Prospecting Sales Technique… it is Ridiculous That…

It is just as ridiculous that someone would answer the phone during a meeting to tell you “I can’t talk to you, I’m in a meeting,” as it is that they would then proceed to talk to you and schedule an appointment. There are counter-intuitive lessons in this common scenario.

A short one today.

Received a call from one of my coaching clients. She was all excited because she had just scheduled a meeting with a high-level exec she had been chasing. He answered the phone to whisper, “I can’t talk to you right now, I’m in an important meeting.” She nevertheless delivered her concise impactful script and guess what??? Mr. “Can’t talk to you” scheduled an appointment.

There are a few important lessons in this.

First, the reason this person started to work with me is that she was having a hard time getting people to listen to her whole spiel before getting cut off, and her volume of appointments set needed big improvement. As we setup scripts and processes for the initial pitch, responses to resistance and common scenarios she faced, she mentioned the “I’m in a meeting” response, and was incredulous that she might be able to schedule an appointment with someone who was “in a meeting and too busy to talk.”

Remember these lessons and read why Edith felt she was successful in this circumstance.

1. Don’t interpret what you hear as literally true. When people say something like “we’re all set” or “I don’t have time to talk to you,” they are really saying “I don’t know you, you have no credibility with me, I don’t get the value you offer, you are probably like all the rest that waste my time, go away you swine.”

What you hear is often a knee jerk reaction that doesn’t reflect their true circumstances.

Understanding that many times what people say initially is not literally true, you must communicate or reinforce your message of credibility, benefits and a high-value offer. Help your target grasp your value. Clearly tell them why you are credible and three impactful desired benefits you offer. Give them a chance to absorb this.

2. It’s all about the value you describe. The bottom line is that people make time for things they value and desire. If you communicate little credibility and weak value you will hear “I’m in a meeting. Goodbye.” Communicate high credibility and high value you will hear “I’m in a meeting. I’m listening.”

What did Edith attribute her success to? She is now communicating credibility and desired benefits with clarity and brevity, in such a way that her targets “get it” and want to spend more time with her. The value she is offering is more powerful than their desire to do nothing.

So, rework those scripts, credibility and benefit statements. And the next time someone says “I’m in a meeting,” pitch em.

Best wishes for sales success,
Scott Channell