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TSE 1188: 3 tips to improve Closing

TSE 1188: 3 Tips to Improve Closing

Johnny-Lee Reinoso, Donald C. Kelly, Closing

For organizations looking to expand their footprint and extend their reach, these 3 tips to improve closing will help them achieve those goals.

Johnny-Lee Reinoso operates a sales and marketing firm called C Level Partners that helps organizations expand their footprint, gain new clients, and move in the direction of their goals. He believes that sales is everything. His experience from the management side, from the individual side, and from the sales rep side gives him a unique multi-level vantage point.

1. Listen to understand

The biggest challenge Johnny-Lee consistently sees is that sellers listen to reply rather than listening to understand. He recently carried out a DILO, or a “day in the life of” exercise with a lean, mature team that all suffered from the same problem. They all listened while waiting for the opportunity to explain why their company was so great.

Sellers master the art of articulating their value, but before we win in the marketplace we have to master the art of listening. We’ve all heard it before, perhaps in the saying, “Telling is not selling.”

But if we truly applied this truth to our everyday behaviors both in and out of business, we would know exactly how to articulate our value proposition to become the solution that the prospect needs.

2. Exhibit empathy

In many cases, the discovery call that precedes the demo doesn’t actually help the seller understand the challenges the seller is facing. In order to understand the problems they are trying to solve, you must listen and develop empathy for the pain they are feeling.

Empathy helps us understand why people do certain things and how they end up where they are. When you care about helping people, you’ll be able to support them while they tackle the challenges they face.

When we ask questions that lead them down the path of discovery, our prospects will outline exactly what they need and how you can help.

Empathy acknowledges how the existing challenges affect the company’s bottom line and understands how important it is to consider shareholder value in the face of problems.

Empathy cannot be rushed.

When you communicate that you’re with them in the challenge, you’ll become a trusted advisor.

You cannot begin the work of solving a problem until you understand several things.

  1. You must understand the challenge and how the prospect got where he is today.
  2. You must understand whether he seems himself getting out of the situation.
  3. You must understand how impactful it is for the business if he doesn’t get out of the situation.

Once you build empathy and understand those three things, you can begin the next step of prescribing.

3. Prescribe with confidence

There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence, and you must prescribe solutions with confidence.

An arrogant person might immediately say, for example, “I have exactly what you’re looking for.” Arrogant people don’t listen.

When you do step 2 right and you have empathy and understanding, you’ll find yourself in the position of a therapist of sorts. Like a therapist, you have to be welcoming, calm, and professional.

Therapists don’t say, “Wow, you’re messed up.” They also don’t say things like, “I’m exactly what you need to solve your problem.” Instead, they operate with confidence, saying things like, “I’m so glad you took the first step. I’ve dealt with similar challenges before and I know we can get where you want to be.”

Therapists become trusted advisors. They communicate that they are looking out for the patient’s best interests.

Confident sellers must do the same.

Pay attention to tonality

Tonality is critical to communicating the right level of confidence. Be enthusiastic. Be happy and excited that you’re speaking with a credible person.

Recognize the two different kinds of buyers: technical and economic. Technical buyers are people who can use your service but can’t make the decision to buy your service or product. Economic buyers make the ultimate decision.

There are two different ways of closing those two kinds of buyers. Because you can only engage a technical buyer for a certain period of time, you’ll eventually have to divert to the economic buyer.

Know how to ask questions like this: “I know you’ve been looking to address this challenge for quite some time. Is it common in your organization to bring the CFO in at this point to make the final decision?”

You must sniff technical buyers out early in the sales process.

Never ever give a proposal to someone who can’t buy.

Using phrases like “this is what we have been doing,” and “working with companies like yours,” communicates confidence. Eliminate phrases that include “I think,” or “it should.” #Tonality


Passion is extremely contagious. You have to know when to elevate a pitch or speak faster or slower. Johnny-Lee is a firm believer that tonality creates the environment. Because prospects who are on the phone can’t see you, they are still picturing something. They are picturing whether you’re tall or short, aggressive or not. They can picture you, and it’s your job to make sure they picture you as a trusted advisor.

Confidence comes from studying your value proposition. You have to understand your value proposition. You also have to readily know what your value proposition has done in the workplace. That means knowing the stories and the case studies.

People are sold auditorily, visually, and kinesthetically. Tell your stories with passion, with conviction, and with numbers because people love numbers and percentages.

Don’t share numbers if they haven’t shared their stories and their challenges with you first.


Don’t admire what other organizations and colleagues and sales leaders are doing. Acquire what they’ve been doing, and exceed the expectations you’ve set for yourself.

Instead of comparing your personal and professional life to the people around you, humble yourself and ask questions of those who achieved those levels of success. That will help you build a roadmap to success in all areas of your life.

“3 Tips to Improve Closing” episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Johnny-Lee, email him

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit to learn more and register!

You can also connect with me at or try our first module of TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also share this with your friends and colleagues.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Listening, Meetings, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1185: Why Do Salespeople Talk So Much?

Listening, Meetings, Donald C. KellyWhen I asked The Sales Evangelist community what they wanted to know about sales, one of the questions that emerged was, “Why do salespeople talk so much?”

It annoys a lot of people, primarily because if you talk too much, you’re probably listening too little. 

Persuading people

Somewhere in the growth of the sales industry, sellers convinced themselves that talking would persuade buyers to make purchases. We believed that if we talked more, they’d hear us more and they’d more likely believe us. As a result, they’d say “yes” more. 

Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. 

Many people don’t realize that the greatest salespeople listen more than they talk. You’ve likely heard the adage that you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk. 

If you pay attention, you’ll likely discover that the best salespeople are those who use their speaking opportunities to ask questions. They seek to understand their buyer’s perspective and to stimulate conversation that helps them gather important information. 

Stimulate the buyer

Let’s go back to the scenario we discussed earlier in the week. If someone owns a car that costs them a lot of money every month for repairs, you could ask that person questions to help him realize that he has a problem. If you walk him through the math and help him understand how much that amounts to every year, he may find that he could be driving a much newer car for the same price.

Good sales reps will ask questions that will help him realize the problem on his own. 

  • Why are you spending that much money on your car?
  • If I could show you how to spend one-fourth of that amount and get a reliable vehicle and still have money to save, would you be open to learning more?

He’ll likely be willing to at least learn more. 

Features and benefits

Without even discussing features and benefits, you’ve inspired him to consider his situation. You said nothing about the radio, or the seats, or the transmission, or the exterior of the car. You helped him persuade himself to explore the possibilities.

Many sellers dislike the awkward moments in meetings when things get quiet. Each side wonders what the other is thinking and, as humans, it just feels wrong for us to sit in silence. We assume the buyer is thinking something negative. 

A Harvard study found that when people talk about themselves, it triggers the same pleasure sensations as food or money. The study also found that volunteers who were offered a chance to earn money by answering questions about other people passed up potential earnings in exchange for a chance to talk about themselves. 

Why do salespeople talk so much?
We’re more comfortable talking about ourselves because we’re confident about it. The conclusion is that sellers who want to fill an awkward silence will likely talk about themselves.

Meeting prep 

Sellers who prepare for meetings would more likely understand the situation and the buyer and his company. As a result, they’ll be more confident in their understanding of the customer’s challenge. They’ll ask appropriate questions that help the buyers travel down the path to making a decision. 

Write some thought-provoking questions prior to the meeting. Challenge your prospects’ way of thinking. If you feel awkward about a specific question, you should probably ask it anyway. 

If your prospect seems to be avoiding a topic, see if you can find a way to bring it up anyway. The conversation will either progress toward conversion or your prospect will decide he isn’t ready for change. 

Study the customer and his company. Learn about the potential problems they are facing and figure out a way to solve them. 

“Why Do Salespeople Talk So Much?” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.


Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales Training

TSE 1175: TSE Certified Sales Training “How to Succeed As a BDR”

Donald C. Kelly, BDR, TSE Certified Sales TrainingWhether you’re learning it for your own work as a BDR or you’re preparing to help another seller, there are five important keys to help you succeed as a BDR.

If you’re looking to move to the next level as a seller, The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program group coaching program allows you to train at your own pace, either alone or as part of a group. The next semester begins this month. 

Drink your own Kool-Aid

Make sure you understand the product or service you’re selling. In fact, I recommend that you actually use it yourself. If it’s an enterprise software SAP or something large like that, you won’t likely buy it for yourself, but you should understand how the system truly operates. Know how it will help the customers you’re pursuing. 

If you’re a BDR, you’re probably not chasing every single customer. You’ll probably have a territory or a certain kind of client. Look at industry reports to understand your customers and how your solution will help. Ask previous clients why they like your solution so much.

It will also help you speak their language and be more confident in your conversations. Know the problem that you’re able to solve for your buyer.

Be intentional

BDRs must make sure to follow their company’s process, and then they have to go a step further. They must know their ratios. 

  • How many conversations does it take to get to a demonstration?
  • How many demonstrations do you typically do before you land a sale?

Keep track of these numbers. Email me and I’ll share my own prospect tracker with you. 

When you have these numbers, sales becomes more of a science. Each day, you can specify how many new opportunities you want so you can get to a demonstration. 

You won’t be as successful if you aren’t intentional. 


Become an expert at listening. Listen to the things your prospects say as well as the things they don’t say. 

Read case studies, find out what some of your current customers are doing, and understand their problems. If you listen closely, you’ll begin to notice when they aren’t telling you the real issues. Be a silent expert.

Ask tough questions

Sellers sometimes want to appear knowledgeable, so they talk a lot. Instead, focus on the caliber of questions that you’re asking. 

Make a list of these questions you can ask your prospect. Also, prepare a list of follow-up questions. If, for example, your prospect says that he already has a solution in place, you must be prepared to respond to that. Maybe something like this: “I’m not here to break up great relationships. I do, however, know that contracts end and that people typically will look for new vendors. Would you be open to see if we could benefit your organization?” 

Lead with the intro, “Out of curiosity” to soften the edge on a question like, “Why are you waiting until next year to change?”

Make sure you find great opportunities for your team.

Personalize your approach

Take advantage of video to personalize your approach. Depending on the type of business you’re in, use a tool like BombBomb to make a simple video to the prospect and include this in your flow process. 

If you’re sending emails and reaching out on LinkedIn, your personalized videos will help you stand out among the other BDRs. Personalized videos will help you connect with the right clients and produce better results. 

Outwork yourself

Compete against yourself. If you did 15 appointments last week, set a goal for 17 this week. Push yourself. Don’t compete against your teammate’s goals. Constantly seek to improve.

Success will naturally come if you constantly out-hustle your previous performance.

“How To Succeed As A BDR” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

TSE 1153: Creating An Authentic Personal Brand


Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

Creating an authentic personal brand is important because everything that we develop in business is based on creating a personal brand. As sales reps, polishing your personal brand must be a priority to stand out to everyone no matter where you go or where you are. 

Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster are co-founders of intrinsic branding practice Root + River. They have combined their experience and expertise in branding and passion for personal growth to guide individuals in combining authentic original brands that attract new opportunities and levels of possibilities. 

The intrinsic practice 

Both Emily and Justin believe that every great brand is a spiritual experience. As coaches, they guide individuals regardless of the roles they play in the organization. Their goal is to make them understand that deep foundational soul of their brand and put that into practical use every day. 

Branding is a practice, which means you need to do it every single day whether you are aware of it or not. Intrinsic practice will help you be aware of the things that you do and get organized around them so that those things will have far greater impact for a longer time. 

What is branding?

In simple terms, a brand is how other people experience what you believe. The brand is how people experience you in everyday situations and conversations. If you understand what that experience is giving to people, you can tap into that in a more conscious manner to help build your brand in a way that has greater impact. 

Frank Rogers is a good example. He is a great salesperson who developed a thought leadership brand. He doesn’t wait for the market to tell him what to say. Instead, he leads from the front. 

Chip Scholz from North Carolina is another example. He is an executive coach with a very memorable brand who uses a direct and Socratic approach in his coaching. 

Regardless of the audience you are talking to and the role you have, whether you’re a coach or a sales leader, you must follow the same principles because you are responsible for two brands. First, you’re responsible for your personal brand, and second, you’re responsible for the brand that you are representing. 

There are three specific qualities in intrinsic branding: inner traits that show up in the outer world. 

  • Be original. 

Don’t be a karaoke singer or cover band. Be an original thinker, an original producer. 

  • Articulate well.

Learn how to tell your story eloquently, consistently, and compellingly. Do this without hesitation and insecurities. Share your story from the heart with conviction. 

  • Be vulnerable.

Do not give a packaged version of yourself. It is best to carry the lightest armor you can because when you do, you emanate something. 

All three traits help to make a brand a positive contagion. 


Anyone in any position has an opportunity to take an inventory of what their true expertise is and what they are better at doing than anybody else. If you are good in sales, ask yourself how it manifests, what it looks like for you, and in what aspect of the selling process you are crushing it. 

These are difficult questions to answer because most times, what comes easily to us doesn’t get much value. But if you are able to tune into the things that you are good at and able to share those with people, you’ll have the opportunity to be an original thinker and brand yourself as a thought leader in whatever sliver of space that is. 

Make sure that you share the tips that you have and give feedback to people who are open to it. You begin to build your brand by being a thought leader when you differentiate yourself in those conversations. 


Many feel apprehensive in speaking and expressing their original self because of two reasons: the fear of becoming an over-promoter and the social emphasis on humility. 

There is a fear of overdoing things and the feeling of bombarding people with content they don’t really need. But sharing is a moral obligation if the content is good and you are producing something that is helpful for the community. 

The second one is humility. 

While humility is a beautiful trait, it is unfortunately a terrible brand strategy because you have to suspend the idea that you’re not special. 


From a very early age, we are conditioned to put the emphasis on other people and not on ourselves. People who talk about themselves are looked down upon. 

But the truth is you have a voice and you have a message. You have something that transcends the product or service that you are selling, and you have a piece of yourself to offer to the world. You can’t do these things if you choose the road of humility. 

As a sales rep, it is your role to share your gifts with the world, and the way people can access your gifts is through your products and services. 

Consistent authenticity 

Authenticity comes from knowing who you are and what you can do. It stems from acceptance and conviction. When you discover who you are, the next thing you need to master is how to achieve consistency. 

Austin Kleone mentioned in his book Steal Like an Artist that you need to steal from the people who inspire you instead of copying them. 

Brene Brown is a great example. She built her brand by investigating what she found interesting and curious about the world. She shares what she learns and talks openly about it, and she is authentic and consistent in what she does. 

The same is true for Gary V. Many would say he is  “too much” but that’s the way he builds his brand. He shows up, answers questions, and talks a lot. But still, he is being paid for it because he is sharing something that he is good at. If you’re going to hold yourself accountable to something, hold yourself accountable to authenticity.


The TSE brand prides itself on being personal to our clients. Even now with thousands of people listening to our podcasts, we make it a goal to be the same people we were before. When people connect with us on LinkedIn, we try to communicate with them and send something personal.  

In Justin’s assessment, The Sales Evangelist brand strives to be inspirational before it’s informational. As it turns out,  peoples’ brains are full of information, but there’s always room for inspiration. People welcome inspiration because it’s nourishment to the soul. 

Listen to your audience 

Listen to your audience. People often talk about the ideal market in terms of sales but we don’t like that language. We favor the ideal audience and what you need to do with an audience is to take in their feedback. Your audience can give you energy and you can respond to that. It will help you hold things a little bit longer and move through things a bit quicker. 

Salespeople must be responsive to the audience from an emotional standpoint. You don’t do this by sending out surveys every other day. You do this by asking them questions, listening to them, and incorporating the things they said through your work. 


When you have something to say, you need to say it well, which means you need to write and speak with a level of excellence. Building a great authentic brand requires one to both write and speak well because it’s the only way that the audience can access you. You need to find a balance. 

You can make a system where you go out, do things, and speak. Learn how to produce interesting and consumable content. Learn how to create an explanation that’s going to incite curiosity and interest to engage people in conversation. 

It is important to simplify your message and infuse energy and emotion as much as possible. It’s got to have the unexpected quality as well. 

Simple, unexpected, and emotional are the three ingredients in making interesting content that people would be inclined to share it to the world. 

This is what articulation is and it comes from practice. It is a type of discipline. The skill of articulating well isn’t a natural ability; it’s a product of frequent practicing. 


You have to push back against several thousand years of biological and social programming to become a great brand. Branding is far more about conviction. It comes from having an open front and strong back, according to Brene Brown. It is important to show your audience a little bit of the behind-the-scenes. Vulnerability means sharing your true self to the world. It is about being honest and telling people how you are doing or what you are doing. 

Many find this challenging, however, and the line between what’s private and what’s public is difficult to cross. 

Being vulnerable means sharing parts of the journey: the little lessons and failures along the way and opening yourself up to feedback. Contrary to what many think, vulnerability isn’t about confessing everything. It’s about showing your client that you are human and that you are relatable. 

Michael Jordan failed so often that he was cut from his team, but he was able to push through, and that made him more human. It made him relatable and people have hope because of his story. They believe that they can do it, too. 

Show the mess a little bit without being too self-deprecating. Vulnerability means a lot of different things but for us; it’s a behavior and an action. 

Who you are as a brand

Set aside time to dive into who you are as a brand. Ask some thought-provoking questions and do the deep work with the intention of translating that into your action. Remember that you are your first client. It is important to practice self-care and to take care of the energy centers of physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. 

Be better so that everyone around you benefits. The world needs the best version of you, not a worn-out version of you. There is no better brand than vibrancy, and vibrancy comes from nourishment. 

“Creating an Authentic Personal Brand” episode resources 

Check out for resources on how to create an authentic personal brand. Connect with Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster on LinkedIn.

Sales Management Simplified by Mike Weinberg is a great book that teaches simple concepts about sales leadership. Check it out and tell me what chapter of the book you liked the most. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, your one-stop shop for thousands of books across genres. Go ahead and check out to get a free book and to enjoy the 30-day free trial. 

It’s also brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a helpful course for sales leaders and sales reps in finding better prospects, having more meaningful conversations, and knowing how to ask the most powerful questions to close deals. Don’t miss the opportunity of becoming a sales savvy and check out the program. The first two episodes are absolutely free. Visit to find more information about the program. 

This episode has been nothing short of fun and I hope you feel the same way too. If you enjoyed it, please give us a 5-star rating on Apple podcast. You can also listen to more contents by clicking subscribe. Share this podcast to your sales reps friends in whatever platform they use, they can find us in Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Oscar Trimboli, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Prospects

TSE 1096: How Do You Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying?

Sometimes we lose out on promising deals because our prospects are giving us indications that all is not well but we’re failing to listen to what the prospect isn’t saying.

Oscar Trimboli is a deep listening expert who is on a quest to create 100 million deep listeners in the world, and he starts by helping us understand what we should be listening for when we interact with our prospects.

Taught to speak

We all learned to speak, to do math, and to study literature, but none of us can remember our listening teacher. As sales reps, we spend a minimum of 55 percent of our day listening, but only about 2 percent of us have been taught how to listen.

Remember these two bits of statistics as you listen to the information in today’s podcast.

  1. The 125/400 rule. I can speak 125 words per minute, but you can listen at 400 words per minute. You’re programmed to be distracted and filling in 300 words. You’re contemplating what to have for dinner or what to do over the weekend when you realize you have to get back into the conversations.
  2. The 125/900 rule. Your prospect can speak at 125 words per minute but you can think at 900 words per minute. The likelihood that the first thing your prospect says is actually the thing he means is about 1 in 9 or 11 percent. If you had 11 percent chance of a successful surgery, you probably wouldn’t proceed without a second opinion.

Most likely, your prospect is well-rehearsed and is speaking like a well-oiled machine. The most powerful thing we can do is explore the other 800 words per minute that are stuck in their heads.

Unblocking pipeline

When we grab on to those unspoken words, we can unblock pipeline and begin to understand our prospects.

We must be mindful to ask our prospects what they are thinking and to listen for the things the prospects aren’t saying. Oscar spends his days teaching people to be obsessed about the cost of not listening.

We often don’t do this because we assume our competition is those people we normally compete against. Many of us are listening for code words that a prospect might say that would link to a product or benefit.

The really skillful sales reps focus on the customer’s customer’s problem. Instead of thinking about the person in front of you, think about the customer that this person must go speak to.

The pipeline becomes shorter and more qualified, and you avoid unexpected surprises.

Change the question

We should consider the power of asking the question, “How does a business case like this get approved in your organization?” We’re good at asking who approves deals without asking how they get approved. Once we ask how it gets approved we will understand who else we’re being compared against.

Many large organizations have a project management office that filters the funding for all new projects. If you don’t know when that group meets or who participates or what other projects you’re being evaluated against, you may find your deal slipping away.

  1. Understand the 125/900 rule.
  2. Help the prospect sell the business case rather than what you’re actually selling.
  3. Help your prospect orient on the customer rather than on your offering.

If you do these things, your pipeline will look very different.

Help your team

Build some muscle around listening for what isn’t said.

Find the organization’s website and determine what matters to them. Use the words the company uses in your selling process. Don’t use your language rather than their language.

If the CFO can’t read and understand the first page of your proposal, you’ve failed.

Help your reps become fixated on their customers’ customers’ problems. It’s the difference between good and great.

Teach in a way that can’t be misunderstood and figure out how your clients make money.

Listen in color

Many of us listen in black and white. Oscar is trying to teach the world to listen in color. How do we notice the energy of the person across from us?

Oscar also asks his client, “If this organization was a movie or an actor or a book, which one would it be?” Many people listening might call it Titanic.

The question gives them a permission slip to tell the truth in a different way. Use a metaphor to figure out what the prospect is thinking in a different way.

You can carry the metaphor forward and discover who the villain of the movie is.

If we talk in this colorful metaphorical language we can quickly get much more from our prospects. Listen to what your prospect isn’t saying.

Get to the truth

Your prospects will tell you as many lies as you think they will. They aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s just that your questioning isn’t helping them get to the truth.

You can help them bring their truth to life using these techniques. Make it as conversational as possible.

If the person you’re talking to is a jock, ask which sporting team the organization would be. If he’s a nerd, ask him what character on The Big Bang Theory the company would be. They won’t suspect where you’re headed with that question.

The art of selling is your ability to be in the moment.

Ping pong questions

Don’t go into the room asking, “What keeps you awake at night?” Oscar calls it a disrespectful question and says that if you ask it, you haven’t even earned the right to be in the room.

Try to ask more how- and what-based questions rather than why-based questions. People may perceive your why-based questions as judgemental. People often feel more defensive with why-based questions.

Instead of “Why is this project being funded,” mention that you’re curious how projects like this are funded. Just by changing the language, you make it more comfortable for them to explain.

How-based questions

How-based questions move conversations along more quickly. This truth emerged with suicide counselors who discovered that why-based questions slow a conversation down and buy them time with people who are in danger of making poor decisions.

Hostage negotiators also stick to when, how, and what-based questions.

Listen for what’s unsaid and remember the difference between how quickly the prospect can think and how quickly he can speak.

Help them explore their thinking rather than helping them explore what you’re selling. You’ll become a trusted advisor.

“Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying” episode resources

Connect with Oscar at his website, and if you visit, you can find a hack sheet with five tips that explore the things we’ve discussed here. It will help you listen beyond the words.

Connect with me at

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

This episode is also brought to you in part by, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Leads, Inbound, Prospecting

TSE 922: Don’t Take Your Leads For Granted

Leads, Inbound, Prospecting

Sometimes sales reps neglect their leads. We stop doing the things we know we need to do because we assume things will continue working the way we expect them to. Don’t take your leads for granted.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about the things that sales professionals sometimes neglect and why it’s so important that you don’t take your leads for granted.

This isn’t simply a sales problem; it’s a human problem. We do it with our families, with our homes, and even with the water that is always there when we turn on our faucets.

It isn’t until those things go away that we appreciate their value.

“Unicorn” leads

Some of us work for companies that generate leads for us and some of us don’t.

Those of us who don’t often get them tend to value those precious leads because they aren’t frequent. It’s not unusual, however, for those of us who consistently get leads to expect them.

Even worse, we allow ourselves to focus on the “unicorn” leads so that we aren’t interested in the others. We want those rare leads that have a challenge, that have money, and that are ready to buy right now.

When we get leads that aren’t as perfect as the “unicorns” we might push them away to focus on the better leads.

Maybe we hurry through the conversation and invest less of ourselves in their needs.

Rare leads

Sales reps who can’t depend on getting leads have to approach their leads differently. They aren’t sure when the next one will come, so they have to do their very best every time.

These sales reps ask appropriate questions and seek to gain a deeper understanding of the prospect’s needs. They invest time in solving the buyer’s problem. They seek to treat them as individuals.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

Wayne Dyer



The first sales rep discounts the lead because he expects others will come after it. The second sales rep invests time in nurturing the lead and listens to the prospect.

Maintain excitement for leads

Make sure you provide all your leads with the same attention and effort.

See them as people trying to solve problems for their organizations, and keep in mind, too, that they have personal goals as well.

Your lead might be trying to get a promotion, or she might need someone to educate her about the buying process. Your lead called you above everyone else.

Find out why your lead called your company. Not only will that be good information for your marketing department to have; it will give you important insight into the prospect and help you connect with her.

Change the way you look at things

You have to work at relationships, and leads are relationships.

If you work hard even on the leads that don’t seem like “good leads,” you’ll do what Wayne Dyer said and you’ll change the way you see those leads.

The same is also true for your team members.

If you’ll change the way you view your underperforming team members and try to understand the challenges they are facing and truly try to see them as individuals, you’ll be better able to help them.

Don’t take your leads for granted, and don’t take your team members for granted.


“Don’t Take Your Leads For Granted” episode resources

When it’s time to follow up with your leads, can make your followup that much better. It has literally changed the way I prospect, and I love it.

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If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRMis a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.


What Customers Want? Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 180: Sales From The Street- “This Is What Your Customers Want”

What Customers Want? Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Donald C. Kelly So this week I wanted to try something different. I wanted to do this for a long time now, but finally did it today. You must be thinking what did Donald do? Well, I went out and actually spoke with consumers. People who are like those you connect with on a daily basis as you try to make a sale. If any of you are familiar with Florida, I went down to Boca Raton. Boca is a very business friendly area and some very well to do organizations. If you want to know what B2B/B2C customers or prospects are thinking, this is the place.

In total, I spoke with five individuals who all gave great insights. From listening to being passionate. There were three men and two ladies interviewed for this episode. The overall feedback I received was to make sure you are listening to the prospect. Make sure that you show them that you care about their needs over your own. The funny thing is, that this is something that is important in any great relationship.

If we are focused on the well-being of our loved ones and truly care for them and do all we can to help them, the relationships tend to be stronger and enriching. Issues begin to emerge when we become selfish and concerned about ourselves. In sales, it is the same way. People buy from those they know, like, and trust. They need to have a good relationship with you!

So as you go out and prospect, make sure you keep that in mind. It’s not about you, it’s about your prospects and how you can assist them to make their lives better. You will only become successful when you master that and seek to LISTEN to them. As always, go out and do BIG THINGS!


TSE 066: 3 Reasons Why New Sellers Speak So FAST!

TSE Episode 066Have you ever found yourself getting nervous while presenting or even speaking with a prospect? So for your nervousness, do you begin to speak REALLY FAST? Well, you are not the only one. What if I told you it’s something many sellers were (are) guilty of at one time or another? As a new seller I definitely was guilty of speaking very rapidly and lose the people I was speaking to along the way. I may have spent a long time trying to get the appointment and then I would jeopardize the meeting because I was speaking too fast. I wasn’t confident in what I was saying. It was a frustrating because I could not get past the introductory level to help prospects see the value I presented.

During this episode I share my experience and why new sellers tend to fall to the idea of speaking fast.   

1. Not confident in what they are saying:

This tends to happen when you are new to a sales position/company and thrown out on the front line without training. You are given a brochure and a website and are expected to find new business.

When you get someone on the phone or standing in front of them, you don’t know what to say and start speaking really fast hoping to recall everything you read. Or you speak rapidly hoping that if you share everything you know, something will jump out and they will want to learn more.

2. Talking to C-levels or important decision makers:

Another time when I found myself  speaking really fast, was when I spoke with people who were in the executive suite, i.e. Chief Executive Office (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Office (CIO) or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

Since I never had any experience talking to these “important people” before, I revert to what I knew. I used to think back to TV shows when the boss would give a sales person 5 minutes to persuade them to buy their product or service. The seller would then rush through his or her message talking about their product or service and then persuade the big wing to buy. This inadvertently caused me to become nervous, speak faster and quickly make a fool of myself.

A lot of this came from my insecurities that C-Levels were way too busy to listen to what I had to say. As a result of that I tried to get through my message as quickly as possible.

3. Received an objection & got defensive:

Another area where I frequently found myself getting nervous and speaking fast, was when I encountered objections or something I did not know the answer to. Since I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was talking about, I would quickly ramble on, stuttering over myself trying to piece an answer together so that I could impress my prospect. Obviously this never impressed anyone, but it sure made me look stupid in the long run.

So, what did I do to help with this situation? I first had to recognize that speaking fast was not helping. Maybe for some people it was their gift, but for me a as new seller I needed to slow down. I studied and learned about out product or services. I would go on ride alongs with season veterans and learned from them what they were saying, doing and handling themselves in a variety of situations.
After learning my product, I would then practice giving that presentation to an imaginary prospect. Speaking to myself in the car, in the mirror or even recording myself and listening to it over again. You can always invite a family member to join us and then video record your message. Both of you can go back through it and evaluate it.  Taking 4 deep breathes before a call or meeting helped out a lot as well.
With this renew confidence I saw that as I spoke to prospects, they began to have more confidence in me! I was able to articulate my message properly and their confidence grew. This helped when speaking with C-levels. I was better prepared for meetings and had meaningful questions to ask them. This resulted in a thought provoking discussion where they were engaged and spoke more than I did. I also had to tell myself that they were human just like I am and had challenges like anyone else.
As far as objections went, since I was prepared, I  did not fear. I would answer questions as needed and sometimes turned the questions around on them to get more information. If I really didn’t know I learned this cool technique called “tell them that  don’t know”. When I did tell them that I didn’t know, but that I would get an answer for them it wasn’t a big deal.  Deals began to progress and my close rate increased drastically!
Selling is not a race! Your job is to make sure that your prospects don’t misunderstand you! It is to help them recognize an extreme amount of value in your product or service that they can’t live without your solution. However, if you are loosing them because of your rapid speaking, they will not see value. When prospects understand your message, they will have confidence in you as a seller. They will then have confidence in your product and more opportunities will progress along your sales funnel. You’ll be one step closer to becoming that top producer.
Feel free to leave a comment below or share an experience you may have.

TSE 065: Learn Why Human Relationships Are At A Premium Today!

TSE 65 Jeb BlountDuring this episode I had the great opportunity of interviewing Jeb Blount, Mr. Sales Gravy himself. Jeb founded in 2006 as a portal for all things sales. Over the next five years he and his dedicated team of sales professionals grew Sales Gravy into the most visited sales employment website on the planet. Thousands of employers connect with hundreds of thousands of top sales professionals.  

Today Jeb is a highly sought after speaker and corporate consultant. He is known for  his ability to inspire his audiences to action and keep them on the edge of their seats.

Jeb is also an author; having written five books including his bestseller People Buy You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Business and his newest release People Follow You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Leadership.   

Jeb has a passion for growing people and the unique ability to see potential in everyone. Over the span of his career he has coached, trained, and developed hundreds of Sales Professionals, managers and leaders.

Here are some of the major takeaways from our discussion: 

  • The way we sell has not changed, but the tools that we have to interact with each other has evolved. The sales process may be different, but we are still applying the basic things of finding pain and providing a solution for the buyer.
  • Listen to your clients and don’t try to “pitch them”. If you listen to your clients, they will teach you how to sell to them.
  • Pitching your product will make you look like everyone else.
  • People will buy on emotions and then justify later with logics.
  • “The most insatiable human need, is the need to feel important”.
  • Have a list of Go-To-Questions that you can fall back on. Practice them over and over again so that they become internalized and become apart of you.
  • Focus on what is most important to the buyer. Remember, “People Buy You”!

Jeb’s Books:

“People Buy You”

Stay In Contact



Twitter: @Salesgravy


Jeb’s Podcast: SalesGravy