“How Are You?” Ask It—Or Not?

Who do you think knows why your prospect buys?

If you have followed me for a while, you may know that my opinion on whether to ask a prospect, “How are you,” has changed over the years.

What I’ve discovered, is that asking this simple and socially accepted icebreaker is more important than you might think. Here’s why:

Selling over the phone is challenging because you don’t have all the visual cues an outside sales rep has—and uses. You can’t tell if your prospect is annoyed, resistant, bothered, or if they are willing to have a conversation with you. You just can’t read their expressions and so react to those physical cues.

That’s where asking the simple: “How are you doing today?” comes in. The seasoned inside sales rep knows that the answer to that question, and more importantly how a prospect answers it, makes up for all the cues missing from a face-to-face interaction.

Think about it: You can immediately tell if a prospect is in a hurry when they answer the phone, can’t you? You can tell by their tone of voice if they are open to communicating with you or if they are annoyed, right?

That’s why asking this simple (and accepted) question is the way to go.

What you need to do next is respond accordingly to what (and how) they respond. For example, if they tell you they’re doing well and ask how you’re doing, you must respond with, “Thanks for asking! I’m well also . . .” before going on with your opening.

If they say, “Fine, how can I help you?” then you’d better react to that as well. Something along the lines of, “I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll be brief. The reason for the call is . . .”

I’m sure you see now how asking this simple question at the beginning of your call gives you more leverage than not asking it.

Hope this helps take the “cold” out of “cold-calling”!

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


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