Staring a Sales Conversation


How do you start a sales conversation?

When you are a brand-new entrepreneur, it’s very likely that you do not have a ton of experience running sales conversations.

How do we start?

How do I take control?

How do I make this not awkward and uncomfortable for both myself and the potential client?

I’m going to give you four things to do at the beginning of every single sales conversations that are going to set you up for success.

As the leader of the conversation, it puts you in control, helps you build a relationship and makes sure that it’s a super productive conversation.


#1. Build Rapport

This can feel a little awkward and uncomfortable if this is not something you were used to doing. When I jumped on a sales call with someone I say:

Hi, I am super excited about our conversation today. How was your weekend or what’s going on, or what are you working on or what have you been up to today, or I noticed on social media that you have kiddos, how old are your kids?

Just build rapport. Both parties coming into the conversation are likely very nervous. So don’t be confused and think it’s just you that’s nervous. It’s likely that your potential client is nervous as well because sales conversations could be uncomfortable and they might be fearful of what’s going to happen. So, I want you to set them at ease by just building a little bit of rapport, take a couple of minutes, two to three minutes and just make conversation and just build a relationship.

Because if you can find a connection with that person, they will instantly relax and you’re way likely to get a positive outcome of your conversation. The second thing that you want to do is make sure that you’ve set an agenda for the conversation.

I get a lot of questions like…

How do I make sure this isn’t an interview?

How do I take control of the conversation?


The best thing to do in this instance is to set an agenda. So, what I like to do again, let them know that I’m excited to build a little bit of rapport and say, listen, here’s what I have planned for us today. I have 30 minutes blocked out for this call. Does that work for you? So you’re letting them know what to expect from the beginning. How long is the call is and this way, the call doesn’t run long.

And if you do have something afterwards that you have a reason to go, so, Hey, listen, I have 30 minutes earmarked for our call today. My goal is to learn a little bit about your current situation, a little bit about your goals. Uh, some of the things that, the reasons why you’re working for things. And then of course, we’ll talk about next steps. And if it makes sense, we’ll talk about what it looks like for us to work together.


So a very clear agenda, so they know what to expect, because again, we want them to relax. We want them to feel comfortable and a really great way to do that is to let them know exactly what to expect.

#2. Ask Easy Questions.

I like to tell my students that we have to earn the right to ask tough questions. Sometimes we want to jump in with like, okay, tell me what your biggest challenge is as it relates to whatever it is here we’re talking about.

But remember, you’ve probably only been on the phone with this person for like five or six minutes. And so we have to earn the right to ask those tough questions. We want them to again, feel comfortable talking to us.

I like really easy open-ended questions to get the conversation started. Something along the lines of tell me, what made you decide to book this call today or tell me what’s going on in your business as it relates to X.


This is a very general question.

So for me, it’s always starting with a softball question and then building up to tougher and tougher and tougher questions and really drilling down into their problems and their emotional motivators and all of those things.

But you can’t go too fast.

Oftentimes we’d like to use the example of dating, right?

When you’re dating someone new and you’re just getting to know them, or maybe you are on a first date and you’re having a cup of coffee with someone you don’t start with “would you like to get married” right?

That is too serious of a question too early on in the conversation.

So to start with softball questions, work your way up.


#3. Remember the 80 20 rule.

You should be listening 80% of the time and only talking 20% of the time.

So many of you telling me, like, I don’t know what to say. You know, I’m an introvert, I’m not good at this stuff. That’s okay.

It’s actually harder for an extrovert to keep their mouth shut during a sales conversation than it is for you.

So, really thinking through the 80 20 rule, you want them to be talking, you’re listening. Your goal of the sales conversation is really to learn.

Does this person have the problem that I solve?

How are they motivated?

Cause people buy based on emotion and they justify with logic.

So we’re looking for both the logical reasons and the emotional reasons that they would invest with you.


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