Training Tip What to say and how to say it


In my new “What’s In a Word” series, I will offer a different word or phrase that could help you or seriously damage your sales efforts. As everyone knows, I’m a harsh critic of the canned spiel and I don’t advocate word-for-word scripts; however, I do advocate a well PLANNED sales presentation.

As in everything, choose your words carefully. In this article I will offer different words or phrases to use or avoid. Today’s words or phrases are, “You may be familiar…” and “You SOUND Good”

Use these phrases during your introduction on a cold call and watch what happens.

One of the things that make’s a cold call, “cold” is the fact that the person on the other end of the telephone doesn’t know you or your company. The problem with this is you now have to do or say something quickly to “verify” or validate who you are. However, the real problem this causes is that brief moment of uncertainty; a short period of unknown territory because you’re total strangers.

Simply add the phrase, “You may be familiar…” to your opening introduction and it will help ease that moment of tension. The key is to say this as a statement and not a question. You don’t want to ASK the prospect, “ARE you familiar with us?”, so ‘you may be familiar with us’, means you not asking a question or waiting for an answer, you’re simply stating the obvious ‘they may be familiar with you’.

In a cold call, when the prospect hears that strange voice say, “Hi, Mr. Prospect, this is….” Remember a wall of fear goes up and what maybe common knowledge goes out the window. This is a sales call and the knee-jerk reaction is often negative and defensive. So, all you want to do is quickly interject some common knowledge to help ease those initial few seconds.

Sales Person: “Yes, Karen, Mark Johnson, ABC Technologies? How are you?

Prospect: “Ok.”

Sales Person: “Karen, ABC Technologies, you may be familiar with us, we’re the county’s largest supplier of help desk automation software…and the reason I’m calling…”


Sales Person: “Hi Nick? John Biggs, All Sports? You may be familiar, All Sports is the local sportsman’s magazine, and the reason I’m calling…”

This is powerful and natural. So please remember the golden rule: K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Seller! Don’t over do it and remember that they may be familiar!

When you walk into a customer’s office for the first time you might say something pleasant or complementary like……

“That’s a nice suit…sharp tie…nice dress…great office…etc.” These are normal and natural comments. And when you meet someone you already know, the pleasantry may be more personal, “You look good today, Tom…” “Susan, have you lost weight?”

However, on the telephone, these bits of pleasant banter aren’t there because you can’t see anything. Well, simply take things you would SEE and comments on how things LOOK and change them to things you HEAR and how it SOUNDS.

Sales Person: “Yes Lisa, Donna Bellworth, Acme Chemicals? How are you today?”

Customer: “I’m fine!”

Sales Person: “That’s great, Lisa…you SOUND good!”


Sales Person: “Hi Steven, Mark Smyth at Big I.T., how you been?”

Customer: “Oh, pretty good, Mark. I can’t complain.”

Sales Peron: “Well, things must be going well, Steve, you SOUND good.”

Customer: “Yeah, well, I feel pretty good…”

You will be amazed at what happens when you do this. Simply turn it around to sound…

In person: You look good

On the telephone: You sound good

In person: Looks like you’ve got things under control over here…

On the telephone: Sounds like you’ve got things under control over there…

In person: Looks like you guys are really busy…

On the telephone: Sounds like you guys are really busy.

Now, I’m not talking about the old-school, smile and dial, butter-people-up, fake and insincere rhetoric of yesterday. But when the opportunity presents itself for a brief complement—let your prospect/client or even colleague know it!

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