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

“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

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

One Question to Learn Buying Motive

How is your first quarter turning out so far?

Closing lots of business and exceeding your quota? Or are you struggling to catch up and hoping for a strong March?

If you or your team is struggling, a cause might be a fundamental flaw that many sales teams suffer from: failure to understand—and pitch to—a prospect’s unique buying motive.

Let’s review the sales process briefly:

  1. Recognizing all buyers of products and services have specific needs (buying motives) they are looking to fulfill.
  2. Not everyone’s buying motives are the same. The best way to sell someone is to fully understand what their buying motives are and then to:
  3. Pitch to each buyer’s specific needs.
  4. Then, as you do, you use carefully placed tie-downs and trial closes to build a yes momentum that leads to the close.

That’s the essential process of sales. Of course, there are nuances and specific techniques to master the above steps at a high level, and that’s why you train…

But, let me tell you what I have found to be the major problem for teams and individual sales reps who are not making their numbers:

They never understand exactly what each prospect’s unique buying motive is, and so they just keep pitching, hoping that what they say will match up somehow with what a prospect wants to hear.

Two problems with this approach:

  1. Many prospects aren’t buying regardless, and so if you just keep pitching without understanding their buying motive—or worse, haven’t identified that this prospect doesn’t have a buying motive you can fulfill—then you’re wasting everyone’s time.
  2. If you have failed to understand exactly what a specific prospect’s buying motive is, then you won’t be able to speak directly to it, build the appropriate amount of value, and you’ll miss step 5 above and risk talking past the close—and yourself out of a deal.

How would you like one magic question that will reveal to you each prospect’s buying motive? Here it is:

“{first name}, let me ask you: what specifically are you hoping a (product or service) like ours will do for you at this time?”

That’s it! Now, listen carefully to the answer, and ask yourself honestly: Can your product or service give them exactly what they are looking for? If so, pitch directly to it. Use tie-downs to see if you’re getting closer to making a sale. Shift to trial closes mid-way through your close. And if you’re getting buy in, then assume the close!

This one question, combined with the 4-step process above, will elevate your close ratio and help your entire team make their quota.

Try it today!


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 Keys to Successfully Dealing with Influencers

Influencers are key to both getting through to decision makers, and to eventually making a sale. The question is: How do you properly qualify them and get them to influence the sale in your favor?

There are three keys to successfully dealing with influencers, and the better you understand and use them, the more success you’ll have.

They are:

Key Number One: Understand exactly how much influence the influencer has.

This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many sales reps buy into the, “Well I need to present this to…” and don’t go beyond that to qualify the influencer’s role.

To avoid that, always both assume the influencer has a voice in the decision, and then qualify her/him for that.

Use:

“And how much influence do you have in the final say on this?”

OR

“What role do you play in the final decision?”

Learning how much influence they have is crucial to the overall sales process.

Key Number Two: Make sure your influencer is sold on what you’re offering.

If it’s true that the influencer has to show this or present this to the decision maker, then they had better be sold on it themselves, right?

Use:

“Do you personally think this is something that would work for your company?”

OR

“If the (committee, boss, etc.) asked you what you think, what would you say?”

AND/OR

“And from what you’ve seen, is this something you’d recommend to the (decision maker)?”

Key Number Three: Attempt a trial close.

If they buy in to your question that they are going to recommend it, then ask:

“And do they usually go with your recommendation?”

If you get buy in here, then you can either:

  1. Set up a meeting to pitch the decision maker.
  2. Set a follow up call after they have pitched the decision maker.

Either way, learning how to do a better job at dealing with the influencer will go a long way to controlling the sale, and making more of 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

Building Value during the Price Objection

How many times have you been told to build value when you get the price objection?

Managers tell reps to stress the quality, the warranty, the features and benefits, but your prospects have heard all that before, haven’t they? 

Want a better way?

Often times, services and products are roughly the same, and prospects will buy from the people they like, know or trust. 

What often makes the difference is your enthusiasm and belief in your company and what you’re selling.

Recognizing this, I often use the following script to not only build value in my product or service, but also to build value in the most important part of my product—myself. 

Here’s what to say:

If your prospects say, “I can get cheaper,” or “Well the XYZ company has something similar for less money,” or anything like that, say:

“You know _________ I’m aware of all the other options for this (product or service) and I’ll tell you now, if I thought any of them were better for my clients, I’d be working there and selling those.

“When I got into this industry I did my own research, just like you’re doing now, and I looked for the company that not only offered the best (product or service) but also delivered the best customer service and follow-up. 

“And these are the things you look for as well, right?”

“And after all that, I chose (your company) because they give my clients the best overall value and the best experience. And that means my clients 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 do business with, I’d be there selling it. But there isn’t.

“Bottom line—if you want the best overall value, the best results and experience with this (your product or service) then do what I did—choose (your company)—you’ll be happy 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. 

[BTW: If you didn’t do research into competing companies, then let the prospect know why you did choose your company and what you like so much about working there and offering that product.]

Adapt this script to fit your personality, product, and company, and then get in the habit of using it whenever you feel the need to build more value.

Want 500 more word-for-word scripts? Click 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

Three Scripts to Handle: Email Me Something….

Be honest: Do you dutifully send an email and then ask when you can follow up when you get this blow off objection?

Believe it or not, over 90% of sales reps do just that.

But top producers are prepared for this common stall/blow off, and they know how to qualify past it. And after learning and using the scripts below, you will, too!

Script #1:

Make sure and have an email already prepared while you’re prospecting. If someone tells you to email them something, simply ask them what their email address is and then send it! Right then!

Simply say:

“Okay, I’ve just sent it to you. Let me know when it pops up, and I’ll show you a couple of links you’ll want to explore later.

“In the meantime, let me ask you…”

And then ask a qualifying question. The point here is whether or not your prospect will:

  1. Give you the time to speak further with them. If not, they weren’t going to open your email anyway. If they will, however, then you know there is a legitimate chance they are interested.
  2. Open the email when they get it. This tells you how cooperative your prospect is, and so how cooperative they will be throughout the sales cycle.
  3. Blow you off with another objection. This is actually great because it tells you that you won’t need to follow up on the email—they aren’t buying!
  4. Allow you to set a definite follow up appointment.

Script #2:

“I’ll be glad to send you an email, but we have several products to offer you, and I just need to ask a quick question, so I know which email to send.

“Let me ask you…”

And begin qualifying!

Script #3:

“I have a better idea: Rather than clog up your email with something you may not even be interested in, let me briefly describe what we have, and you can honestly tell me if it’s something you’d be interested in, OK?”

And then wait to see if this is a real prospect or not.

Believe me, all of these techniques are better than sending an email and then being ghosted for the next month as you try to get them on the phone again!

Try it this week, and watch your leads get more qualified as you put less “wood” into your pipeline. And then watch as more deals roll out of it!


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

Five Scripts You Need to Know by Heart

In my book, Power Phone Scripts, I talk about the secret of sales.

Yes, there is an actual secret to successful sales, and by following it you not only will overcome failure and frustration, but you’ll make more money, so much more easily, that sales will actually become fun.

Think of that.

And the secret is to be prepared for the recurring selling situations, blow offs, objections, and situations you get 80 to 90% of the time.

All top producers know automatically how to respond to objections like:

“I need to think about it.”

“I already have a supplier for that.”

“We’re not interested.”

And many more.

Here is a quick “cheat sheet” of five scripts/responses you need to print out, study, memorize, and use when you get in the following situations:

“I need to think about it.”

Response:

“That’s perfectly fine—I like to think about things too, of course. Quick question for you if you don’t mind: Are you going to be thinking about the budget for this, or whether or not to even do it?”

“I already have a supplier for that.”

Response:

“Of course you do, and that’s great. I’m not looking to replace them just yet; instead, I just want you to have other options in case things change and you have to start looking elsewhere. Let me ask you…”

Go back to your qualifying questions here and try to engage them.

“We’re not interested.”

Response:

“No worries—you’re still entitled to this information in case something changes for you in the future. Let me ask you: how much (of your product or service) do you currently use on a monthly basis?”

Two things here: #1) You’re trying to engage them and see if they’ll answer your question, and #2) You’re qualifying them for your product or service as well.

“I just don’t think this is for us.”

Response:

“You know, I love to learn. Do you mind if I ask why not?”

And number five may be familiar to my regular readers, but even for you, I have to ask: How often are you using it?

For any objection, stall, or comment you get and don’t know how to respond to, ask this:

“Oh?”

And then hit your mute button and let your prospect tell you how to sell them.

Again, print these out, memorize them, and use them when you get any of the above recurring objections.

If you’d like over 500 more word-for-word scripts, then invest a few bucks in yourself and get a copy of my book: Power Phone Scripts.

Being prepared is the fastest way to double and even triple your sales.


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