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The opening statement in ANY conversation sets the stage for the rest of the conversation and it’s no different in sales.

So why do we salespeople all too often choose to sound like everybody else? Take the opening statement to most cold sales calls: Hi, this is so-and-so with XYZ company. How are you today?

The stage has been set. This is a sales call. An unrequested, intrusive, sounds-like-everyone-else sales call. And how do most of those end? Quickly and without results. OK, I guess there are results but they are the crappy kind. The kind that don’t bring you any revenue. The kind that some sales trainers would have you believe you should feel good about because you’re, “one more NO closer to a YES…” which is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Why would you want to waste your time getting “NO” responses instead of “YES” responses??

Know this: Our attempts to connect, relate, or otherwise get off to a good start, have earned the lackluster responses we are getting.

Unless you want to go through a bunch of “NO” responses just to get a “YES” … It is time to rethink the opening statement.

The opening statement must be built using strong communication. It must be clear, compelling, concise and it must be passionate.

The opening statement must address the top-of-mind things on the prospect’s mind in a way that opens them up to carrying the conversation forward. Earning the right to talk for another 10 seconds is critical if you want an opportunity for long-term relationship-building and ultimately, sales success.

Additionally, the opening statement must be unique and positively differentiate you from all other salespeople (not just those in your industry), distractions, or anything else that may prevent you from advancing the conversation.

Consider your current opening statement. Except for your name and company, does it sound like everyone else’s? If you are honest, it probably does. Time to fix your opening statement and eliminate those instant “NO” responses exchanging them for opportunities to advance the conversation.

-Kevin Huff, Chief Experience Officer

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