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Eliminating Common But Not So Obvious Opening Value Statement Mistakes

“I’m having a hard time getting past step one with prospects… How can I get them to open up and be willing to have a conversation with me?”

Your opening value statement plays a critical role in advancing the sales process. It is what you say after “Hello, this is…” that will determine if you will be advancing the sales call or shooed away.

There are lots of integral parts to a successful opening value statement and today we are going to focus on a few common but less obvious mistakes that may be causing your prospects to pull back rather than lean in.

1) “We work with companies like yours…”

This screams “I SAY THIS TO EVERYONE AND YOU ARE NOTHING SPECIAL TO ME”. If you truly help companies like theirs, why not use the power of the other companies’ names to your advantage? So instead of saying “we work with companies like yours” you could say “we recently helped COMPANY 1, 2 AND 3.”

2) “I’d like to learn a little bit about your business”

This is misguided – or I should say “misinterpreted” – understanding of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People (great book, btw) theory that people like to talk about themselves. Although true in principle, it is false when using it as part of an opening value statement while selling by phone.

Calling someone out of the blue and saying in your opener that you want to “learn a little bit more about their needs” is a sure-fire way to have your prospect’s interest in speaking with you fall to sub-zero in no time flat.

People are too busy to educate you on how it is you can help them.

3) “Just thought you’d like to know…”

This is usually followed by what I call a mini sales dump or a “spray and pray” and it fails often and hard. Even if you had a strong “reason for the call” that was going to follow your “Just thought you’d like to know” statement, major damage can already be done as the rest of what you say may be falling on deaf ears.

Why not just shorten it from “Just thought you’d like to know” to “we” as in:

“the reason for my call is we recently helped company 1, 2 and 3… _______”?

Not only will your message have more impact, but you’ll also say it in less time.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.

Salespeople don’t need a pep talk.

They need a plan; A sales plan.

A repeatable step-by-step strategy that can be executed with ease and delivers high results.

A solution with sales techniques that eliminate objections before they happen, and removes outdated tactics that create objections.

Register your team now for our next live, online instructor-led workshops series by Michael Pedone and they will learn:

  • How to Warm Up and Close Cold Leads
  • Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills

Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone