<< Whatever You Do, Don’t Sound like a Sales Person (Part I) <<
Focus on value offered
Instead of talking about your products, you can talk about the value that your products offer. This is OK because the value you offer are the improvements that your can make on the prospect’s side.

For example, talking about helping a VP of sales to decrease sales staff turnover at the very beginning of a cold call is different than talking about a sales script software that plugs into Salesforce.com.

This will not only trigger less guardedness, it will also be more interesting and attention grabbing for the prospect.

Focus more on the prospect
A sales person typically talks mostly about their own stuff. They often will spend 80% of the conversation on them in an effort to try to build interest and sell. They may spend the remaining 20% on the prospect asking a few questions as they try to close.

A business person talks more about the prospect. To be more like this by spending 80% of an initial conversation on the prospect and 20% on you. This balance can change to become more focused on your later in the sales cycle.

Ask good questions
The easiest way to keep the conversation more on the prospect than on you is to ask good questions. These will not only make it less about you, but it will also create an opportunity for you to gather valuable information.

You may be thinking what would be good questions to ask. You should ask pre-qualifying questions to determine if it makes sense for you to spend your valuable time with this prospect. Pre-qualifying questions are designed to determine the potential fit between what you have to offer and what the prospect needs.

Don’t sell the product
Of course, an obvious way to not sound like a sales person is to not try to sell the product. And in reality, a cold call is not the right time to try to sell your product anyways as there is not enough time and attention in order for you to effectively build interest.

Another way to go, and one that will make you sound more like a business person, is to focus on trying to simply sell the conversation. This could be an appointment, meeting, cup of coffee, continuing for a longer amount of time on the cold call, etc.


If the prospect does indeed answer your call with their guard at a medium level, there is nothing you can do about that. This is a result of all of the pesky sales calls that they have answered in the past.

But what you do have control over is what you do, and don’t do, after that call is answered. Try some of these tips and see if that helps you to sound less like a sales person and establish more quality conversations.