How to Establish Credibility with a Prospect

A new client recently came to me with a question: “When I meet with a prospect for the first time, I want to illustrate my company’s credibility and show the prospect what we can do. After a little small talk, I like to give a brief PowerPoint presentation discussing my company’s history and its success in the industry. I also bring out samples of our products and leave behind some company literature for them to read later. I do all of this because I think it is important that the prospect really understands my company. As my company has grown and I have hired additional sales people, I have gotten some pushback for my methods. Some of my sales people complain about having to present all … [Read more...]

Don’t Ask, Just Tell


I am often asked how to get past gatekeepers. These are the secretaries, receptionists and administrative assistants that answer the phones at businesses large and small. For a salesperson that is cold calling prospects, gatekeepers can either make or break you. How do you make sure that you will get past them? The number one thing you need is confidence. The mistake I see sales people make on cold calls is that they ask permission to speak to a prospect. They will use one of the following phrases: Can I speak to John? Can you tell me if John is available? Can you put me through to John? Asking permission gives the gatekeeper an opportunity to say no. My motto is, “Don’t ask, … [Read more...]

How to Assess a Prospect


Over the years, I have fielded many questions like this- "I have a few high value prospects that I have been targeting.  What are some good ways to assess if I have a chance of getting the business they are currently giving to our competitor?  I know my products are superior to my competitor's and I think these prospects could really benefit from doing business with me, but I do not want to push my way in the door.  How do I figure out if it is worth my while to pursue?" I really sympathize with this dilemma.  I have never wanted to be a "pushy salesperson" either.  Here are two key questions I would ask during an initial conversation with your prospects: “What are the ideal … [Read more...]

How do I get Prospects Excited about My Products/Services?


One of my clients writes: "My biggest challenge is that I make a lot of calls for my company, and I cannot get anyone to call me back.  I work for a company that sells office space solutions; we specialize in office design and construction.  There are a lot of innovative things we can do for companies, but no one wants to talk about renovating office space.  In fact, the words renovation and construction seem to scare many prospects away.  How can I get people to call me back?" Your challenge hits home with me.   I sell training solutions. If I called one hundred people and left a voicemail saying, “I’m Paul Cherry and I specialize in training solutions, give me a call if you are … [Read more...]

My Customer is Too Chatty!


Salespeople are famous for loving to talk, but many customers are the same way!  What do you do when your customer is talking your ear off about anything and everything? Customers, like everyone else, love to talk about themselves, and I am a captive audience.  I have learned that I need to build time into my sales meetings for conversations that are off-topic.  There are times however, when a customer goes on and on about a topic and I need to change the course of the conversation to get us back to the subject at hand. Here is an example of a time when I did just that: I was meeting with an electrical distributor in the Midwest and he was talking to me about his love of fishing. I was … [Read more...]