The Pre-Emptive Opener: How to Craft a Good Opening and Avoid Instant Rejection

One of the reasons why tele-sales reps get shot down during their opening statements to prospects is because the prospect perceives the rep as being no different from his current vendor. ‘Ho, hum…It just another rep selling the same kind of product.’

If you sell a common product, you might want to pre-empt this perception right up front. Doing so may well buy you some extra time that’ll give you an edge in grabbing the prospects attention. Here’s an example

Jim? This is ________ calling from ABC Computing. We are a reseller of hardware and software technologies.

And Jim, believe me, I know you can get this kind of stuff at a lot of different places. But we really do things differently here at ABC to add value for our customers by helping them, among other things, develop strategies to mitigate legal risks associated with software purchasing.

If I have caught you at good time, I would like to ask you some questions and, if it makes senses to do so, provide you with a presentation that explains how ABC  approaches the market.

Analysis and Delivery

Note the candid and up front manner in which the reps addresses the anticipated objection.  He states that he knows the prospect can get theses products from many places. This is refreshing because it acknowledges what the listener is probably thinking. And because it deals with the objection up front, it will get the prospects attention.

But then he goes on to emphasize that  his company really does do things different. The trick to making this opener work is delivery. Your tone of voice.  You need to sound absolutely convincing. The listener has to believe that you believe.

How to Create Believability

What you are ultimately doing is selling at a subliminal level through the tone of your voice.  Over the phone your tone counts for about 85% of the message’s interpretation. The words amount to about 15%.  Isn’t that incredible?

Start by accentuating the word ‘really.’  You need to intonate that word so that it comes across and meaningful and important.

Next, you need to practice and rehearse the lines so they sound glib and off the cuff.  The better you know the words and the delivery style, the more confident you will be and the more confident you will sound. There’s an old saying that is worth remembering:

People are more convinced by the depth of your conviction than the height of your logic

Pretend you’re movie star. This is your mini scripts. Deliver it well and you’ll win an Oscar (be it a sale or appointment or webinar or whatever it is you’ve set as a goal.)

Preempt One More Risk

One last item. Notice how the rep pre-empts another unstated objection: the fear of being sold.  In effect, the rep tells the listener that this is not going to be a ‘pitch’ for a product. The prospect doesn’t have to worry about buying anything; about being sold. The most that she has to worry about is a simple presentation and ‘only if it makes sense.’


Practice these lines. Master the tone. You’ll give yourself a edge. More prospects will listen and than means more opportunities for you to advance the sale.  Believe me!

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