How Are You?

When you call a sales prospect, and say, “Hi this is so-and-so [and then quickly add], how are you?,” how do you think it comes across? Nice? Polite? Caring? Actually, none of the above. In fact, if anything, you sound like Joey from Friends, “How you doin!” Really – it’s creepy.

Here’s why – the prospect doesn’t know you well enough yet. While it’s okay to say/ask “how you doing” as a standard social greeting, a sales call is NOT a standard social greeting – it’s business. In other words, you’ve just opened your sales call with poor social etiquette. It also makes you seem nervous and/or anxious – all of which comes through right over the phone.

A better, more professional approach would be to stop and wait. Example, “Hello, this is Theo from so and so corp” [stop/wait]. The response will tell you how to proceed, e.g., “Hi Theo, how are you [i.e., what do you want?].” “I’m well (do not say “I’m good” – “I’m well” is proper English), I’m calling about the widget you inquired about” [stop/wait]. “Yeah, we’re not so sure about it.” “What’s the trouble?” [stop/wait]. You get the idea. Let them speak. You ask questions and direct the flow.

Too often, perhaps out of our own anxiety of closing a deal, we bumble out more words than necessary, rather than allowing the natural exchange of conversation to flow. When we do this, we may miss buying queues and talk ourselves right out of a deal or sour the opportunity to help someone make a buying decision.

Do you see the difference? It’s subtle, but important. Subtle shifts in our approach like this one allows us to more effectively build confidence in our prospects and close more sales.

What do you think?

~ Theo

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