Prospecting Tip: Why You Should Never Lie to Reach the Decision Maker

A Prospecting Sales Call

Are you having challenges reaching the Decision Maker? Should you lie to the gatekeeper when asked the question: “is he/ she expecting your call?” I get asked this a lot and there are Sales Trainers who will say “well the objective is to get through to the Decision Maker -so when he or she asks you “is he or she expecting your call?” You answer “yes, can you put me through please…” I DO NOT advocate this!

Some even advocate pretending to be someone else as a way of catching the receptionist/ PA off guard so they put you through! Just don’t do this. Let’s assume you do get through, you’ll get short shrift from the DM, you’ll end up being put back through to the receptionist to apologise and get blocked from ever approaching them again.

Whilst it’s true getting through to the decision maker is the objective I believe that there are more positive ways to handle that question.

If you say “it’s in connection with XYZ” for example “it’s in connection with Q2 conversion” or some information that you’ve gleaned from their social media or their website or conversations you’ve had on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to lead with value- something that makes sense and would be of interest to your target audience.

I believe that’s a far less manipulative or less coercive way of getting through, so there are more positive ways to deal with that question. I hope you find that reassuring and useful! What’s your thoughts on this- should you lie to the gatekeeper to get through to the decision maker and then convince them once you’re through?

I asked this question on LinkedIn recently and there are some very strong feelings about the topic!


3 Objection Handling Tips

Key Note Speaker

Tip 1: If you want to improve how you handle objections, improve how you feel about objections! Instead of thinking of them as a conversation stopper or issue- see them as a question or concern. Learn to expect them and see them as a natural part of the sales conversation. If you look back at sales conversations that went well you’ll see that an objection or objections were raised and it went well because you confidently responded and the other party was reassured.

Tip 2: If you want to become effective at handling objections this is something elite salespeople do: Act it out! It’s just not enough to decide how you are going to handle it from a strategy/ method point of view. You will not improve unless you work out word for word WHAT you are going to say. Then you need to get comfortable saying it. Then repeat, repeat, repeat until it flows. It doesn’t matter if it’s very slightly different each time as long as the content of the message is good. Otherwise you’ll come up with the right stuff some of the time and not at other times and you’ll be wondering why…

Tip 3: When handling objections use this subtle yet powerful technique: PAUSE! This has multiple positive effects; it relaxes the situation-you can’t overcome an objection if tension exists! It allows them to consider their response. It makes the customer feel like this is something the salesperson has to give some serious thought when responding. (If it feels like a canned response was just reeled out they’ll feel sold to.) Even if you’ve heard the objection a ton of times it pays dividends to say something like: “That’s a really good point…” or “I understand see why you say that…” The fact the Prospect/ customer has expressed it means they feel it’s valid so it should be acknowledged!


Motivating Field Sales Staff

Motivating Quote

It was recently brought home to me how important it is to give regular feedback and support to salespeople out in the Field.  

It’s amazing what happens when you do! I was out for the day doing some accompanied visits with a Field Sales Representative. He has a fantastic work ethic, goes on lots of visits and isn’t afraid to source new businesses to Prospect while out and about.

He’s excellent at starting conversations and has good rapport with those he meets. The perception he creates for the business is very professional- just one problem: sales were drying up…

Just before we went in to see a Prospect together I asked him what he was expecting from the meeting and he looked a little surprised- it was a loose plan, he’d be striking up a conversation and seeing where it took us.

Planning Questions

Here are a few questions we ran through before we went in:

“OK we need to consider what the best outcome would be for the Prospects from this meeting: for example: what can they find out from you that they don’t already know that will help them with some of their business objectives? Plus what will be the best outcome for us? What actions are we going to take and what actions will they take? What will they want us to do next?”

“What other options are they considering?”

“What will they do if they don’t do this?”

“What other projects in the business might take priority over this?”

Now these were questions which were relevant to that Prospect’s situation and it’s vital to have some questions and objectives planned before any sales meeting, conversation or visit.

Staying Focussed & Motivated

On top of that we discussed how to stay focussed and motivated. If you spend a lot of time travelling as part of your job you have an amazing advantage over those who don’t. You can use your time twice! What I mean is you can attend training and update on industry developments at the same time as travelling. If you are driving you can listen to podcasts, audio books, MP3s of development material. If you are going by train you can add webinars and videos to that list too.   

Now I don’t mean you have to spend all your travelling time doing this because it’s great to give yourself thinking time, blare out your favourite music etc. The key is little and often. Even just 20 minutes will have a massive incremental effect on your mind set and skills. If you can do that twice a week, great! If you do it daily you will be unstoppable!

It doesn’t matter what you listen to as long as it helps inspire you or strengthens your skill set. You’ll soon work out what your favourite kind of material is.

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