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Your Opening Sales Line

You are not crazy if you talk to yourself

“What should I say first?”

It’s a question asked a million times by both rookie and experienced sales professionals. The importance of what is first said has been drilled into our heads that we only have one chance to make a first impression and that customers make up their minds about whether or not they will buy from us within 30 seconds.

So making sure that the first words that flow from our lips are impactful, professional and puts us in the best possible light can make or break the entire sales call. But believing that our first words are so critical provides few benefits and certainly adds to the whatever stress we may feel when we walk through the office door of a client.

Your First Words Should Be Silent Ones

Putting yourself in the right frame of mind when you start a sales call may be the most important thing you can do. Research in the Personal Development industry has repeatedly proven that our “self-talk” determines our focus. Our focus determines our emotional state and our emotional state either allows us to access our talents and resources or can place us in a distracted, disempowered state.

Knowing this, the last thing a sales professional should do is to have a “self-conversation” that creates added stress caused by wondering “what should I say first?” Instead, asking yourself more empowering questions will allow you to access your talents and skills.

Here are some silent questions you may want to try out on your next call.

  • “What is my true objective (purpose/goal/intention) for making this call?”
  • “How can I best demonstrate how dedicated I am to providing excellent service?”
  • “What are some calls that I’ve made in the past that went really, really well?”
  • “What questions can I ask so that I can learn about this client’s most important needs?”

Taking the Focus off Yourself

When you are solely focused on yourself, you have a tendency to be self-conscious. And if you do not have a lot of experience of successful sales calls in your past, being self-conscious will do little to serve you. If you instead begin your self-talk in a manner that shifts your focus to your client rather than on yourself, your stress levels will decrease and you will be in a much better position to learn about your customer, build rapport and prove yourself to be valuable.

Here are a few questions that shift your focus away from you and towards your client.

  • “What are this clients most expected challenges?”
  • “What is this client probably most interested in?”
  • “Why did this client accept my request for a meeting?”
  • “What motivates this client?”
  • “What is this client’s buying style?”

As for me, after twenty-plus years of making sales calls, I have an established and well defined routine of pre-call self-talk that I use literally before every call I make.

“I miss 100% of the shots I never take! Knowing this, I am focused to demonstrating the incredible value I can deliver to this client. What are my objectives for this call and how can I best respond to any challenges that this customer may present?”

Whatever “mind-script” you develop, remember to use it before every call and refine it, improve it and expand it often.

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