An Article by Stephen Zarick, CEO, VO Sales Group

Sales people need to learn to be “real”.  – Stephen Zarick

In sales we are most times calling strangers.  We are attempting to engage this stranger to see if they are interested in our offering that might solve a problem for them.

A few things are going to occur during this approach call.

  • You have to engage in a conversation
  • You have to explain quickly what you are offering
  • And then you are going to expect this stranger to tell you or to share with you that they have a “problem”…


Some still open the call with joking their way through a hello.
Some open the call with “how was your weekend”…. really?
Some might open the call with the weather, or a sporting event.


Who has time for this?
And why would a stranger want to tell you how their weekend was?
I don’t even like telling people that work with me how my weekend was…I’m busy and they really don’t care any way.

If the goal of your sales call is to get a stranger to share pain with you…. why annoy them on the outset?

Learn to be real.
Learn to demonstrate empathy for the right reasons.
How is business?
How is business in this soft economy?
Are you hiring or firing?
Are you pulled into budget meetings every week?
Not…”How are the Bengals doing?”
Is the Internet affecting your business and changing processes?

If you are going to get a stranger of a publicly traded company to share pain with you on a 1st or 2nd call…. you must be “real”.

You need to learn to demonstrate empathy.
You must avoid WE statements.  WE do this, WE do that.
You must embrace; it’s not about US; It’s about them.
…Or you will get nothing out of your phone call.

The old icebreakers don’t work anymore especially in phone sales or even email selling.

Don’t waste your prospect’s time.
Do not act like they are your friend…they are a stranger.
If you have something of value to offer…then make sure they need it 1st before you start offering.

Ask questions…
Learn to ask pertinent questions to establish your credibility.
Learn to demonstrate empathy by asking pertinent questions to establish your credibility to get a stranger to share their pain.

This will work in all facets of your life.

Stephen Zarick
VO Group, LLC