November 2013 | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • 7 Things You Must Do To Prepare For Your First Sales Call by Jim Meisenheimer >>
  • 15 Tips to Voicemail Survival by Mark Hunter >>
  • 10 Keys To The C-Suite by Michael Nick >>
  • Avoid Words and Phrases that are Sure to Cause Resistance by Art Sobczak >>



7 Things You Must Do To Prepare For Your First Sales Call
by Jim Meisenheimer

Whenever you have a sales call scheduled with a new sales prospect - treat it like a golden opportunity.

Because in fact this first sales call, could be a golden opportunity for you. What if your new sales prospect has the potential to become your largest customer.

What would the lifetime value of your largest customer add up to?

Here are seven things you must do before calling on every new sales prospect.

Thing you must do # 1:

Be sure to do your homework and that means making Google your first stop. Do a search on the person's name, the company name, and the name of their best elling product. You might be surprised with the results you get.

You should also go to: Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of the name of a person and / or the name of a company.

Thing you must do # 2:

Now this is a little thing that can have a big impact. It can create a powerful first impression for you.

Go to an office supply store and buy a dozen red file folders. While you're at the store buy Avery product #8366 which are white file folder labels. Prepare a label with the name of your new sales prospect.

Imagine your prospect's reaction to seeing his name on this red file folder. He will immediately consider you professional, organized, successful, and different from most other salespeople he has experienced in the past.

A little thing with a big impact.

Thing you must do # 3:

You must have a written sales call objective for your first sales call. Your written objectives for this sales call can include: to build rapport, establish credibility, to ask 3-5 open-ended questions, to identify one common interest you share, and to secure agreement for your second meeting.

Your written sales call objectives will scream"Professionalism." By contrast most salespeople arrive like a tourist just taking in the sights - pity the poor sales prospect who must put up with this display of mediocrity.

Thing you must do # 4:

To get the ball rolling, building rapport and establishing credibility, I suggest you prepare and practice 3 - 5 open-ended questions.

Nothing shows your interest more than the questions you ask - so be sure to ask good questions. You can start with . . . tell me about your business . . . what are your responsibilities . . . in addition to you who else is involved in making decisions for . . . what are the biggest challenges you're facing growing your business?

Once again asking these questions will demonstrate your interest and professionalism and differentiate you from most salespeople.

Thing you must do # 5:

If you enjoy playing the telephone tag game you can immediately proceed to # 6. It's absolutely amazing how many salespeople neglect to secure the meeting time and date for the second meeting.

Once you have qualified your sales prospect as a potential customer don't forget and never hesitate to ask for the second meeting. Do not attempt improvisation. Prepare and practice how you will ask for the second meeting.

Thing you must do # 6:

This next thing is especially important if you happen to be a serious person. Before you get out of your car check your rearview mirror to make sure you're smiling.

Trust me, when you're caught in traffic, running a little late, just ended a telephone call with a disgruntled customer - please don't think you have a happy face on.

Check your mirror to check your smile.

Thing you must do # 7:

Try this affirmation on for size "This will be my best sales call ever to a new sales prospect." Right after you check to make sure you're smiling saying this affirmation fills your mind with positive thoughts and words squeezing out any potential negativity.

You may not realize this but you are in complete control of your thoughts. And of course you know how you think is everything!

There's a huge difference between self-doubt and self-confidence and both are controlled by your thoughts.

This affirmation creates the perfect mindset for a very successful sales call.

Just try it once and see how much better you feel.

Now you know the 7 things you must do to prepare for your first sales call. Believe it or not you now have a 7-point system for making sales calls on new prospects.

Use this system to make every sales call better than the last one.

Let's go sell something . . .

About The Author:

Make sure you check out Jim's Sales Trailblazer program:

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.


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15 Tips to Voicemail Survival
by Mark Hunter

  1. If your goal is to get the phone call returned, don’t leave information that would allow the person to make up their mind. Add a call-to-action to your message by providing a key date or something of interest that will encourage the person to return the call. You have to create a reason for them to call you back.
  2. Repeat your phone number twice. If the person can’t quickly write your number down, you’ve given them a perfect reason to not call back.
  3. Avoid asking ask the person to call you back at a certain time. This provides them with an excuse not to call you.
  4. Never state in the message that you will plan to call them back. Again, this only gives the person an excuse to ignore your message.
  5. Messages left on a Friday afternoon are the least likely to be returned. For most people, Monday mornings are very busy and, as a result, only high–priority activities will get their immediate attention.
  6. Do not leave voicemail messages at odd hours of the night. Most voicemail systems offer a time stamp and the person hearing the message will immediately suspect you really did not want to talk to them.
  7. The best hours to leave voicemail messages are from 6:45 AM to 8:00 AM and from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Aggressive people are usually working during these time periods, and the person receiving your message could potentially view you as one.
  8. Wisely use time zone changes to make as many calls as possible during the optimal voicemail periods listed in the previous tip.
  9. Voicemail messages are an excellent way to introduce yourself to a person. Be personable, yet professional, and link your message to something of interest to the person you are calling (such as another person or event). The recipient may view your message as a waste of time if you have no purpose other than getting your name in front of them.
  10. When leaving a message with multiple points, be sure to immediately disclose how many you will be making. This will prevent the recipient from accidentally fast-forwarding or deleting it before it is completely heard.
  11. If you can’t say it briefly, don’t say it at all. Voicemail is not “story time”. Leaving a long message is an invitation to have the entire message skipped. The optimal voicemail message is between 8 and 14 seconds.
  12. When leaving your phone number, do not leave your website address as well. This will give the person an opportunity to make a decision about you without calling you back.
  13. Leave a “PS” at the end of your message. A “PS” is a very quick, additional piece of information that will connect with the person.
  14. Mention the person’s first name at least twice in the message, but don’t use their last name. Doing so comes across as very impersonal.
  15. Refer to a mutual acquaintance in your message as a way of connecting with the recipient. (Caution: Make sure they think positively of that person!).

About The Author:

Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter," helps individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. As a keynote speaker, he is best known for his ability to motivate and move an organization through his high-energy presentations.

He spent more than 18 years working in the Sales and Marketing divisions of three Fortune 100 companies. During his career, he led many projects including the creation of a new 200 member sales force responsible for volume in excess of $700 million. Mark has held sales management roles in teams ranging in size from 20 to 900 members. This level of experience is at the core of every program he delivers each year to thousands of people throughout the country in the areas of Sales, Communications, and Leadership.

People around the world benefit from the wisdom, motivation, and inspiration of “The Sales Hunter” every week. His insightful videos and podcasts are popular downloads on YouTube and iTunes, and he has been quoted in numerous magazines and newspapers. His free, weekly Sales Hunting Tip email is received by thousands of salespeople across the globe. Additionally, many of his articles on Sales have been reprinted in some of the industry’s leading magazines and business websites. From sales training tips to an analysis of retail trends, Mark Hunter’s Sales Motivation Blog provides commentary to help you build your business. To find out more information on “The Sales Hunter”, please visit our website at

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10 Keys To The C-Suite
by Michael Nick

Working with the C-Suite can be intimidating at the least for many sales professionals. They are important, they are untouchable, they are too busy, they are speaking in a different language, they are..., they are..., they are..... Well, they are human. And the C-Suite is just like you and me...except they make a lot more money than us. That aside, here are 10 tips to communicating with the C-Suite.

  • Create a Value Inventory, - A Value Inventory will help instill confidence in your products and service. It is an effort that pays off time and time again. In addition to your new found confidence, it is the foundation for developing all sales tools.
  • Use your Value Inventory to tie value to the C-Suite metrics - The C-Suite metrics are ratios that your products and services impact. For example, if your product reduces labor cost, you actually impact operating costs and profit. These are the ratio's the C-Suite cares about.
  • Do your homework before you call on the C-Suite - I cannot impress upon you enough as to the importance of doing your homework prior to a meeting in the C-Suite. They expect you to know their business. You should check LinkedIn for any relationships you have they may know who you are meeting. Do your homework or parish.
  • Create a Value hypothesis and estimate your value as it relates to the impact on the C-Suite metrics before the deal, “hits the market” - This document will establish a basis for your meeting. You can present the potential value you will deliver in their terms using basically a Business Case at the beginning of the sales process.
  • Develop discovery questions that lead your prospect back to your value proposition - Don't waste their time. Have discovery questions written down and ready to discuss. Be sure they are relevant, and challenging. Don't ask a question just to ask a questions.
  • Capture “current” cost and extrapolate that cost over time to set up a discussion on threshold for pain - People respond to pain. If you get agreement from your prospect as to what their problems and goals are and what the current cost of those issues, pains and goals, half the battle is over. Acknowledgement of pain and the ability to capture the cost will push a deal forward faster than any other thing.
  • Discuss threshold for pain and agree on a plan to move forward - All too often you lose to status quo. Why? Because of your failure to understand the prospects threshold for pain. Even if you get them to acknowledge they have issues, and you calculate the cost of those issues...the pain and the cost may be acceptable by the prospect. In other words, they don't care what it is costing them right now.
  • Constantly provide feedback to your prospect on your findings and analysis as it relates to their pain, cost of pain, and market comparison - We (sales people) have been taught our whole life to correspond with the prospect after we meet. This should be done every time you touch them, send a note of thanks and a short description of what you discussed.
  • Create a high quality Business Case that includes, issue, pain, goal, value, impact and investment - remember the C-Suite has very little time, a Business Case should be concise and complete with the issues, value estimates, costs, metrics and plenty of graphics the will help explain economic impact.
  • Provide comprehensive implementation plan that includes follow up on value delivered - A 360 approach will almost always pay off. You are now a partner not a vendor.
Check out my book The Key to the C-Suite, an AMAZON top 10 business book. Order here.

About The Author:

Michael Nick is considered to be one of the foremost authorities in the world on the subject of value estimation selling. Michael’s first book, ROI Selling (Dearborn Publishing ©2004) was a business best seller. In 2010, Simon & Schuster picked up the reprint rights giving ROI Selling another five years of availability in the market.

Over the past 13 years Michael has worked with Companies like, HP, Autodesk, Fiserv, Ingersol Rand, Trane, NEC, Checkfree, Bomgar, Rockwell Automation, Oracle, Great Plains,and more.

Visit him at:

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Avoid Words and Phrases that are Sure to Cause Resistance
by Art Sobczak


It's difficult enough generating interest on calls, yet many salespeople make it worse by saying things that are sure to create resistance.

While fine-tuning my own openings and sales presentations, and those of sales reps at seminars and workshops, I not only look for words and phrases that will create interest, I try to screen out anything high on the P.R.C. Scale-- that's the Potentially Resistance-Creating Scale.

In opening statements, for example, your goal is to create interest, and spark desire in them to want to continue the conversation. It's all very forward-moving. Anything that could potentially create resistance blows your tires out before you leave the garage. Even if you spark some interest, the resistance might overwhelm it.

Here are words and phrases to avoid, all high on the P.R.C. Scale.

Telling People What They Should Do, Know, Or Think.

For example, "And I'm sure you're aware..."

"Of course you'll agree..."

"And I'm sure you're certainly familiar with us..."

As I was sitting here tapping away at my computer, a call center rep trying to push corporate credit cards called and launched into her pitch:

"... and of course you have read about our credit card in the top business magazines and seen the TV commercials on CNBC and Fox Business..."

I nosed in, saying, "No."

She asked, "No, you didn't hear about it, or no, you don't want it?"

"Both," I replied.

Making Unsubstantiated Puffed-Up Claims That Create Doubt.

Buyers are skeptical. Many are just downright negative, looking for the downside of everything.

Therefore when prospects hear claims that could be questioned, they are often treated with a raised eyebrow.

For example, "We're the top company..."

"We're the leading supplier of..."

"We're the most respected distributor..."

If it's important, and it's true, back up your claims.

"According to the Independent Testing Association, we're the supplier with the highest rating in the area regarding order fill rates, meaning you have the best chance with us of getting the parts you require, the day you need them, without having to wait for backorders."

Using Technical Jargon.

Granted, you might need to get into technical specs--with some people. Others don't care how the drill was wired; they buy it because it feels good in their hand.

Once you've lost someone by speaking in terms they don't understand, they might feel it's not worth the hassle to go back and get clarification. This obviously derails the forward-momentum process. Using techie terms also might cause the other person to feel ignorant or inferior.

While I was shopping for a small video camera, the techno-wizard sales clerk spewed babble that was atmospheres over my head. He lost me. I nodded in mock agreement, but he might as well have been speaking Swahili.

I just wanted to know if I could get good quality video suitable for the web with a variety of available lighting in typical office settings. (He didn't get the sale.)

Immediately Talking About Products/Services/Company In The Opening.

"... and I'm calling today to introduce our company and products to you."

Buyers only care about the RESULTS of what you are or have.

Saying You're Calling To "Tell Them" Something.

Give yourself extra P.R.C. points if used in conjunction with the previous point. As in,

"... and I'"m calling today to tell you about our products ..."

Using "Eraser" Words.

These erase the impact of what preceded them in a sentence, and include "but" and "however."

A sales rep said to a customer, "Well, yes we do have a better price, but you'll have to buy two cases to get it."

Instead, use "and" in place of the eraser:

"Yes, you can get the better price, a discount of 15%, by getting two cases."

Scrutinize the words you use like a lawyer picking apart clauses in a contract. Ask, "Is there anything here that someone could potentially resist, or object to?"

If so, slice it out. You'll find your calls progressing more smoothly and quickly.

Continue having your best sales week ever!

About the Author:
Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth,"entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques. He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection." Using the phone in sales is only difficult for people who use outdated, salesy, manipulative tactics, or for those who aren't quite sure what to do, or aren't confident in their abilities. Art's audiences always comment how he simplifies the telesales process, making it easily adaptable for anyone with the right attitude.

Contact Info
Art Sobczak
Business By Phone Inc.
13254 Stevens St.
Omaha, NE, 68137

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