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Articulate Your Prospects Problems

When it comes to cold calling you should always begin with the person’s core challenge or problem. Once you are clear on what problems your product or service can solve for them, you will start to know what to say when you make a call. It really is that simple.

When calling, begin the phone call with, “Hi, my name is (your first name). I was just wondering if you can help me out for a moment.” How would you respond if someone said that to you? Most likely, “Sure, how can I help you?” or perhaps “Sure, how can I assist you?”

That is exactly the way just about all people, especially business people would reply when the person on the other end of the telephone says “I was just wondering if you can help me out for a moment” in a relaxed opening phrase like that. It’s a natural reaction.

Keep this in mind when you ask for help, you are telling the truth because you don’t have any idea whether you can help them solve a problem or not. And it is the truth of a matter that starts the trust relationship between you and your potential client/customer.

When they reply, “Sure, how can I help you?” Don’t respond by launching into a pitch about what you have to offer. As that will literally ruin it for you. Instead, you go right into talking about the core problem to find out whether your suggested core problem is a problem they can see for themselves.

So you say, “I’m just giving you a call to see if you are grappling (and the key word here is ‘grappling’) with (insert the problem you help them solve)?”

No pitch, no introduction, nothing about you. Just step directly into their world.

The purpose of the question is to open the conversation and develop enough trust, so your potential prospect feels comfortable having a conversation with you.

The traditional way of cold calling advises you to ask lots of questions to learn about the person’s business and to “connect.” The problem is that people see right through that. They know that you have an ulterior motive, and then you’re right back up against the wall from the get go.

To do the opposite of the traditional old way may be hard for you to apply to your own situation at first, because trying to leverage calls based on what we know about our solution is so ingrained in our thinking.

You need to discover how to step out of your own solution, and think about the problem your prospects has. And that’s the secret of building trust on calls. Using a language that articulates your prospects problems, so they can identify with you. It’s often the missing link in the process of cold calling.

Moving Forward In the Sales Process

You don’t have to speak to a prospect for very long on the telephone before you encounter an objection. There is a natural or should I say instinctive, “knee-jerk” response that people make to anyone (particularly strangers) calling on the telephone trying to promote their products and services.

But the last thing you want to do is spend a long time chasing up a prospect that is going no where. So you need to be able to distinguish between “knee-jerk” responses such as “not interested” and the genuine reasoned argument against your product or service.


I talked about the selling process in my last blog. The third stage was the Presentation. You could also refer to this stage as the Plan. This is the Plan you use to identify the REASON that it makes sense for the person to use your product or service.

Scfiffman says that 70% of the sale is completed prior to the presentation. This is because your presentation should just make sense to the prospect. It’s the pre- Presentation stages of Qualify/Open and Information where you are listening to the prospect and gathering information that you can use to explain to them in the Presentation why it does indeed make sense go ahead with the purchase or appointment.

After you have finished the presentation the “close” is just a matter of saying, “Makes sense to me, what do you think?” It either does or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then ask them to explain why not and they will be giving you an opportunity to refine your proposal and show you how you can make it right.

Over the next few weeks ask yourself – does what I am presenting make sense to the prospect? Ask you prospect does it make sense? Please feel free to post a comment; I am interested to know how you get on.

Ask the “do” questions

I’ve been searching for a house to buy as a rental investment. I’ve looked at dozens of houses over the past few weeks and had four or five different real-estate agents show me round. Some of the agents ask me what I am looking for and listen to my reply. Others don’t even hear me and seem content to just show me their listings – now that’s a waste of their time and mine.

For Sale

It got me thinking about what makes a good sales person and who is more likely to close a deal with me. I think the best sales people are those that ask me questions and then listen to my answers.

Now if you use a script for telesales then that’s okay but a good sales person needs to ask questions so include appropriate questions as part of your script.

Rather than assuming you know what a prospect or customer “needs” you should ask them questions and engage them in a conversation. Stephan Schiffman talks about understanding the “do” of your prospect by finding out:

  • What they do,
  • How they do it,
  • Why they do it,
  • When they do it,
  • Where they do it,
  • Who they do it with, and
  • How we can help them to do it better.

The “do” is important because armed with that information you can make your presentation relevant to them. They will decide to buy your product or use your serve because it just makes sense to do so. Make it your goal to find out what your prospect is doing now before you tell them what they should be doing…