"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

Avoid False Certainty When Selling On The Phone

The absolutely certain cheeky chappy on the phone is the biggest turn off…

Expressing confidence while leaving room for uncertainty - you never truly know how a serious but more truthful conversation (and that's what a great sales pitch is) could really help you get your point across and gain some genuine traction with Ms or Mr Big.

If someone tells you they are absolutely certain how the flip of a coin will work out then they are seriously undermining their credibility. They should not be surprised that you are sceptical.

That's so true with sales pitches. The absolutely certain cheeky chappy or nervous wreck on the phone are the biggest turn offs. You lose before you even the start the race. Be cool, calm and above all be collected. Collect your thoughts and look at your script before going off on a rambling monologue about having all the answers. Take this tip folks.

You will work with people doing this, maybe you? Imagine you, yourself, as a business owner and a young, or not so young, nervous , bubbling cold caller gets through to you on a subject that really is of interest to you as you have been struggling for a long time with a certain aspect of the business. And this call could be the beginning of the answer.... so you listen to the opening lines...

Your interest will quickly turn to suspicion or disdain if your young caller starts telling you about the certainty they have that their company can instantly transform your own company. They tell you their products and services fix everything, they have the answers and you would be mad not to buy and yes it does this, that and everything else...some of which will be totally inaccurate.

They ignore the fact that you have had the issue for a long time and usually never ask such a question about you or how long or what type of issue you are facing. They give you the battering ram pitch. They predict everything with certainty and they are wrong.

In your personal life you will have these feelings with people who predict the outcomes of sporting events with certainty, the weather with certainty, movements on the stock market with certainty, the outcome of elections with certainty. Forecasting anything with certainty. Forecasting the Winners of horse races is my best example. It's all puffery. It's all nonsense as it's the same with a sales pitch.

Don't forget, everyone has more belief in people who express an opinion with confidence rather than wet and woolly people who seriously doubt themselves ("I'm not sure but I think....") . That is too far down the road of not being certain, so avoid that please. Use your loaf... that is not what I am suggesting.

The point is that total certainty in a position where total certainty is not a truthful option to offer is not going to score you many, if any, points with mature business owners and managers.

People prefer polite, confident but measured advisors. ( I am 80% sure that Dusty Carpet will not be beaten in the Derby is a way of getting your advice across every time. ) That's when they will see you for a meeting or take your advice properly, even seriously.

Try and work this into your pitch. Don't come across as the guy or Girl with the answer to everything and immediately. That is crass.

Be the person who is confident, even 80% sure but not making wild claims of being the perfect partner. That's why you need the meeting...

Follow the advice and your success rates when making cold calls to meetings and getting in front of people will soar.

Start changing some of your work patterns guys. Some of you really do need to step up and perform well now. The woolly pitches and garbage chat have to go. Start listening to your own calls if you have call recording. Please don't just agree with me and then go back to being yourself on the phone. My help is about making you change to be a top caller as I was. Ignore me and you float around the bottom of the fish tank for evermore.

I feel sure you are mostly potentially better than floating at the bottom of the fish tank and I urge you to prove it.

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