How to Approach Sales

Episode 37: How to Approach Sales, with Jeremy Miner

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How to approach sales in the best way possible? Learn from sales professional Jeremy Miner and get to know how to approach sales

Interested to learn about how to approach sales? Jeremy Miner is the Chairman of 7th Level, a Global Sales Training Company that was ranked #391 of the fastest growing companies in the United States by INC magazine’s list of the top 5000 companies in 2021. He is also a contributor for INC magazine and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, and a host of other publications.

“The single most effective way to sell anything to anyone in 2022 is to be a problem finder and a problem solver… NOT a product pusher.” For Jeremy Miner, the embodiment of this philosophy has made him one of the wealthiest sales professionals on the planet.

During his 17-year sales career, Jeremy was recognized by the Direct Selling Association as the 45th highest-earning producer out of more than 100 million salespeople – selling anything – worldwide! His earnings as a commission-only salesperson were in the multiple 7-figures EVERY year.

Jeremy uses behavioral sciences and human psychology pioneering a unique brand of sales training, reflective of his deep studies in the subject from Utah Valley University.


What you will learn in this episode is about how to approach sales:

  • How Jeremy’s early experiences in the sales industry led him to mix sales closing techniques with behavioral sciences
  • Learn how to approach sales without being too salesy
  • Why the first 7-12 seconds of any sales interaction are extremely critical
  • Jeremy’s insights on structuring a conversation to encourage prospects to open up and engage
  • How we can effectively “ditch the pitch”
  • Why Jeremy believes the single most effective way to sell is to be a “problem finder and problem solver, not a product or service pusher”
  • Jeremy’s philosophy on how to approach sales comfortably, easily, and profitably



How to Approach Sales: Full Episode Transcript


How to approach sales without being too salesy? Let’s get started and welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and my team and I, we created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner, business coach, or a strategic consultant and you’re looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change, this seems to be our world’s reality.


Well, then, you’re in the right place. Do you want proven strategies for attracting a steady stream of well-prepared, right-fit prospects into your sales pipeline? Yep. We’re going to cover that. You want to learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you actually stand out on the ground you’re standing on. Yeah, we’re going to cover that too.


Do you want to future-proof your business so you can navigate the next challenges that come your way? What absolutely will help you there, too, I promise you each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights and tangible examples of best practices, not theory, from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So when I was thinking through what topic we should tackle today, like the topic that would help you get ready to close out 2022 strong and then build your plan for 2023.


I decided we ought to have an in-depth conversation around a topic that candidly might make you a bit uncomfortable in that topic is sales. Okay, so why might a sales conversation be an uncomfortable topic? Well, in our book Sell with Authority, Drew McClellan and I wrote about how agency owners typically don’t like to sell. In fact, in order to avoid selling, agencies will sometimes rely, perhaps exclusively, on referrals in organic growth, which Drew discusses in chapter four of our book, which comes with inherent disadvantages and risks.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Know If a Client Wants to Hire You


For example, the agency may be experiencing highs and lows when it comes to an influx of new revenue and new clients. They might be forced to accept or serve. Whichever prospects walk in the door through referrals, as opposed to being able to design their business to attract only right-fit clients. They may then feel that they have no control over when new opportunities present themselves.


So, I want you to think about feast and famine. Observe. And of course, that feels like a whole lot of not awesome. Because the clients for the agency in this scenario can and do come from everywhere, it’s challenging for the agency to develop a niche or an area of expertise. Okay, so if that’s the case, then why in the world would an agency be willing to accept all of these consequences that make running the business more difficult?


Perhaps it’s because they don’t know how to sell, they don’t like to sell, or they don’t believe in their ability to sell. Okay, if that’s the case, then why? Well, perhaps it might be because they dislike rejection, and it’s challenging to earn someone’s attention in today’s day and age. And candidly, it’s impossible to know when a prospect is getting ready to make a decision to hire someone like us.


Right? I mean, the agency doesn’t walk around with a T-shirt announcing I’m about to hire someone just like you. I mean, when was the last time you ever saw that happen? Like, never, right? It is also incredibly easy to avoid doing something that you don’t want to do. It’s easy to avoid because then you just focus on the daily fires that are happening inside the shop and holy bananas.


There’s always something. So, let’s peel back some more of these layers to get a closer look at the why. Because I promise you, today’s guest is going to help us get past those things. So the buying cycle is unpredictable because in many cases the dollar amounts are large and the level of trust required to initiate a partnership with the new client, it’s enormous.


And again, candidly, the prospective client could get fired if they hire an agency that doesn’t perform and that risks well. It can be daunting as a result; our prospective clients tend to be skittish, and your prospects are most likely not super keen to pick up that call. That random sales call from someone that they don’t know. So, my goal for today’s episode is to help you work through all of this and to help you put some strategies, tactics, and processes into place to get past those things.


Attend our next open-mic Q&A to learn more on how to approach sales


How to Approach Sales: Jeremy Miner’s Introduction


To help me do that, I invited sales expert Jeremy Miner to join us today to share his insights and wisdom. So, if you’re meeting Jeremy for the first time, he’s the chairman of 7th Level, which is a global sales training company that was ranked 1032, which is a pretty distinguished list of 1032 of the fastest growing companies in the United States by Inc magazine in 2021.


He has a depth of expertise in sales strategy and sales tactics, and then he mixes that with behavioral science, which is pretty awesome. So, for today’s discussion, Jeremy and I, are going to focus on what he calls ditch the pitch and obliterate objections before they ever come up, which is awesome. He also explains why he believes so strongly that the single most effective way is to be a problem finder and a problem solver, not a product or services pusher.


Okay, so here’s what Jeremy and I are hoping for you as a result of listening to this episode that you will take some of the tools, some of the processes and the insights and wisdom that Jeremy shares and that you will apply them to get past the feast and famine of biz stuff so you can actually walk into 2023 and beyond.


Because when you do that, you move one step further away from needing to rely on referrals and organic growth exclusively. And instead you build a sales pipeline that is filled with a steady stream of well-prepared, right-fit prospects who are eager to work with you. Okay, so without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. Jeremy. Stephen Thanks for having me on.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: A Company’s Growth


I’m going to take all that as a compliment. My kids say I’m pretty boring, so thank you very much. Now full disclosure: what you read there was a typo, so we were ranked number 1000 to 32 in 5000. Fastest growing in the United States in 2020. In 2021, we were ranked number 391, fully bananas. I know we moved up the list.


They must have sent you an old bio or something. I’m not sure what’s going on. So this year I think we’re going to be even in the top 100. So, you know, it’s an honor to be here. I’ve heard a lot about your show. I was just listening to some of your episodes early this morning. That’s typically what I do before I get on a podcast, because I want to know who you’re talking to, who your audience is, and you get a great audience.


So I’m looking forward to seeing if we can help them in any way. We’ve got a lot to talk about. You brought up a lot of stuff for me when you were talking about there that we can definitely talk about today. Yeah, it’s going to be a great conversation and a really helpful conversation.


So I can’t wait to dive in. But before we do, obviously I gave a couple of nuggets and thank you for the update in the typo on the INC 5000 list. That’s really that’s a stochastic jump to go from 1200 to 300 ish like 900 spots. Holy bananas. That’s a big jump we did. We’ll probably be in the top probably 70 or so companies for 2022 because what they do is they take your previous year’s revenue, right.


And they look at that and then it, then it gets launched out there like three months after the next year. So, yeah, it was an honor. But you know what? We look at the reason why we’ve grown so fast, it’s because of the results our clients are getting and to us, that’s what it’s all about.


Attend our next open-mic Q&A to learn more on how to approach sales


How to Approach Sales: The Journey of a Newbie Salesman


The money is good, but really, at the end of the day, to have a long-term business that is here not just for five years or ten years, but here is here 50 years, 100 years, even when we’re not here, that is still growing. The first thing you have to do is to get results for clients. You get results for your clients.


Everything kind of takes care of itself. That makes sense. Of course, it does. Of course. So, take us behind the curtain. Obviously, I shared a little bit of context, and you shared a little bit more. Anything else you’d like to share about the path and journey before we dive in? Well, so here’s what I’ll do. I’ll give you a little bit of my background. Okay? That’s my background, which is related to what is necessary for everybody here. Look, they’re an agency owner. If there’s some type of consultant or coach, how do they go from where they are now, even if they’re doing good and go up to this level? I mean, how do they get to the next level and then the next level after that?


Right? Because what we’re saying now, what we’re saying on our sales calls, what we’re asking on our sales calls, what we’re doing in our business has gotten us exactly where we’re at. So if we keep doing the same things, it’ll get us the same result. We’re in. Yeah, How do we get to the next level? It’s pretty hard.


It is pretty much impossible. So I got into sales 22 years ago, broke, burned out, and became a college student. I got my first job selling home security systems door to door, and if need be, I sold door to door here. You know what it can be like if you don’t have the right skills, right? So, the company basically hires everybody.


It’s a straight commission, so there’s no risk, right? So they go into these college campuses, they recruit everybody, Hey, go make a bunch of money in the summer and you can go to school the rest of the year and not have to work. I’m like, okay, so I’ll do it. You know, I didn’t know I was a 21, 22 year old kid.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Stick To the Script


So I remember the company gave us a script, gave us a few books by what I now call the old sales gurus, and basically said, you know, drive us out in a van, drop you off in the middle of the neighborhood, kick you, you know, they kick you out the door, and no, I can’t go make some sales.


We’ll pick you up after dark. It’s going to be easy. And I remember getting out of that van and I remember like it was like a flashback. I was just thinking about this before I got here. I remember looking back at the van because I’m like, a little bit scared and nervous now, even though I thought it was going to be easy.


And the sales manager looked at me, he’s like, Jeremy, make sure you show him how excited you are because if you show them you’re excited about this, they’re going to be excited too. I’m like, Well, that makes sense. If I’m excited, they’re going to be excited. Of course, that makes logical sense. So I started knocking on the doors, and I was really excited and I started talking about the features and the benefits and how I was going to help them.


We had the best thing, and we had the best set, and I started noticing from the very first door that it didn’t really work, that I was getting all these objections like, We don’t need it, we can’t afford it. Somebody already came around last week from your company. We don’t have the money. I need to think it over. I need to talk to my spouse, and I need to do more research.


I need to get more quotes. Can you call me back in a week, a month, a year later? I was, like, shocked. I’m like, What? They didn’t tell me about all this. And I remember I would say probably about 7 to 8 weeks in, okay, after barely making any sales. And I realize if you’re straight commission and you don’t make many sales, that means you don’t make very much money.


Attend our next open-mic Q&A to learn more on how to approach sales


How to Approach Sales: Nobody Is Born with Advanced Skills


Okay. So I remember about eight weeks into this, I remember sitting on a curve on a Friday night. I had to get picked up. I worked 12 hours that day and made zero sales. I made $0 that entire week. I had made zero sales, and I’d probably worked about 60 hours. And I thought to myself, you know, how do I and I still remember this.


It was kind of interesting. I remember like, if anybody has ever sold door to door, you know, you walk around 10, 12 hours, by the end of the day, your legs are like jello, and you’re like, completely like they’re gone. I remember, like, the sweat going down my chest and my back with the hot humidity of the summer.


And I remember thinking, like, how am I going to how am I going to go home? Because I just got married at that time. I had a daughter. Cami was like maybe six months old. I was like, how am I going to go home to them and say, we don’t have enough money to pay rent?


In a couple of weeks, we’re going to move in with your parents, and We’re going to do it in the basement. I’m going to be one of those guys. And so I sat there, I thought, you know, maybe maybe selling hay, selling just wasn’t for me. If you’re listening here, have you ever felt that way yourself? Have you ever looked in your bank account and noticed that there was more money going out than going in? So that’s where I was at.


Now, here’s a reason why I say that. Okay? So I say that because I want you to imagine eventually I started making a few years later, multiple seven figures a year in commissions. Okay. That first month or that first two months, I almost quit. So what was the difference? I wasn’t born out of my mother’s womb with advanced questioning skills.


Anybody here? Is anybody born with advanced question skills? Probably not. I wasn’t born with advanced tonality skills. Is anybody here born with advanced tonality? Probably not. I wasn’t born with advanced objection, prevention, and handling skills. Yeah, I have acquired those skills now. I remember that night, going back to what I was saying, the manager picked us up, and he popped in a Tony Robbins C.D..


Yes, 22 years ago, people listened to things called CDs, and I remember Tony saying something that quite literally changed everything. I could be butchering it, but he said something to the effect that you will fail if you don’t learn the right skills.


And he went on to say that. And here was the kicker. He said everybody out there is really taught skills, but the ones who fail are the ones who are not taught the right ones. And I’m like, What if I’m not being taught the right skills? It was like a light bulb went over my head. It was like divine intervention from the heavens itself.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Using Behavioral Science in Your Sales Approach


That may be what the company was training me and what I was learning from the sales gurus. Maybe they just weren’t the right skills. Maybe they were outdated, and maybe they didn’t work that well anymore. So I decided I was going to have to do something. I didn’t have a choice. I’d written for like three weeks, like I’ve got to do something.


I remember the same. So, at the same time, imagine this going through my head: I’m a 22-year-old kid, and I’m going to college. My major is behavioral science, and I’m getting a minor in human psychology. So I was learning from experts like Robert Maldini and some different experts that I was studying as well, from NYU to behavioral scientists.


And I remember they were telling us that the most persuasive way is because behavioral science if you really pull up the layers, is the study of the brain. Why does a human being make a decision to go to the left or go right or to go up or to go down or to say yes or to say no?


That’s really what sales is, right? So my behavioral science professors and psychology professors were saying to us that the most persuasive way to communicate was over here. But all the gurus I was reading in the books, they were saying was over here. It was the complete opposite. So I’m like, What am I supposed to do? So I said, How do I take behavioral science, that theory, and pull that into my sales process?


And that’s what I started doing. I started learning techniques that work with human behavior that actually trigger the prospect to pull you in rather than you trying to push. And once I learned that selling became very, very comfortable because it was comfortable for me and the prospect it didn’t having all the rejection sales became very, very easy and it became very, very profitable.


Yeah, because you’re no longer selling, you’re no longer selling it. At that point, you’re helping, you’re asking better questions, and there’s a dialog. You’re not to your words, you’re not pushing any further, right? Well, and it’s really about, you know, we can even have the greatest questions in the world. But here’s the thing. If you don’t know how to trigger your prospects to open up and engage, I hate to tell you this, and your prospects are not just going to answer your questions.


They’re not just going to sit there like, you know, they’re the criminal, and you’re the FBI interrogator and they’re just going to answer your questions like prospects. No. You know, I sit here with all these consultative questions. I’m like, yeah, they sound good in theory, but in reality, if we don’t know how to bridge from question to question if we don’t know how to use what are called verbal cues and verbal pauses, that trigger engagement if we don’t have the right tone, you’re prospects emotionally shut down very, very quickly with certain questions because they hear salespeople ask them the same type of questions all the time.


Attend our next open-mic Q&A to learn more on how to approach sales


How to Approach Sales: Creating Urgency to Make the Prospect Buy


So, let’s go into the ditch, the pitch piece. When I was preparing for our conversation, I thought, okay, I like that because when I hear ditch the pitch and obliterate objections, that makes me think, and I guess you can correct me if I’m wrong here, but I internalize that as, okay, this is how you actually structure a conversation.


This is how maybe you use some of the cues you’re talking about or the bridges that you talked about. But this is where you’re actually just having a conversation. And by doing that and structuring it the right way, it doesn’t feel like a pitch. You’re talking about things that matter to your prospective client and proactively addressing objections along the way.


So fill in the blanks or maybe first. Yeah, no, that’s an excellent point. The worst thing you could do is have your prospects feel that they’re on a sales call with you or have them feel their sales appointment with you, or they feel that you are selling to them; the less likely they are to buy, the more objections you will get.


It’s a myth when sales trainers say the more objections you get, the more interested they are buying. Nothing could be further from the truth. Think about that logically. Think about all the easy lay-down sales you had where they had zero objections. That doesn’t make any sense. They were easy. They just rolled right in. The more objections you get, the smaller the gap that you’ve created in their mind.


The less urgency you’ve created, the less likely the prospect is going to buy, period. It’s just logical, right? So how do we come across where they don’t feel like we’re trying to sell them something? If you ever hear the words and just, you know, all of us have heard this, especially when we got into selling or for sale using traditional selling skills.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Don’t Be Pushy When Making a Sales Call 


Hey, Jeremy, you’re a great salesperson. You could sell anything to anybody. How many of those people bought? None of them, probably. Or you could sell ice to an Eskimo. How many of those people bought from you? Probably none because they feel like you’re just selling to them. Okay, so we must understand that this is just human behavior, 1 to 1.


For any sales interaction you’re in, it doesn’t matter if it’s a cold call or an outbound lead. Who’s asked you to call them? Somebody from the company. But it’s an inbound lead who’s booked on your calendar. You’re meeting them on Zoom, in their office, or at home. Or if you’re knocking on somebody’s door, your prospects within the first 7 to 12 seconds.


This is pretty scary. If we don’t understand this within the first seven or 12 seconds of any interaction, we will pick up on social cues from you. Right? We all do it. When you go to a networking event and somebody comes up and starts talking to you, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Who is this person?


What are they doing? Are they trying to sell me something? What’s going on? It’s just our instincts, right? It is part of a reptilian part of our brains. It’s millions of years long in the making that we’ve had that we were trying to protect ourselves. So let’s say 100,000 years ago from saber tooth tigers.


Now we’re trying to protect ourselves from pushy salespeople who are not well-oriented on how to approach sales the right way. Okay, So we’re trying to be careful. So what do we want to do when we come across it within that first seven or 12 seconds? Alright. That prospect is picking up on your verbal and nonverbal cues and your body language. If they can see you based on your tone and what you are saying or asking, that triggers them to react in one of two ways.


And reacting is very scary. All right. If we come across as aggressive on the call, if we come across as needy, everybody knows what you can tell when you’re needy, right? If you come across attached, that’s the keyword. And you don’t understand the right questions and you don’t understand the right tone. It triggers the prospect’s brain to go into what’s called firefly mode.


Now, everybody on here is hurt, in firefly mode. But did you know that the salesperson you were actually triggering the prospect’s brain to react and go into firefly mode? It’s not like they’re just doing that themselves. You’re triggering it by coming across what you’re saying. And that’s where the prospect tries to get rid of you, right?


Attend our next open-mic Q&A to learn more on how to approach sales


How to Approach Sales: Become A Trusted Authority Amongst Your Prospects


So if you’re on a call, I’m busy. Can you just call me back later or. No, we’re good. We already have somebody for that. Not interested. Okay. Or if you call an outbound lead. yeah, I remember filling that out, but I’m really busy right now. Can you call me back on Sunday night at 9:30? Okay. Yeah, I’ll call you back.


Right. Or they get on the calendar. They get on the calendar and they say the book on Zoom with your new person, like, Hey, you know, I really appreciate the questions, but I don’t have a lot of time. Just tell me how much it is and I’m going to type. I’m interested in how many of you get that? It’s because you’re triggering that by your tonality and what you’re asking and what you’re saying.


Now, once you learn what kind of talk a little bit about today, once you learn how to come across in the conversation more neutral, what do I mean by neutral? More unbiased? Like you’re not quite sure you can even help, yet you don’t know enough about what’s going on. You come across more calm, more collected, and especially detached.


That’s really the keyword. You understand the right questions to ask. It triggers the brain to become curious enough where that prospect wants to engage. They want to open up to you because they feel like you might have something important that they don’t know what it is yet. But the way you’re coming across, you’re different. They view you as more of an expert or more of what we call a trusted authority rather than an all the other salesperson trying to pitch them all the time as just another salesperson trying to stop their solution down their throat.


So, we have to learn how to come across as detached from the expectations of making the sale and instead focus on whether or not we can actually help that. Now, do I mean that when you get into sales interactions it’s not your agenda? Our goal is to make that sale or to move it forward in your sales process to the sale, whether you sell B2C or B2B, of course not.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Don’t Feel Emotionally Detached When a Prospect Turns You Down


Your goal is to make that sale or to move it to ask for smaller commitments that move it forward to. But you have to keep that to yourself because the moment the prospect feels that you are just there to sell them something is the moment. As you know, they emotionally shut down and even the very best questions you ask, they give you two or three-word answers, and they stay surface level the whole time.


They never go below. And then, at the end, what do they say? This sounds good. Give me some time to think it over. I need to do more research. I’m still looking around. I’ll get back in a week, a month, a year later, and nothing ever happens, right? That’s why. Okay, so let’s talk about this detached piece.


So, how do you come across as seeming detached? Well, let me give you an example. This is what’s called an Epicure status frame. So, I’ll give you an example in this sense. Let’s say that you have an invalid ticket booked on your calendar, and I think you have a lot of marketing agency owners on here, right?


So I will just give you an industry to train a lot of people in that space, too. Okay, so let’s say they get on the calendar, they booked, and you’re on with them as a salesperson. And let’s say that, you know, obviously, they have a hard time generating leads, or maybe they’re just, in this example, saying that they’re generating leads, but they’re of lower quality.


If you don’t know how to approach sales and it is not well-executed, you will see that their sales have been stagnating over the last six months, and they’re looking at different options. Okay. So we can’t come across as super assumptive, especially at the beginning of that conversation, because there’s no trust there. You don’t have any authority to do that in the first part of that situation. Okay. Especially a salesperson like the business owner, because they don’t have the same authority as a well-established business owner.


Attend our next open-mic Q&A to learn more on how to approach sales


How to Approach Sales: Carry The Conversation Carefully Throughout the Call


So, I’m going to ask a couple of connecting questions that would start that. And then I’m going to go into a frame. Now, when I say frame, I don’t mean at the end because a lot of companies will say tell frames like at the end of the call, you know, at the end of the call, if you feel like it’s a fit and we feel it’s a good fit for us, whatever that means, we feel it’s a good fit for us.


You know, you can either tell us yes or no. It’s not what we’re looking for. Or is that fair enough? Don’t say that because it triggers most prospects to be like, okay, at the end of the call, we’re going to try to close with me. And so they emotionally shut down from the very beginning of that call, and they just don’t open up.


So, your goal is to actually disarm them. So how do we disarm the prospect where they let their guard down and become open to go below the surface? So I might start off by saying, and I’ll just kind of throw this out here, do a couple of connecting questions in them. Like, okay. And John, really, the first part of this is pretty basic.


It’s really more for us to find out more about what you’re doing to generate new leads and clients now, what that process looks like compared to what type of result you’re wanting to get as far as quality of lead, just to see what that gap looks like and see if we can actually help.


And then, you know, towards the end of the call, if you feel that it, you know, that it might be what you’re looking for. We can talk about possible next steps. Does that help you? Now, notice what I just did there. I neutralized what I did at the end of the call. If you feel that it might be now, it might be a neutral word.


Right. I didn’t say if you felt in the call that it’s a good fit. We’re going to show you a sign up in pay that’s too assumptive. That will trigger resistance in a lot of A-type personalities, especially. But if I say towards the end of the call if you feel that it, you know that it might be what you’re looking for, we can talk about possible next steps.


Would that help you? Possible next? Yes, possible is a neutral word. Okay. So we have to be neutral, especially at the beginning of that conversation, because we have no trust. We have no credibility yet. So that’s what’s called a status. Frank. Now, there are a couple of things that I did there that I point out. So, the first part of this call is pretty basic.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Disarming Your Prospect to Let Their Guard Down


Now, why would I say it’s pretty basic? Why wouldn’t I say the first part of the call it’s really exciting. We’re going to learn about your business. We’re going to learn how we can help. You sound super salesy. So I want to downplay it because what is the prospect doing in their mind when I downplay it? They do the exact opposite.


Any time I downplay something, they play it. Let’s say I sold something that was saving them money. Yeah, I mean, it’s not going to be that much. I mean, you’re only going to save probably, I don’t know, 20, 23% over the next year. What do you mean? That’s a lot. But if I said you’re going to save a ton of money, you’re going to save 20 to 23%, and it’s not bad.


See, they’re just always going to go the opposite. So you have to use that with human behavior. Okay. So if I downplay the call, I want to downplay it because I have to trigger them to let their guard down. If I cannot get them to let their guard down, I know they’re going to stay surface level and they’re never going to go below the surface.


And that’s where the sales were made, right? The sales made when they go below the surface and really tell you what’s going on, they don’t keep it to their chest. Okay. So, the first part of this call is pretty basic. It’s really more for us to find out more about what kind of, you know, what you’re doing Now. Look, look at my hands, everybody.


What are you doing now to generate new leads and clients? What does that process look like, and what result are you getting compared to the result you want? Now. What did that just do in their mind compared to the result you’re wanting? Right? It visualizes the delta. It visualizes a gap, right? So we’re automatically starting to put in their mind that there could be a gap compared to where you want to go to see if we can help, right?


Not to see if you’re a good fit. Never say we need to see if you’re a good fit for us. I hate to tell this to everybody, but your prospects don’t believe you when you say that they don’t believe in salami. They don’t. You’re going to be like, okay, Stephen, here’s my credit card. I really want to buy what you’re offering.


No, sorry. You’re not a good fit. After this, a 45-minute sales call. I’m sorry. I cannot accept it. Come back when you’re a better fit. Your prospects don’t believe you when you say that. So when you say things like that that are super sales, do they hear most salespeople say what happens? It triggers sales resistance, and they emotionally shut down and lose trust in you.


So that’s just kind of an example of what’s called an atypical status frame that gets them to lower their guard. We talk about disarming the prospect because we have to get them to let their guard down. Otherwise, it’s over. So, let’s step into problem-finding. So how are you doing that, or how would you suggest that somebody do it?


Like do you have a recipe for that, or are there certain questions that you use? Like how do you try to uncover the problems instead of, you know, then the reverse of that is not pushing, right? You’re actually diagnosing, trying to figure out what the true problem is. Yeah. So basically, this is what we have when we’re asking certain questions, and most salespeople like they have decent questions, but it comes across as very scripted, robotic, like you’re interrogating them.


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How to Approach Sales: Using Verbal Cues for The Next Question


So you ask a question and you’ll sit there and listen and they go on and on for 3 minutes. And then at the end you’re like, okay, cool, awesome. Yeah, that really helps me out. And then you repeat back what they said, which every salesperson has done for a hundred years. And then you say, I’m curious. Let me ask you.


And it just sounds really scripted, and your prospects feel that it feels like a telemarketing call. So what we have to do is use what are called verbal cues that lead to the next question. Okay. This is called bridging. It’s just a bridge. Any picture stands for neuro-emotional persuasion questioning. So, use verbal cues, just little sounds out of your mouth.


So, as they’re talking, you’re like, “Ah, okay.” But when you said walk me back, what did you mean by that? See, that’s a verbal cue that led to the next question. And what that does is it makes the conversation feel natural. And when your prospects feel natural, what do they typically do? Well, they start to let their guard down.


They don’t feel like they’re on a sales call. When it sounds scripted, they start to shut down. So if you look at it like you’re now, who’s your favorite Hollywood actor or actress? Let me ask you, who’s your favorite Hollywood actor? Actress? It’s a great question. I probably say Denzel Washington.


Okay, good. He’s good. So everything Denzel does in his movies is 100% scripted. But does it sound scripted? It sounds natural. As sales professionals, we have to memorize our questions. It requires work to do that. But if you memorize it, it becomes far more natural. So, everything he’s saying in that movie is 100% scripted. It doesn’t sound scripted.


In fact, when you watch him, you don’t look at him in the movie as Denzel Washington. You view him as the character he’s portraying, and that’s because he’s naturalized, which is what he’s saying. As sales professionals, we have to memorize our questions and know how to use verbal cues and pauses, which triggers more engagement. So there’s a formula to do that.


When closing a sale, you’re not just asking random questions and hoping and praying it works out. So, in our sales methodology, neuro-emotional persuasion questioning is used. So, we start off by asking what they are called. I’ll give you an overview what’s called connecting questions. Now, connecting questions. Take the focus off you and put it on the prospect. Okay? Then, we’re going to lead into our next phase of that conversation, which is situation questions.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Asking The Right Questions Will Let Prospects Realize They Have Other Problems


Okay, Situation questions help you as the sales professional and more importantly they find out what their real situation is. Because I hate to tell everybody this, most of your prospects don’t really understand what their real situation is. When you first start talking to them, they might have an idea. Why do you think that’s the case? It’s just like Steve Jobs says.


Most people don’t know what they need, right? That’s why you can never see sales. Looks like you gotta sell it to their needs. Well, that sounds good in theory, but most of your prospects don’t know what they need when they first start. Talk to them. So you get on there within the first couple of minutes and say, What’s your budget for this type of project?


And they’re, like, 100 grand. Well, they’re basing that off the fact that they don’t even know what their real problems are yet. So how can they know what their budget is going to be for problems they don’t even know they have? That’s why we have to become good at what we call problem finding, and that’s asking the right questions at the right time.


The conversation that helps the prospect find more problems than they originally thought they had because maybe they know they have a problem. Right? They know something, especially if they work with you, but maybe they don’t understand how bad the problem really is, or maybe they don’t understand the consequences of what happens if they don’t do anything about solving that problem.


Now, once you learn advanced question cues, not only can you help them find one problem, but you can help them find maybe two or three or four or five other problems they didn’t realize they had. Which does what? It starts to build a gap from where they are. So remember, those are situation questions. We call that their current state compared to where they want to be because that is their objective state.


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How to Approach Sales: Selling The Problem and Becoming the Solution


Now, what’s the gap in the middle? The gap in the middle is all the problems that your question ability allows them to see that they really didn’t know they had in the beginning. So I’ll give you an analogy like this, and then we’ll go back to an overview of the questions. Let’s say you wake up today and you have a massive migraine, okay?


So you wake up, you’ve got a big migraine, you’re really sick. You’re like, my gosh, I’m so sick. I need to go to urgent care because I have this migraine and it’s going to cost me $50 for the co-pay, maybe $20, $50 for the, you know, the step after insurance. So my budget’s $100 because that’s what you think you need, right?


You think you need some headache medication cause you got a migraine. So you go to the doctor, and she starts asking you some very pointed questions about how long you’ve had the pain, what the pain feels like, what the pains prevent you from doing, and how it’s affecting you. And her questioning starts to allow you to feel that maybe you have a much bigger problem than you originally thought you had.


And by the way, she then suggests that you do a CAT scan, and you do a CAT scan, and it comes back that you have a tumor, in fact, a terminal tumor. And if you don’t get X-Y-Z surgery for $2 million, you’re probably going to die in about 60 days. Well, your insurance only covers 90% of that.


So you’ve got to come up with like 200 grand. You thought you only needed $100 when you woke up this morning because you thought you knew what you needed. But now, because of her question ability, that gap has gotten much bigger. So your budget has really gone up, right? So that’s why you can never sell to just the needs, especially in the beginning.


You have to sell to the real problems that you help the prospect find. Okay, that’s what we’re talking about. So instead of getting on the like, I’ve got 100 grand, you know, I’ve got 100 grand budget and you just accept that. And their problem, Well, you could uncover three or four or five of their problems. Now that they have a 100 grand budget, they start to realize it’s not going to be enough to really get them where they want to go.


And now they come up with a 300 grand budget. That’s a difference in sales ability, right? So we talked about situation questions to help the prospect find out what their real situation is. Then we move in, how do we help them find problems? That’s called problem awareness questions. Okay, What are the real problems? What’s the root cause of the problem?


Like what? What causes the problem? Most salespeople don’t know. They get below the surface. They just get a problem, and then they just go into their solution. But what’s the root cause of the problem? And more importantly, how is said problem affecting them even personally? Now that starts to build more urgency, more gap. Okay, then we move into solution awareness questions.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Building A Sense of Urgency to Your Prospect


These questions help the prospect see what their future is going to look like once all these newfound problems are actually solved because that their objective state right now, once they start to visualize and feel what the future is going to look like, we want to rip that away from them by asking them what’s called a consequence question that allows them to see the ramifications of or the consequences of what happens if they don’t do anything about solving these newfound problems.


Okay, that starts to build urgency in their brains that they need to make a change, and they need to make that change now with you. Okay, then we go, “You know, if you’re selling B to C, you’re probably going to move into your presentation.” The one call is closed. If you’re in B to be more of a complex selling environment, you’re going to transition into setting up the next appointment at that point.


Maybe it’s a demo of what you do, maybe it’s a proposal, maybe it’s another meeting with a decision maker. Okay, you’re going to do that. And then at the end of your sales process, you’re going to ask what are called commitment questions. You don’t like the word closing around here. Nobody wants to be close to another number.


So we’re going to ask commitment questions that help the prospect commit to taking the next steps to solve the problems that they said they had and get what they want. And that, in kind of an overview, is what neuro-emotional persuasion question is like. So then give us some examples, if you could, of like commitment questions that don’t feel like closer type questions.


Do you feel like this could be the answer for you? Yeah, I do all that. Why do you feel like it is, though? That’s an inept approach. Well, I like this, I like that. But what specific parts of what we covered in the last 10 minutes do you feel like it’s really going to get you to X and Y and Z and you repeat back what they said they wanted?


Well, this is going to help us the most. I think this is going to help us the most. I think this is going to help us the most. That’s an example of a commitment. Question Basic. Do you feel like this could be the answer for you? Now, notice the verbal pause there. We do want to ask if you feel like this could be the answer for you.


It’s completely different. That’s just an example of a commitment question. It’s basic, it’s easy, but it’s very effective because it doesn’t sound salesy. I like how you’ve broken down the acronym. Mike: My team laughs at me because I love acronyms. So, how you broke that down is neural-emotional persuasion questions.


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How to Approach Sales: Selling is Fun If You Know How to Communicate Effectively


Love that I think is masterful. So I’ve got an eye on the clock here. I see that we need to come in for a landing because we’re quickly running out of time. So, but before we do, before we close out and say goodbye, Jeremy, do you have any final advice? Anything you think we might have missed? And then please share with our audience the best way to connect with you.


Well, if you think about it like you describe sales. So I want everybody to think about this because a lot of people when we start training them, have this fear of selling. And I get it. It’s not your fault that you have a fear of selling, but it is your problem, okay? And it’s not your fault because most of you have been forced because you don’t know what you don’t know.


And I was in the same situation a long time ago. You’ve been forced to learn techniques that work against human behavior that triggered the resistance and objections you don’t like to get. So why don’t you learn how to work with human behavior and open up your prospects? It becomes very, very easy at that point in selling becomes very comfortable because you don’t have the anxiety of people buying and then canceling because they have buyer’s remorse or the anxiety of people that just get to the point enough with the questions because you don’t trigger that.


You know how not to trigger that. Okay? You don’t have the anxiety of chasing people because when you learn but we know you get people to chase you. She’s a whole different phenomenon. And that makes selling pretty fun. Because here’s the thing. If you can’t communicate effectively to your prospects, it’s not just you that you’re hurting. More importantly, you’re hurting who You’re hurting because they can’t get their problem solved.


Suppose they don’t buy from you. They state the status quo, and nothing ever changes for them in the trajectory of their business in life, completely going the opposite way compared if they had purchased what you’re offering and you solved their problems. So it’s up to us as sales professionals and business owners to understand. So if you think about what selling is and one word it’s about, it’s just that the word has changed.


It’s about how good you are at getting your prospect to view and their mind that by changing their situation and that means purchasing your solution by then doing that, that is far less risky for them than doing nothing at all. Staying in the status quo, their problem stays the same, and nothing ever changes, which is more risky.


Learn more about how to approach sales by reading the blog about “Remote Selling: How to Crush Your Sales from Anywhere.”


How to Approach Sales: Always Go for Something Traditional


Now, here’s the problem: Selling is all about change, but human beings don’t like change. Think about that for a second is what your salespeople go up against every day. Selling is about change, right? But human beings don’t like change, even though we say we do. Why do we not like change? Because it makes most of us feel very uncomfortable, especially when it’s initiated by some pushy salesperson who’s trying to push their products or services down.


Somebody stoned repeatedly. Human behavior shows that we value something that is more traditional and familiar to us, even if we don’t like it that much compared to something that is new or foreign to us. Now, if they want to know more details about what we do, I know we didn’t have a lot of time to go through specific questions.


I think the best place for them to follow us would be in one of our private Facebook groups that knows how to approach sales. When I gave you it, just have them go to We got about 40,000 or so people in that group when we started out about a year ago, and their professional salespeople, coaches, and entrepreneurs are probably like everybody listening here and in that group. What we will do is have them check their Facebook messenger when they join.


We have somebody on my team who messages them over a free training called any one of many courses. It’s just a group. It’s like a list of some of the questions we didn’t have time to go through that will help them sell more of whatever they’re in. And we go live in the group three or four times a week.


Different training kinase. We give them little nibbles in the group and little d’oeuvres, and they say that they want more advanced training for their people or team so they can sell a lot more. They can just reach out to that Facebook group, and they can book with a team member to go through different training options. But we’ll give them some orders first so they can see what it’s all about.


How about it’s soulful? Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and listen to Jeremy’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do. The key is to take what he gave you, the insights, the strategy, the process, the questions, and apply them and put them into practice right away and accelerate your results.


And, Jeremy, thank you very much for saying yes. Thank you for coming on to the show to be our mentor and guide so we can move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, Jeremy. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.


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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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