What NOT to Say in Your Opening Value Statement

Here’s a common example of an opening value statement that often leads to failure:

“Hi, this is (YOUR NAME), with XYZ LOGISTICS. Could I speak to the person in charge of the freight division and could you tell me their name?”

“Hi CHUCK, this is (YOUR NAME) here with XYZ LOGISTICS. As I prepared for this call, I noticed you have shipped with us a couple times before… So tell me, how many shipments off the top of your head do you think you did last month?… (ANSWER) I’d love to talk with you more about that if you have time now,… or if I email you over some information, I can call back by let’s say a few days from now and we can talk then.”

Why This Fails & What to Say Instead

1) “Hi, this is (YOUR NAME) with XYZ LOGISTICS. Could I speak to the person in charge of the freight division and could you tell me their name?”

This screams COLD CALL to the gatekeeper. You aren’t the only person trying to reach their decision maker and it’s quite possible the gatekeeper has been instructed to not let anymore of these types of calls to go through… so running this play will increase the likelihood of you having to tangle with the receptionist… and it’s above his/her pay-grade to determine if what you have to offer is in the best interest of the company he/she works for… let’s not give the gatekeeper power that isn’t theirs.

99% of the time you should already know with whom you are calling to speak with. There are only so many “titles” that will have the authority to make a purchasing decision on what it is that you offer. A simple search on their website, LinkedIn or Google search (“title” + company name) and you can often find the person you need to speak with in less than 60 seconds! (Not minutes or hours, but seconds… too much time is also wasted on “research” when really it’s a blind excuse to not cowboy up and make the call… but I digress)

Sure, there may be multiple people involved in the decision making process, and each company will have their own approval process to follow (these are things we will cover as we get deeper into the 8-week course) however, at this stage of the game when we are making that first call, a little “pre-call” research needs to be done.

2) “Hi Chuck, this is (YOUR NAME), with XYZ LOGISTICS. As I prepared for this call, I noticed you have shipped with us a couple times before… So tell me, how many shipments off the top of your head do you think you did last month?”

The goal of your opening value statement is to pique interest and gain permission to continue the call. It’s not a vehicle to launch right into “probing questions”.

That is how most salespeople do it and it is why most salespeople fail. Most times, it’s not the lead, it’s the process the salesperson is following that causes failure.

3) “I’d love to talk with you more about that if you have time now,… or if I email you over some information, I can call back by let’s say a few days from now and we can talk then.”

I’m willing to bet that “CHUCK” is going to take you up on that “email some information” deal almost every time. And good luck getting him back on the phone next week.

This is prolonging the sales cycle and making your job harder on yourself and it’s also costing you money as you will close very few deals trying to sell this way.

Simple Solution / Suggestion:

Look at the difference a well structured opening value (keyword: value) statement brings:

Hi CHUCK this is (YOUR NAME) with XYZ LOGISTICS. The reason for my call is (slight pause) based on past shipments you’ve done with us, there’s a possibility we may be able to (#1 thing your target audience wants to avoid) while at the same time (#1 thing your target audience wants to gain) and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you just a few quick questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you, would that be OK?

With blanks filled in:

Hi CHUCK this is (YOUR NAME) with XYZ LOGISTICS. The reason for my call is (slight pause) based on past shipments you’ve done with us, there’s a possibility we may be able to cut down on your shipping costs while at the same time improve your customers level of satisfaction and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you just a few quick questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you, would that be OK?

And now you’re in position to smoothly transition into the next step of the SalesBuzz process.

Hope this helps.

Michael Pedone

CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

SalesBuzz.com (A 2011 Sales Training Company Watch List Award Winner!)