It’s not about US; it’s about THEM

Author: Stephen Zarick, CEO, VO Sales Group (

There are some very simple people skills that we embrace to be successful in life, and in sales.

If you spend all of your mouth moving time talking about YOU, then you will likely have few friends. Some might think that you are smart, but they also might just avoid you.

If you are starting out your sales presentations by showing your own web page you are making a mistake. You are making a big mistake.

It’s not about us; it’s about them.

You might have to give a 30 second commercial on what you do, but if you have a meeting based on a prospecting team setting up the meeting they likely already know what you do, at least generally.

Engage them Emotionally


How you do establish credibility at the outset?

How do you get the prospect to engage when they really want to hear your offering?

How can you be looking at their web page, and not offend with the 20 question drill?

Ask Pertinent Questions to Establish (your) Credibility

How do you do this?

You do NOT wing it first of all, you do your homework and prepare.

You prepare a list of questions that are reflective of all your original WE statements in your old presentations.

The drill is to craft 20 WE statements and then re-craft 20 engaging questions for the prospect. Then put them in order from beginning of a conversation to the end of a conversation.

Take genuine interest and do not read your statements.

Never read your presentation slides, be real, be natural, be interested, know the topic and get to know your prospect.

It’s NOT about US; It’s about THEM

Ask them about the environment that they have today, have they ever looked at a solutions like the one you are discussing, ask them about their team and how it affects them, but do NOT ask them those old sales questions such as “how does that affect you?” These sales techniques are not for the professional sales person and/or the enterprise customer. No one will answer stupid demeaning questions.

What we suggest is this:

  • Have your web page up as well as theirs and a few of your customers’ pages up.
  • Use a screen sharing conferencing tool (there are many reasons to, but that’s another chapter).
  • When the meeting starts have their webpage on the screen. If they ask why they are looking at THEIR page say “we are here to talk about YOU. I would like to understand what you have in your shop and then see if we can help.”
  • Most people want to know at that point….how long this is going to take? For that, state that you have questions/topics that you’d like to ask them about and then we will show you what we are about.
  • Use your customers’ web pages as reference material so they know you get it.
  • When you feel that they want to move on to your presentation …move on.

Listen First. Present Second.

Take notes while they talk and then speak to those topics when you finally do your presentation.

As a rule, at VO Group, my Sales Prospecting company, we typically would do a ONE-HOUR meeting, the fist 30 minutes the prospect never sees our logo. Instead, the first 30 minutes is all about them and making references to how we helped other customers out.

Author: Stephen Zarick, CEO, VO Group, LLC

Intentional Sales Progression

Stephen Zarick, President, VO Sales Group

Startup Stock Photos

Intentional Progression refers to a style of moving sales through your sales cycle.  In other words, this is as opposed to those that do not have any idea what their sales progression looks like. There is a phrase as well as a sales book by the same title “Hope is not a (sales) Strategy.”

Let me repeat this:  HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.

Intentional Progression refers to moving your prospects through your sales steps intentionally.

Stop Lying to Yourself

I think one of the first steps in sales is … stop lying to yourself. Some prospects will never or should never move through your sales cycles because only you think they are qualified. Some just are not interested, the timing is wrong, they do not qualify, they should not be in your forecast, and they even told you this … yet you are still delusional about forecasting the opportunity or even making a sale.  These are actually what we call an opportunity cost.

“Stop Lying to Yourself”  -Stephen Zarick

Intentional Progression – Acknowledgment (more…)

Sales Prospecting into the Enterprise

Stephen Zarick, President, VO Sales Group

Startup Stock Photos

Who said cold calling is dead? Those that do not like cold calling … of course.

Who said SEO and Search, eMailing, Social Media, Trade Shows, and White Paper downloads are the new sales approach? Those that sell those services … of course.

Sales Prospecting is alive and well. Intentional Focused Outbound Sales Prospecting does work if it is done effectively with people that understand the task at hand.

Too many companies have an outbound enterprise effort run by a marketing team that has never picked up the phone and called on behalf of their own company or their company’s solution. They treat sales prospecting like a scripted, canned, questioning call. Too many companies treat outsourced prospecting as a Marketing activity. And then they pick the wrong partner to carry out the duties. The result: Failure and an expensive experiment.


VO Group, A Virtual Sales Organization

Stephen Zarick, President, VO Group, LLC

VO Group embraces Cloud based Collaborative tools and resources to operate as a Virtual Organization.

VO Group is a Sales Development company started by Stephen Zarick. The original intent of VO Group was to create an environment for self-employed sales professionals to work and to find work in a virtual atmosphere with a virtual team. Stephen Zarick started VO Group as a single father and wanted to have a work at home model so he could embrace a family-first lifestyle.

VO Group allows for self-employed sales professionals to work at home. Many of VO Group’s contractors are women who have chosen a work at home lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Some have children, some have elderly parents, some used to be road warriors, some just have situations at home that do not allow for working outside of the home. VO Group creates a collaborative virtual environment using readily available cloud and collaboration tools.


Demonstrate Empathy


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