Tag Archives: presentation

The 2 Most Compelling Words in Tele-Selling and Tele-Prospecting

If you use the telephone to sell and/or prospect there are two words that you must use and apply continuously because they will ultimately increase your sales and leads.

The two words are actually contained in the sentence above.  Can you identify them?  Because if you can, you’ve caught the spirit of this article and telephone selling will be that much easier.

The 2 Words

Okay… here they are… the two words:  ‘you’ and ‘because’.  Let’s take a little closer look at them and figure out why they are important and how they can help you be more successful.

Word #1: You

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you?  You know how important the word ‘you’ is to a prospect.  But let’s look at it in depth.

When you use ‘you’ the conversation shifts radically by placing the focus on the prospect and their situation and their wants and needs … rather than making the call about you, your company, your product and your wants and needs. While this may seem self-evident it is often ignored in our rush to present our offer or product.

When your prospect/client senses (either consciously or subconsciously) that the call is about their specific situation, they tend to open up. They give you better information. They resist less and interact more.  Their objections tend to be legitimate rather than false.  The prospect or client senses you’re in THEIR corner.

How do you make the call about them?

First off, you need to think and plan your call prior to making it.  You need to proactively position what you want to say and how you say it.  It’s not terrible hard to do. It simply requires conscious effort.  For instance, when questioning you might ask:

  • “Kerri, can you tell me about your situation regarding…”
  •  “Mr. Corso, could you explain to me what happens when…”
  •  “When those shipments arrived late, how did that impact you…?”
  •  “Jesse, what have you done to solve these issues in the past…”
  •  “Ms. Londo, what do you feel is the most pressing issue regarding…”

Virtually any of these questions could have been asked without the word ‘you’.  Adding it gives a subtle emphasis.

When presenting your product or service solution, you can frame your presentation by doing the following:

  •  “Roy, you mentioned that one of the items concerning you the most was ..”
  • “Angie, you said earlier that one of your most frustrating concerns with the software is…”
  • “Aaron, one feature you might find beneficial is …”
  • “Ms. Reid, you explained that you wanted more productivity from your employees and that you wanted a cost effective solution, correct?

These phrases indicate to your prospect or client that you listened and understood. You’ve quickly and effectively personalized the situation so your solution becomes more meaningful and pertinent to your client.  At some level, this is conveyed to your client and makes them more receptive.

Word #2: Because

The second most compelling word is ‘because.”  ‘Because’ is one of the  most powerful words in selling because it almost magically creates legitimacy in what you claim. (Note: I used ‘because’ to support my claim).

This has been extremely well documented by Robert Cialdini (among others) in his book Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion. His book details a social experiment testing the concept of using the word ‘because’ in getting people to take action.  (Just Google Cialdini and you’ll find the details).

When you make a claim about your product or service, prospects and clients almost instinctively want to know why or how.  Their minds are looking for some sort of rationale to support whatever it is you’re saying. Proof.  Evidence.  If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you know that citing a feature or a fact without some explanation (and benefit) is typically a waste of time.

Interestingly, Cialdini points out that even if the explanation that follows your ‘because’ is not particularly logical, it still has impact.  Why? Because we’ve been conditioned to accept that whatever follows a ‘because’ tends to have rational thought.  I know.  It doesn’t seem logical but it happens. Read Cialdini and you’ll learn more.

Like the word ‘you’, you need to consciously think about applying the word ‘because’.  You do this because it increases client acceptance and because it leads to better sales or increased leads.  (Gee, I am really illustrating the point, eh?)  For instance,

  • “Jim, because the coaching is behavioral based it get your reps to apply to the changes in selling and achieve the results you want…”
  • “The software tracks your e-mail without your prospect knowing it. This is important to users like you because…”
  • “The reason why we’ve positioned the program in this manner is because…”
  • Because the majority of your customers found the usage faster and easier, we made the following changes…”

Using ‘you’ and ‘because’ doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a sale or a lead right off the bat. You use them because they’re the little extras in selling that give you an edge.  It is something that your competitor might not be doing. You use them because they’re good ideas that are proven to work.  You use them because they’ll help you get into sales shape and generate more sales and leads.

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How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds

by Carmine Gallo

You can’t tell me what you do in 15 seconds, I’m not buying, I’m not investing, and I’m not interested.

Few technologies are as complicated to explain as 4G LTE. Last year I worked with a group of leaders for the division of a global, publicly traded company who were responsible for pitching the technology to potential customers. Since the group was struggling to explain the technology simply, I introduced them to a tool that I’ve used very successfully with other brands—a message map.

The leaders in this particular division were responsible for pitching the technology to public safety agencies. Their audience knew a lot about police work, but had little knowledge about wireless broadband. Imagine if the head of a public service agency heard something like this: 4G LTE is a standard for the wireless communication of high-speed data based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, increasing the capacity and speed of new modulation techniques. Not one person would have acted on the pitch because they wouldn’t be able to understand a word of it!

Instead we created a pitch that started with this sentence: 4G is a mobile broadband technology that will change the way your department communicates, collaborates, and operates. The audience got it in one sentence. The message was so simple and effective, the company landed several multi-million dollar accounts after their first meetings and they credited the message map for helping them pitch the idea in a simple, yet compelling way. The message map gave everyone (sales, marketing, executive leadership) a roadmap for the customer conversation. “Without a doubt it improved the confidence of our sales and marketing teams to articulate our value, our mission, and why our product would make a difference,” one leader told me.

Build a message map in 3-steps.

A message map is the visual display of your idea on one page. It is a powerful and tool that should be a part of your communication arsenal. Building a message map can help you pitch anything (a product, service, company, or idea) in as little as 15 seconds. Here is the three-step process to using a message map to build a winning pitch. For this exercise you will need a notepad, word document, PowerPoint slide, or whiteboard.

Step One. Create a Twitter-friendly headline.

The headline is the one single overarching message that you want your customers to know about the product. Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I want my listener to know about my [product, service, brand, idea].” Draw a circle at the top of the message and insert the headline. Make sure your headline fits in a Twitter post – no more than 140 characters. If you cannot explain your product or idea in 140 characters or less, go back to the drawing board.

Step Two. Support the headline with three key benefits.

As I discussed in a previous article, the human mind can only process about three pieces of information in short-term memory. Specifically outline the three or, at most, four benefits of your product. Draw three arrows from the headline to each of the key supporting messages.

Step Three. Reinforce the three benefits with stories, statistics, and examples.

Add bullet points to each of the three supporting messages. You don’t have to write out the entire story. Instead write a few words that will prompt you to deliver the story. Remember, the entire message map must fit on one page.

You can create a message map for any product or a brand. Lets use the example of soap. If you can sell soap, you can pitch anything. Lush is a global chain of stores that sells soaps and cosmetics. It has about 100 locations around the world. They literally stock hundreds of items. Although the brand takes the unusual step of sending new products to each of its employees, it wouldn’t be feasible, nor necessary, to create a message map about each product.

This video illustrates the steps outlined below: 

Here is how I would create a message map for Lush store employees.

Twitter-friendly headline: Lush makes handmade soaps and cosmetics.

3 supporting messages. All Lush products are:

  1. FRESH

The 15-second pitch would sound like this:

Welcome to Lush. We make handmade soaps and cosmetics. Everything in the store is fresh, environmentally friendly, and part of our profits support ethical campaigns.

Now for the supporting points.

Under Fresh, Lush might include the fact that all the products made from natural ingredients and they are handmade daily and shipped the next day.

Under Environmentally Friendly, a Lush sales associate might say that products are made from ingredients not tested on animals, they are mostly unpackaged, and contain little or no preservatives.

Under Ethical Campaigns, Lush might highlight some of the environmental causes championed by the brand.

Here is an example of what a message map looks like.

A message map can be used in several ways. You can make copies and hand it to all your employees who talk to customers. You can use it to outline a longer presentation to customers, investors, or stakeholders. You can, and should, use the same language in all of your marketing and advertising material.

I cannot emphasize enough how well this works. And I’ve seen it work for extremely complicated products and concepts. In fact the more complex your idea, the more important it is to create a message map. You need to pitch your story simply, clearly, and concisely. The message map is your winning ticket.

Carmine Gallo is the communications coach for the world’s most admired brands. He is a popular keynote speaker and author of several books, including the international bestsellers The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. His new book, The Apple Experience: Secrets to Building Insanely Great Customer Loyalty is the first book to reveal the secrets behind the stunning success of the Apple Retail Store. Follow Carmine on Facebook or Twitter

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Stop Pushing

by Kelley Robertson, www.fearless-selling.ca

A few weeks ago a participant in a sales training workshop I recently conducted asked, “How do I convince someone to buy from me?”

This is the same as asking, “How can I force someone to buy from me?

You can’t force or push someone into buying your product or service.

Actually, I take that back.

You CAN coerce people into making a buying decision but it tends to happen more in a B2C setting (think time-share) {{{{shudder}}} than a B2B situation although I have encountered situations where someone made a business purchase because the sales person was aggressive, pushy, and forceful.

BTW: If you need to resort to using this type of approach I suggest you find another way to earn a living. Just saying…

I have always believed that you shouldn’t have to convince someone to buy your product, service or offering. If you have been effective in asking high-value questions to determine the other person’s buying criteria, motives, needs and wants; presented your offering in a manner that resonates with your prospect and properly addressed their concerns and possible objections, you seldom have to convince that person to buy.

However, if you short cut the process and deliver a well-rehearsed pitch without taking the time to adapt that presentation so it addresses the prospect’s key issues and current situation, you will always encounter resistance and reluctance.

And, if you start to push harder when you meet that resistance, the other person will naturally resist even more.

It’s human nature.

When people feel threatened their natural instinct is to defend themselves. And when people feel that a sales person is trying to push, coerce, or convince them to buy, they will become defensive and less inclined to buy from that sales person.

The key is to engage people in a conversation. A natural conversation. A conversation that includes everyone people involved in the buying decision.

Having said all of this, there is a difference between assertively responding to a ‘no’ or ‘not interested’ and aggressively pushing someone into making a decision that they simply do not want to make.

So what do you do when someone obviously has no interest in buying what you are selling? Move on!

Stop pushing and start looking for people who have a need and desire for your product, service and offering.

Kelley Robertson is president of the Robertson Training Group. Kelley is the author of two sales books, Stop, Ask & Listen-Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers and The Secrets of Power Selling. Both sales training books provide practical insights to improving your sales results. Visit his website at www.fearless-selling.ca or call him 905 633 7750
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How to “Pitch’ Your Pitch

Here’s a nifty little way to position your presentation and your close: tell your client that you’re going to pitch them before you pitch them.

Much like a batter in baseball who is awaiting a pitch, your client knows your pitch is going to come at some point. The trick is to make  it easier for the client (and yourself) by giving your client a ‘verbal wind up’ so they are prepared for it. When they can ‘see’ the pitch coming they are more tuned in and listen more closely.   As such,  your client tends to better understand and evaluate your offer which in turn, reduces sales resistance in the form of smokescreen objections.  Of course, what it really does is increase your odds of making the sale.

So, like a pitcher on the mound, the idea is for you to go through a routine so that your  batter (client) know the ball is about to be thrown . The verbal wind up is easy and  consists of two elements.

Part I: Summarize & Verify

First, summarize the client’s situation and pain points that you uncovered in your questioning phase, and then verify summary to ensure that  the client agrees. For instance,

“Sandi, let me summarize your situation as I understand it .  You indicated that _______ (list your findings).  Is that correct?

Part II:  Tell Them You’re Going to Pitch

Second,  literally tell the client you’re going to pitch them  by using this trigger phrase:

“Okay…based on what you’ve told me here’s the pitch …<pause>.

Use these precise words.  Because it uses the baseball pitch metaphor, it tends to sound a little more casual and easy going; less business-like.  This tends to reduce buyer anxiety and makes the client a little more receptive to your message.  Be sure to pause for a second or two so your client can digest the thought.  Then present your product offer  and ask for the sale or appointment.

Too Simple?

Don’t be deceived by the  simplicity of the technique.  The verbal wind up is one of those persuasive and influential phrases that work exceedingly well  in any situation particularly in tele-sales.

Not only does your client benefit from its use but you do as well.  For most reps, there is a degree of anxiety at the moment of closing.  It  stems from a variety of reasons not the least of which is the fear of rejection. Using the pitch  as a quick preamble to your offer and close often helps relieve the anxiety. It removes the pretence of ‘selling.’   It provides an easy-going, no-nonsense method of letting the customer know what’s coming next. They know. You know.

Give it a shot!

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7 Ways to Use Silence to Sell More

Silence can be deafening, can’t it?

The telephone is an audio medium. It relies on the sounds you make with your words and with the tone of your voice to persuade the client.

However, just as powerful are the sounds you DON”T  make.

Used wisely and strategically, the pause – and the moment of silence it creates- can be used to your advantage when tele selling.

The Power of the Pause

The silent  pause in tele-selling has far more impact than the pause in field selling.  Because telephone selling is a non face-to-face medium and relies on audible clues, the pause gets greater attention because it creates a gap in the flow of a conversation. (Think of listening to the radio in your car. You’re  driving down the highway and suddenly the chatter stops for a moment or two. Immediately you notice it.)  Same thing in tele-sales.

7 Silent Applications

The silent pause draws attention and focus. Use  it with deliberate thought in these seven areas of your call.

1. After you use the client’s name. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of our names and when a client hears his or her name, he tends to listen closely to the next 15-20 words. It’s a habit that has been honed into us from birth. By pausing a second or so after using the person’s name you double the impact and benefit of the silence you created. Clients focus and listen carefully. This approach is particularly effective with opening statements.

2. After you ask a question. When you ask a question let the client respond. Sales trainers have taught this for ages but it particularly significant in tele-sales. Silence on the telephone is perceived as three to six times longer than it is compared to field sales. It creates a gap that can feel awkward and uncomfortable for the client – AND for you. The tendency is for either you or the client to fill that gap. You need to discipline yourself and keep ‘mum’ and you need the patience to let the customer fill the void.

3. After a trial close. Because you cannot see the client’s expression, you need to compensate by asking trial closes like, “Does that make sense?’ or “Are you following?” Then pause to allow the question to sink in and to let the client respond. Let the silence do its magic and listen closely to hear the tone of the client’s response. If it is hesitant and unsure, stop and go back by saying, “Jeannie, I hear some hesitancy there.”

4. After you hear an objection. Use the pause after the client tosses out an objection. By remaining silent for a second or two a couple of things are achieved. First, it gives you time to process the objection and develop an appropriate response strategy. Secondly, it suggests to the client that you are giving the objection fair analysis. They like that; makes them feel important while at the same time, it positions you as thoughtful and respectful; not slick and off the cuff.

5. After handling the objection. Similarly, briefly use silence after you answer an objection. If you respond to a price or product objection, conclude by asking, “Does that answer your question?” Pause. Wait for the response. Listen to the tone. Evaluate it. Respond accordingly.

6. After you make a key point. It is wise to use the pause after you mention a key feature or aspect of your product. This allows that feature, fact, or offer to sink in.  This creates a sense of significance. It’s kind of like verbal underlining. The pause will often get the client to comment further and reveal buying signals.

7. After you close. As a salesperson, you should know that the pause – the silence – after a close or an advance is powerful. The gap gives the client time to evaluate all that she has heard but the ensuing silence also creates that all-important tension whereby the client wants to ‘fill the gap.’ Let it work for you. File your nails or doodle but wait it out.


Silence – through the use of the pause – is the secret sauce of tele-selling, no question about it. It is a technique or tool that you can use deliberately to create an effect. It gets your client to listen, to open up, to respond, and to learn. Use it liberally on all your tele-sales calls.

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To Script or Not to Script – Part III- The Solution

If you have been following the thread, the question is whether a tele-sales should ‘script’ a call or not.  One article argued the ‘pros’ of scripting and other argued the ‘cons.’  Okay, then, what’s the solution?

It’s simple. Create a hybrid. Take the best of both worlds. Combine the good of a script and toss out the bad.The trick is to use “scripts’ in certain key parts of the call.

Opening Statements

The opening statement should be scripted. Think about it: your reps are making sixty cold calls per day to the same target market. This part of the call should never have to change because your initial message should be the same from call to call. Scripting the opening statement creates a call standard.  It creates a consistent message that can be coached and supported by you. Best of all, if your reps are using the same opener you can start to test variations and figure out what works best in garnering the client’s attention.


Questioning, on the other hand, is something that cannot be scripted. Oh sure, you can have a list of questions that should be asked but once questioning begins the client can take you all over the map. Your rep needs the flexibility to move where the conversation goes. He needs to “think out of the box.” Don’t script questioning.

Exceptions to the Rule:  Like in grammar, there are always exceptions. If you have certain qualifying questions, script them.  This ensures you are asking the right questions.

Voice Mail

Voice mails can and should be scripted.

There are a couple of reasons. First, a well crafted voice mail leaves a positive impression with a prospect. Babbling about like a brook does not.  Second, scripting a voice mail allow you to test variations.  Some voice mail messages will out pull others.


If you are using offers as part of the selling process, they can and should be scripted. The offer typically doesn’t change so why change the words? If you allow too much flexibility and free form at this stage you’ll discover that sometimes your reps are eloquent and sometimes they sound like the village idiot. Don’t risk it. The offer is the ultimate hook. Make it a standard, coach to it and watch it work. Or test it. Get half your sales team to present the offer in one manner and get the other half to present the offer in another.

When providing a solution in a complex sale, your rep will likely need to have the flexibility of  tailoring the message to a particular client. This is hard to script.  A call guide can be used to craft a message that provides the client with key features supported by clear explanations and topped off with a benefit or two.

To create your call guide, use bullet points on a sheet of paper to list the features, explanations and benefits. This creates a consistency in your message but allow a degree of flexibility so that the words do not sound ‘read’ and so that the rep can inject a degree of personality.


Objections are a more troublesome. The problem is smokescreens: i.e., false objections. For instance, you can have all the right words and phrases to deal with a price objection but if that’s just an excuse to get rid of the rep, then a script doesn’t help, it hinders. Instead, you can develop a ‘call guide” for handling objections. A call guide is a process for a given situation. For example, you could teach your reps a 4 steps process to handling an objection (emphasize, verify/isolate, respond and confirm) which would give you structure of a script but the flexibility of free form.


Script the close. You can have 10 different scripted closing lines if you want but you must ensure that the sales rep uses ONE of them.  If you do that, you increase the chances that the sale will close. Why? Because a scripted close or two can be memorized, mastered and delivered flawlessly. The rep is less likely to waffle when it is time to close; less likely to forget.


The fact of the matter is this: most B to B tele-sales departments typically don’t use scripting in the management of their calls. They give their reps license to do as they please because of the negative perceptions about scripts. Rest assured, sales and opportunities are being lost because a modicum of structure is not being applied. Script certain key parts of your call and you’ll have added a degree of ‘science’ to the ‘art’ of selling.

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How to Create the Ultimate Sales Message

How effective is your sales message?

Chances are it might not as scintillating as you might think. Many buyers complain that sales reps fail to provide them with clear, concise sales messages that help them buy or help them take the next step in the buying cycle. In fact, just the opposite occurs: the confused buyer takes no action at all.

An effective selling message has three fundamental components. They’ve been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. Perhaps because they not ‘new and sexy’ they are increasingly being forgotten, misused or ignored. That’s a real tragedy because when your sales message is not clear and convincing, your sales will suffer.

This article will show you how to create the ultimate sales message that gets your prospect to turn their head, listen and take action.

What is a Selling Message?

First off, a selling message is any message where you try to persuade a potential buyer to do something. Getting your prospect to agree to the next follow up call or to agree to a face-to-face visit can be as much of a “sale” as getting them to purchase a product or a service.

Creating the Ultimate Sales Message: The OEB Process

An ‘ultimate’ sales message is one that provides a convincing and compelling rationale for the client to take action of any sort. Creating an ultimate sales message is a 3-step process called O.E.B. (offer, explanation, benefit).

Part I: The Offer

The first part of an ultimate sales message is the clear articulation of precisely what you want to ‘sell’ or ‘promote.’ It is your offer.

Defined, offer means, “to present for acceptance or rejection; to present for sale.”   Based on that apt definition, an offer might be a specific product like a pallet of chainsaw lubricant, or it could be a face-to-face appointment to discuss retirement planning. It could be a webinar on your personnel evaluation software or it might be a conference call with your head technician to discuss your ‘specs’. An offer might be as simple a sales proposal or a quote.

Recommendation Trigger

Your offer is what the buyer must make a decision about.  One of the best ways to convey your offer is to use the “recommendation trigger phrase.”  For instance,

“Audrina, based on what we’ve discussed  so far, I would like to recommend…( that we get together; that you attend our webinar; that I get a quote into your hands; that you speak with one of our techs)”

Positioning the offer as a ‘recommendation’ has a less ‘salesy’ feel about it. The prospect doesn’t feel like he or she is being ‘sold.’  This simple phrase reduces buyer reactance and makes them more receptive the explanation.

Part II: An Enticing Explanation

Most reps ‘get’ the offer part of a sales message.  What most reps don’t ‘get’ is that the offer must be accompanied with an enticing explanation.

The enticing explanation explains why a webinar, visit, trial demo or purchase is significant and important. It provides the meat of matter.  It is not enough to recommend attending a webinar. You must delineate what the webinar will cover. Create value.  It is not enough to say, “Let’s get together for a cup of coffee to discuss your financial future.” What the heck does that mean? You need to add some ‘oomph and pizzazz’ to that offer so that it feels worthwhile. A trial demo must have a sense of weight and scope that screams to the prospect to try it immediately.

Don’t skimp on the explanation.

Part III: The Ultimate Benefit

An ‘ultimate’ sales message needs one more element, a benefit. A benefit is why it is personally significant and important to the potential buyer. The explanation tells a prospective buyer what they will get out of taking action but benefit explains what they will ultimately achieve from your offer. The benefit answers the classic question ‘what’s in it for me?’

Everyone knows the WIIFM formula. Benefits vary from client to client but typically, they describe the intrinsic value that buyers derive from the offer. This include things like saving money, making money, saving time, reducing risk, providing peace of mind,  creating status and so on.

Putting OEB Together: Example

“_____, to get you started I would like to recommend a “test drive” of our EM Program.

In other words, I would like to recommend that you give the program a ‘spin’ around the block with three or four patients so you can get a feel how we work, how we work with your insurance providers, how your patients respond and how the program benefits your practice. You can assess our effectiveness, see how things operate, compile any questions and evaluate it from bumper to bumper.

At the end of day, this ‘test drive’ will not only show you how our program can generate additional revenues for your practice but also give you peace of mind knowing regarding our company and our program. And, should the program not appeal to you, no problem, you have risked nothing.”

In this example, the doctor is offered a no cost trial of a particular program. The sales rep has used the simple but powerful metaphor of a test drive to explain what the trial would accomplish. Finally, the sales rep provides three benefits to the doctor (generating revenue, peace of mind and no risk).  Used consistently, this message creates powerful and compelling reasons for the prospect to take action.

What Most Sales Reps Usually Do

As powerful as this 3-Step process may appear, many sales reps have difficulty applying it. They skimp on the explanation or they ignore the benefit.  Perhaps this is because the explanation and benefits are so obvious to the sales rep to lives and breaths the product every day. The trouble is your offer isn’t always so self evident to your prospect. They don’t think webinars, products, trial demos and appointments very day of the week

Consequently, the buyer is left with an incomplete or diluted selling message. You have not given them a reason to take decisive action. By harmonizing these 3-parts of your sales message, you make it easier for the client to evaluate and respond accordingly.


The 3-Part sales message is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s been around for thousands of years. However, that doesn’t make it any less effective. A true ultimate statement is one that is used consistently, time and again, to persuade clients. For every offer, you have available, create an enticing explanation and top it off with a benefit or two. Do it now and watch what it does to your sales results.

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