It is an oddity of human nature that when we're told
we may not have something, or that we don't qualify
for something, that something becomes more
desirable. A person to whom we're attracted
spurns our advances; suddenly, we want that person
even more. It's the reason young women
play (or are accused by men of playing) hard-to-get:
the rarer they make themselves - the more they
take themselves away - the more
Consider the typical cold call. It goes
something like this:
- "Hi, I'm John Doe with the Acme Company"
- "We do x, y, and z"
- "I'm certain our offering will meet your
needs/solve your problem/help you achieve your
- Let's set up a meeting so I can show you how.
The average prospect recoils at this presumptive
approach. He's heard it so many times, from so
many sales people, that he's become conditioned to
think something along these lines:
"How can this guy be so sure of himself? He
just called me out of the blue; he can't possible
have any idea what my needs, my
problems, or my goals are.
And I'm going to waste my valuable time
meeting with him? No way!"
How can we avoid this seemingly inevitable outcome?
Add a Take-Away to your call.
A Take-Away is a statement that suggests to a
prospect that what you offer might not be right for
him, or conversely, that perhaps the prospect is not
a good fit for what you offer. It's a
powerful technique for getting indifferent or
skeptical prospects to agree to talk with you.
Here's why: The Take-Away removes the
presumptiveness that is such a turn-off to most
prospects by injecting a refreshing dose of humility.
It acknowledges - and conveys to the prospect
- that until a discussion of this prospect's
specific needs, problems, and goals takes place, you
truly cannot know if your offering is a good fit.
The Take-Away disarms the prospect of his
unstated objection, while simultaneously piquing his
interest ("what do you mean it might not be for
me?"). And most importantly, it
gets you what you wanted in the first place - an
opportunity for further discussion with the prospect.
Here are a couple of examples of Take-Aways:
"Joe, I'm not sure if what we offer is right
" "Joe, without knowing more about your
business, I can't know if what we offer is right for
"But", you say, "I've always been told to present my
product with confidence." And so you should.
The Take-Away - while it may sound negative -
actually projects confidence. Your
willingness to turn down a prospect- to disqualify
him - is something the prospect is not used to
hearing. It's a powerful show of confidence in your
product, and it elevates you in his eyes above other
sales people. It conveys an aura of
selectivity - that this product is not for
everybody, but rather only for a select few.
And who doesn't want to be considered part of
a select few?
Include a Take-Away on your next few calls. If
you have a sales script (always a good idea, so long
as you don't sound as if you're reciting it), work
the Take-Away into it. Keep track of the percentage
of calls that advance the sale forward. Then
compare this with your previous
experience. I expect you'll be pleased with