Customers do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.  In the world of sales- there is no more important step in the process than probing, the time when you ask questions. We as salespeople must never forget we are asking in large part to show we care.  Say this to your prospect on your next call.  “Fair enough, Prospect. I don’t want to waste my time or your time. They are EQUALLY valuable.  I only have one question for you: For us to earn your business, what is IMPORTANT to YOU?”


Earn the right to sell.  Too often in sales, when it comes to prospecting, salespeople go right into their “pitch.” They forget the golden rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. Try this next time. Before you go into your “elevator speech,” say this to the first person you greet:  “Hi, what’s your name?”  “Hello, so and so. It’s nice to meet you.  I was wondering if you could HELP me.”  There are no two more powerful words in the English language than the sound of our names and the word “help.” Everyone wants to be recognized for their humanity — and everyone wants to make the world a better place. Whether we admit it is another story.


Objections.  Never fear them. Welcome them. They are buying signals. If prospect don’t object, they aren’t buying. Think of your own buying habits. When was the last time you made a purchase without an objection? When was the last time you purchased without asking questions?  What’s the best way to combat an objection? One word: Silence. Try this on your next sales call after you ask for the business.  Prospects: “I’m just not sure.”  You: Say nothing. Silence.  Wait and wait and wait. Let them think. If you interrupt their train of thought, you are dead in the water. The results will speak for themselves.


Empathy.  When it comes to handling objections in the sales process, besides silence, there is no more powerful tool to express to prospects than empathy. Never tell prospects they are wrong, but you must never let them get away with distorting the reality of the situation.  Try this when confronted next with an objection from a prospect. After your silence, say this:  “I understand exactly how you feel, prospect SO AND SO. Some other clients have felt the same way. But what they have found out after working with us is that the benefits well outweigh the risk.”


Never confirm appointments – via phone, that is. After you have agreed to a mutual firm date and firm time, say this upon the conclusion of your next prospecting call:  “I’ll tell you what, prospect SO AND SO. This is what I will do. I don’t want to waste your time or my time. They are EQUALLY valuable. I will send you an e-mail the day prior reminding you. Should something come up or you change your mind, all I ask is you call me. But if I don’t hear from you, I will assume no news is good news and you will see my smiling face on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Is that fair?”

About the author

Todd Natenberg

Todd Natenberg, President of TBN Sales Solutions, increases commissions for salespeople through customized training…

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