CHAPTER 9Opening StatementsWhat to Avoid to Minimize Resistance

The prospect has answered the phone. It’s showtime.

Don’t screw it up.

The first 10 seconds is when most prospecting calls die. The good news is that failure is preventable and almost always a direct result of what the sales rep says.

To illustrate this point, here are two scenarios. Think about how you feel after reading each:

  1. The remainder of this chapter will be about heating and air conditioning. We’ll discuss all aspects of how buildings are heated and cooled. I have details of how heating and a/c units are wired and how ductwork is installed in buildings.
  2. The remainder of this chapter is specifically about how you can get another week’s worth of paid vacation this year.

What were your reactions?

After the first one, you were probably thinking, “I don’t need to know this, it’s boring, and it does not affect me. I will extract myself from this situation.” Conversely, after reading the second example, you were probably thinking, “That got my attention. I wonder what it is? Tell me more.”

My point? In the first 10 seconds of phone calls, sales reps create the same emotions as those from my two scenarios. Therefore, you want to minimize the feelings from the first scenario and strive for those that the second statement induces. We will begin our discussion of how to be successful with openings by reviewing the words, phrases, and questions I suggest you avoid—those that have a greater chance of evoking resistance ...

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