Chapter 1


Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.

—Emily Post

It’s 4 pm on a Thursday and you’re about to meet the CEO of a major company you’d like to win as a client. The conversation starts as you walk into the office, approach the CEO, stretch out your hand, and say, “Nice to meet you, Jill. I’m Steve Webb.”

Fast forward to a meeting about four months later—3 pm on a Wednesday this time. You head into the office. Jill gets out from behind her desk and says, “Good to see you again, Steve. Here’s the check for $1.2 million that you need to get the process underway. Let’s schedule the kickoff for next Friday.”

Suffice it to say, a lot has to happen between “nice to meet you” and “here’s a check for $1.2 million.” Yet two things are true:

1. This is how it happens.

2. Conversations form the bridge between “hello” and “let’s go.”

As sales trainers, sales managers, and sellers ourselves, we’ve had the privilege of observing and analyzing thousands of telephone and face-to-face sales conversations. All too often we see salespeople say “hello,” but never get to “let’s go,” because of mistakes they make in their conversations. We also regularly see salespeople unable to generate the conversations they need. Limited sales conversations=limited sales opportunities.

We wrote Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation ...

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