they give the gatekeeper control of the call.

Top reps, on the other hand, are assumptive. Given the example above, this translates to:

“Hi, Dave Anderson, please.”

OR

“Hi, could I speak with Dave, please?”

OR

“Oh hi. Could you connect me with Dave, please?”

While this may not sound like a big difference, IT IS.

There are many other examples of this (too many for this limited blog post), and if you would like a book full of them, then check this out.

Otherwise, listen to your own recordings and see where and when you give control of the conversation to the prospect. Chances are, you do it much more frequently than is good for your sales results….


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

Best Thing to Do After You Write a Deal?

Writing a deal (making a sale), is an exhilarating thing, and there are many ways to celebrate.

Some companies have a deal board where you can write down your latest sale so the other team members can see it.

Other companies have a bell to ring, so, again, other team members can be encouraged by your success.

I’ve seen some reps strut around the office, stopping at their workmate’s desk to share their glory or tell the (often long) story of how that deal went down.

Some sales reps go directly into the kitchen where they’ll find a group of other reps—and even a manager or two—and they share the good news there.

Other reps may go down to the café or coffee shop and treat themselves to a latte or piece of pie.

Question: What do all of these forms of celebration have in common?

Answer: They all take you (and your successful energy) away from your desk—and your next pitch.

Years ago, when I was telling the fourth sales rep of my latest big sale, my manager pulled me aside and asked me if I was excited by my successful close. “Heck yeah!” I replied.

He then suggested that my next presentation might benefit from the success and momentum I had. He said that wasting that on other sales reps (and taking them off the phone) was a waste of that energy, and that the best thing I could do after making a sale was to pick up the phone and make another one.

I was a little offended by this, but I took his advice and channeled my energy into my next pitch, and guess what? I closed that deal, too!

And that’s when I got it. “Strike while the iron’s hot,” the expression is.

Nothing breeds success like success, and prospects and clients can feel when you’re successful. And they want to buy from someone who is enthusiastic and successful.

So, the next time you close a sale, stay at your desk! Pick the phone up and keep that momentum going!

Remember: The best time to make a sale is right after you’ve made one!


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

“How to Avoid: ‘Will He Know What This Call is About?’”

How many times have you been stopped by the gatekeeper asking you:

“Will he/she know what this call is about?”

OR

“Have you spoken to him/her before?”

OR

“Is he/she expecting your call?”

Frustrating, isn’t it?

In all likelihood, you yourself are creating this objection by the way you’re opening your dialogue with the gatekeeper.

The number one mistake inside sales teams make when asking to speak with someone is not using a directive statement afterward. In other words, just asking to speak to someone and then not saying anything else.

The number two mistake is not giving your company name, thereby forcing the gatekeeper to do her/his job and ask you for it.

Here’s what not to do:

Gatekeeper: “Johnson company, may I help you?”

Sales Rep: “Can I talk to {prospect’s name}?”

OR worse:

Sales Rep: “Is {prospect’s name} available?”

The problem is that you didn’t use the magic word: “please.”

Using “please” instructs the gatekeeper to put you through, and, at the very least, encourages them to be polite to you. Here’s how it usually goes:

Gatekeeper: “Johnson company, may I help you?”

Sales Rep: “Hi, can I speak with {prospect’s name} please?”

Gatekeeper will now ask: “Can I tell him who is calling, please?”

Note here that the gatekeeper will use “please” right back to you—this as a good sign! The gatekeeper is now taking your lead and being polite to you!The

You reply exactly with:

“Absolutely! Please tell him/her {your first and last name} with {your company name} is holding please.

That last part: “is holding please” is the directive part that both instructs the gatekeeper to put you through, and signals the end of your transaction with them.

This technique works 80%+ of the time.

So, if you’re getting any of the previous screening questions, you can end that today by learning and using a better approach.

Try it for a week and smile as you get put through to more decisions makers!


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

Didn’t Get That Job? Is That a Bad Thing?

Sometimes, when something doesn’t turn out the way we want, it turns out to be a good thing… This happened to me early on in my consulting career, when I started working from my office in my home:

     One day my router stopped working and my internet went out. I was in the middle of a large work project when the connection went dead. I panicked as I tried to reboot it, and worried about the lost work, the deadlines I’d miss, and all the emails piling up. When it didn’t come back on, my thoughts shifted to the inconvenience and time it would take to fix it. First, I had to find an I.T. person and hope they had the bandwidth to help me quickly, then I had to search for a replacement router, buy it, and go through the hassle of getting it set up.

     I spent a frustrating afternoon at Best Buy sorting through the many routers, wasting precious time I could have spent working. When I got back to my office, I reached the I.T. guy who sometimes helps me, and after pleading with him, he agreed to come over and help me connect it that evening. I stewed until he came over and wondered why this bad thing had to happen to me today.

     Turned out that the install of the router went quickly, and after the I.T. guy left, I found something I hadn’t expected: not only did I have internet again, but I had better, faster internet now throughout my whole house! Because the technology had improved so much, I had upgraded my router, and now I had speeds I never even dreamed of. Even the coverage in the downstairs living room worked without buffering. I was thrilled!

     Later that night, after I had calmed down, I processed the experience—from my initial frustration and stress, my anxiousness at Best Buy, my harried calls to the I.T. guy, and then to the final result of to getting a better, faster internet connection. The result was that whole experience turned out better than I ever imagined it would. As I reviewed the experience, I came up with the saying “Is that a bad thing?” This has become my mantra when unexpected changes or circumstances come up, which they do constantly.

     Meeting so-called problems or situations with this new awareness and attitude has been life transforming. Now, when something breaks, goes out, or doesn’t go the way I planned (like not getting a client I had hoped for) I immediately ask myself, “Is that a bad thing?” Then, with a smile, I begin looking for ways to improve what I had before or begin looking for better opportunities that are now available. When I do, I often find better upgrades for what I had, or better options/opportunities for the future.

     When you think about your own experiences, I’m sure you’ve had instances when something didn’t go the way you thought it should, but that didn’t mean that it didn’t go the best way it could. By remaining open to what comes up and by looking for the opportunities that come with it, you will find a better way of dealing with the inevitable changes life constantly presents us with.

     I’m now quick to ask, “Is that a bad thing?”

     And that has turned out to be a good thing.


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

Happy With Who We’re Using

This blog post is for those of you who haven’t purchased and read any of my book of scripts yet (what are you thinking? 🙂 )

For those of you who are prospecting, this objection, “We’re happy with who we’re using,” is something you most likely encounter often.

The question is: what do you say to it?

This objection—like all others—is a perfect one to script an effective response to, and here is one of my favorites:

Objection: “We’re happy with who we’re using” (Or any variation like, “We’re all set”):

Response: “That’s perfectly OK; I didn’t expect you to be in the market today. In fact, because you already have someone, this is the perfect time to compare prices and services with other vendors. That way, when you do have a need to look elsewhere, you’ll have a solid option already vetted.

“Let me ask you this….”

And then use a qualifying question regarding what they use, how often they order, etc.

Bonus response:

“No worries, I’m not going to sell you anything today. Instead, I simply want to give you some information so if things change—and let’s face it, they change all the time—you’ll at least know who to reach out to.

“Let me ask you this….”

Again, use a qualifying question regarding what they use, how often they order, etc.

If you would like eight other proven response, visit here.

Remember: throughout your sales process, you get the same seven to ten objections, stalls, and put-offs over and over again.

Want to be a top producer? Then stop making up an answer to them, and “ace” them by being prepared with proven scripts.


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

“How are you today?” Use it or Ditch it?

How do you open your calls?

Do you ask, “How are you today?” or do you use a different opening?

There was a time when I was against using the worn-out opening of, “How are you today?” and provided a slew of different options—all of which had their place, and some of which I still use, on occasion, today.

But after years of cold calling (and calling clients back), I have found that I revert back to this standard opening again and again. And here’s why:

  1. While I used to think it signals that a sales call is coming, what I’ve discovered is that people are so used to hearing—and answering—this question, they don’t really register it. Instead, they just respond.
  2. (And here is the key): The real use of this question is to gage carefully the receptiveness of your prospect and then to respond accordingly.

Let’s dive into #2 a bit more. If you make calls for a living, then you know you can tell exactly what kind of mood a prospect is in simply by listening to how they answer the question, “How are you today?”

You can tell by their tone of voice if they are annoyed at being interrupted; or are bored and happy to have the interruption; are receptive to speaking with you; are not receptive; are in a good mood; are not in a good mood; will engage with you, and even ask how you are in return; are not interested in engaging, etc.

The reason this opening is so important is that it gives you instant feedback as to your prospect’s state of mind—and willingness to engage with you.

Second, because this is inside sales, and you can’t see your prospect’s face, you need this feedback so you know how to respond.

So, while some may think this is a worn out opening that signals a sales call (and, yes, I used to feel that way), I now know it is the most efficient opening to use—if you’re willing to truly listen and respond to your prospect’s mood. For example:

If you hear irritation or a rushed attitude, simply preface your next statement with, “I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll be brief…”

If they ask you how you are doing, always, start with, “Thanks for asking! I’m doing well also. Is it still hot out there?” And engage a bit and build rapport…

Bottom line, there is a lot in an opening line, and “How are you today?” will give you a ton of feedback—if you’re willing to listen carefully to not only the response you get, but to how that response is given.


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

Proven Way to Increase Sales

I received the following email from a previous coaching client of mine (Rino Racanelli). His email boils down my sales philosophy, and it shows how much success you can have if you follow just a couple of proven principles.

I’m reprinting it below—word for word.

The subject line was: “I took your advice”:

Hi Mike,

Hope you are well. Just wanted to update you on my progress and let you know my sales have increased thanks to you!

I took your advice

  1. Recorded my conversations (client consent) and cringed at what I heard when I spoke to client. Boy, was I missing the hot buttons and talked way past the close
  2. Noted all my main common objections
  3. Used your scripts for rebuttal to those objections, made them my own
  4. Recorded my rebuttal scripts on recording device
  5. Then played them on device for memory and made them my own (same as elite quarterback going through his processions)

I don’t know what I would do without your scripts and other training material!

First of all, I’d like to thank Rino for sending me this email, and for allowing me to reprint it.

Second, for all you sales reps and teams out there who are searching for a way to improve your sales, this is it! Let me break it down:

  1. Record your calls! This was the message last week, and I’ve been teaching it for over 30 years. Nothing—absolutely nothing—is more effective than hearing what you say, hearing what you miss, and then finding immediate ways to improve it.
  2. Make a list of your common objections. Remember, the secret to sales is to recognize that you only get 5 or 7 objections 90% of the time! To “ace” them, you need to script out the best-practice response to overcoming them (and stop adlibbing).
  3. There are many ways to script out effective rebuttals to these objections: You can buy one of my books that already have multiple examples of what to say (see some here); you can hire me to write a customized script playbook for your team; or you can work with me one-on-one (like Rino did) to develop your rebuttals.
  4. Record them onto your phone. Have some fun with this! I recommend recording at least three versions of each script, and then keeping the one that sounds the best to you.
  5. Then play them back, over and over again, until you know them like you know the lyrics to your favorite songs.

Once you do this, you’ll never be stumped again when you get objections, and you’ll know exactly how to deal with them—successfully!

Thanks again to Rino for laying out so succinctly how to get better in sales. One caveat, though: This will only work if you work it. I wish more people would take these simple steps to improving their sales—it’s so worth it!

I hope that this real-life email helps motivate you to take the actions that will result in more sales, more money, and more confidence!


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

One Easy Way to Double Your Sales This Year

If you manage an inside sales team, or if you’re an individual producer, then I’m sure you’d love to learn of an easy way to double your sales this year.

Think about what that would mean for your company! You’d be able to expand and grow and hire a larger team that would allow you to grow and expand even more.

As an individual producer, think about what doubling your sales this year would mean for you and your family. Imagine how much happier you’ll be in December once you’ve accomplished that!

And now imagine if you could do just one (simple) thing differently that would allow you actually double your income.

You’d be all in, wouldn’t you?

I’ve used this technique personally and have tripled my sales in 90 days. I’ve taught it to companies and then trained with them for six months, and those sales reps who adopt this technique DO double their sales—and more…

But…

Here’s the strange thing: while this technique is easy to use, and most likely even available to you right now, very few companies and sales reps will use it.

It’s simple to use, but apparently, hard to commit to. Yet it will double your income this year. Strange indeed.

Here’s what it is: Simply commit to listening to your sales calls—both prospecting and closing calls—every day for 90 days straight.

That’s it.

By carefully listening to what you’re doing right (and doing more of it) and listening to what you’re not doing right (and making a commitment to change it—usually by scripting out a more effective message or learning to ask more questions instead of pitching so much, etc.), you will make vast improvements daily.

And at the end of 90 days, you’ll be a much better sales professional (or team and company) than you are right now. And that will lead to doubling your sales.

The drawback? Because this technique seems so easy—and because it requires some time and follow through—most sales reps will find an excuse not to stick with it. I know we’re all busy, but imagine if you put your phone down for half an hour a day and invested that time in listening to your calls instead?

And as a manager, imagine how much more effective your sales meetings would be if you featured recordings during your one-on-ones and sales training sessions?

I can’t urge you enough to make the commitment to listening to your calls and dedicating yourself to this simple and proven technique.

Your future earnings are in your hands: You can either get better each day (and use this easy way to double your sales this year) or, you can keep doing what you’re doing.

And you know how that saying goes: If you keep doing what you’re doing, then you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.

I think you and your company deserve better—give it try for 90 days and see for yourself!

(Note: Before recording, always check and follow any state laws—as well as company policies—to maintain compliance!)


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

One Error to Correct on Your Prospecting Scripts

Congrats to those companies & individuals who sent in their prospecting scripts for review. I received many scripts and went ahead and reviewed ten (instead of just the three).

One error I kept seeing was reps’ mishandling asking for the right person when they didn’t know the right contact’s name.

Usually, they asked it this way:

Gatekeeper: “Thank you for calling the Johnson company.”

Rep: “I’m looking for the person who handles your XYZ. Do you know who I should speak to?”

The problem with this is you’re A) Identifying yourself as a sales rep, and B) You’re now inviting the gatekeeper to qualify you out.

Here is a better way:

Gatekeeper: “Thank you for calling the Johnson company.”

Rep: “Hi, I need a little bit of help please…”

[It’s crucial that you WAIT for them to respond and offer that help!]

Gatekeeper: “What can I help you with?”

Rep: “Thanks. Who would be the best person to speak with regarding XYZ?”

This approach uses an assumptive question, and it gives direction. This is your best approach.

If the gatekeeper comes back and asks:

“Can I tell him who is calling?”

You simply respond with:

“Absolutely. Please tell him [Your Name] with [Your company] is holding please.”

That’s it! This approach will get you through to the right contact over 80% of the time.

Try it this week and see for yourself!

BTW: If you or your team needs other proven techniques to connect with and sell more decision makers, consider my On-Demand Training.

Instant access = Instant results! See it here.


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

One Question to Determine Buyers

How would you like to have just one question that will almost always positively identify a buyer?

Believe it or not, there is such a question, and it’s an easy question, but very few sales reps have ever thought to ask it.

Or, if they do know what that question is, they are afraid to ask it.

Why? Because it also identifies who is not a buyer—and they don’t want to hear no….

Okay: here’s the question:

“When are you looking to make this decision?”

OR

“When are you looking to get (your product or service)?”

Yep! That’s it.

Buyers know when they are going to move, while shoppers don’t. Shoppers don’t have a timeline, and without a timeline, there is zero urgency.

Which means: you aren’t closing that deal anytime soon.

Regardless of your industry, you can ask this question and identify a buyer.

In fact, spend some time right now to work this, “And when are you looking to make this decision?” OR “And when are you looking to move on this?” into your list of qualifying questions.

And, by the way, this is also a great question to open a close with!

Try it this week and watch your number of sales go up—while the time you spend with unqualified, non-qualified buyers, go down!


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