My Review of a Fellow Sales Rep’s Opening Statement

in Opening Statements

I’ve reviewed quite a few opening statements over the years from attendees at my training workshops andwebinars.

Let me share one with you as a case study.

“This is _____with ________. The reason for my call today is we are a franchised stocking distributor of electronic components and we specialize in helping buyers such as yourself lessen the amount of time you spend procuring your electronic requirements.”

My first reaction was that it wasn’t bad, but it could be improved.

I have a general rule that we usually do not want to talk about our products/services in the first few seconds, since that can cause quick resistance to set in.

In this case, since the rep is performing more of a transactional sale, as opposed to a high-level complex sale, I’ll let it slide, mainly because we are explaining the result very quickly.

As for specifics, first I suggest taking out, “The reason for my call today…” They are six words that eat up valuable time and do not add to the opening.

Next, I felt that “… lessen the amount of time you spend procuring …” could be simplified.

Also, it could be strengthened with another benefit.

Finally, we could use a transition to get to the questions.

Here is my suggested revision.

“Hi Art. This is ____with _____. We are a franchised stocking distributor of electronic components, specializing in in helping buyers find what they need quickly and shipping them the same day. I’d like to ask you a few questions to see

if what we have might be worth taking a look at.”

After receiving the suggestion, the rep e-mailed back,

“Thank you for the advice you gave me about my opening statement. I am working so I can recite it so it sounds smooth for me. I’ve already had success with it. Now, a recurring problem I’ve been facing is that once I quote the parts, the buyer says he will call me back and then doesn’t follow through. Then I end up calling and getting the runaround. The problem is I don’t know when to time my calls to know if I’m calling too much and I end up letting the buyer off the hook for another

day. Can you give me any advice?”

Well, getting a runaround is a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. Usually it’s that there wasn’t sufficient commitment on the part of prospect/customer to do something as a result of the previous call. Anytime you plan on calling back,

especially if you have given them something like a price quote, or sending literature or a proposal, find out what’s going to happen next.

Ask questions like,

“What will happen next?”

“Where do you stand right now?”

“What needs to happen to move forward on this?”

“By when will I hear from you?”

When you get specific, things happen. If you’re vague, people will put you off forever

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