According to my team, I just flirt with my prospects all day.
But the way I see it, I'm enjoying time with my prospects. We don't have sales conversations, we just chat. We become friends.
Although, even I'll admit ... sometimes even I'm like, did I just say that?
So today I'd like other sales reps to hear seven of my favorite one-liners, and be the judge of how friendly they can really be.
One-Liner: Can I tell you something personal?
How it works: We can all agree that it gets a little weirrrrd when we ask prospects about revenue numbers. That's when I say it simply, "can I tell you something personal?"
Then I open up and share my own finances. I share how much my apartment costs, I share how much money I need in my account to put a down payment on my house, I share how I'm working towards financially supporting my life.
This personal connection and openness allows them to open up, and share the information I need to truly provide them with value.
One-Liner: Can I ask you something that might come off as weird?
How it works: I like to use this one-liner with prospects I have less of a relationship with, helping me get personal and challenge someone on their business practices.
Once I had a prospect who simply wasn't able to communicate what their current issues truly were, so I said, "can I ask you something that might come off as weird?"
Once they approved, I made it clear that I don't care about bullsh*t, and they shouldn't either. Tell me what you're trying to accomplish. And typically, they do.
One-Liner: Between you and me ...
How it works: I was recently helping a new member on our sales team with one of his calls. I started panicking as I heard him giving a hard sell while the prospect was clearly not relaxed on the other side. I decided to swoop in on the next call, and jumped straight to it.
"Between you and me ... adopting to our strategy doesn't happen overnight, and I'd be lying to you if I said it did."
I don't want them to think I'm sitting in a glass house and don't get it; I want them to know I can relate. I know it's hard, but I've seen how people do it, and can help them do it too.
One-Liner: In full transparency ...
How it works: Depending on how it's used, this can come off as offensive -- but sometimes you need to do that.
I was once speaking to a woman who was set on purchasing software from me. She was kicking off a new business, and wanted HubSpot as her marketing solution. As a sales rep, I'm not only concerned with my quota this month, but my quota every month. And I can't have a shaky startup purchase for a month, and then bail on me.
So I'll shoot it straight: "In full transparency ... I need to hear what would happen if your business doesn't make it."
One of my prospects took this very offensively. How could I dare think she's going to fail! But I stay honest and explain the failing rate of startup businesses, and how I can't just have her buy until we talk through her strategy and I can ensure I'm providing her with what she truly needs. Then we can sign some paperwork.
One-Liner: Can I let you in on a secret?
How it works: This is one of my favorites -- and highly favored by executives.
Executives are looking for the insider information, they want to know they're entrusting their business with the right people. So when the time is right, and I know I have the information they need, I'll just casually say ... "Can I let you in on a secret?"
Immediately they're attentive. I've broken down barriers and letting the executive feel like they're getting that insider perspective.
One-Liner: Honestly, I have to ask, is this the real problem?
How it works: Sometimes I hear my prospects rant on about their programming and the success their campaigns are seeing.
After 30 minutes of them discussing that everything seems to be working perfectly, I'll push them on it: "Honestly, I have to ask, is this the real problem?"
They'll likely say something like, "what do you mean?"
And I'll push them further: "Everything seems to be going well, so why are we talking?"
THEN we actually focus our remaining time discussing what we both care about: helping the prospect succeed.
One-Liner: Do you mind sharing what you're looking for?
How it works: Sometimes prospects don't realize what they need. So I'll say, "Do you mind sharing what you're looking for?"
Once, a prospect responded with social media analytics -- but I know this couldn't be the larger pain point. So I say, let's talk about it.
"What are you trying to demonstrate? Oh, an increased Facebook following? Okay, then what? Ahh, you need to show sales generated. Well, does that mean our social media publishing tool is really the end objective? It sounds like you need leads."
Now we can have a valuable conversation around lead generation, and I can discuss the various HubSpot products -- social included -- that can help my prospect really succeed at what they're really looking to do.
In essence, asking the right questions might feel offensive, but it's simply getting their permission to ask. More often than not, they don't take it distastefully and simply laugh it off.
To be effective, each of these one-liners is employed when I have the proper rapport built and the stage is set for me to use it. If it doesn't come off as genuine, the entire value of the one-liners are diminished. Prospects are smart, and can cut through the crap.
Only sweet talk them when they're truly ready to be courted for your sales deal. It works for me!