What Makes You Think I Need Your Help?

There are two types of answers prospects will give a salesperson.  One will position them in the best light, which means they will not share their ‘warts’ or problems with you.  Tough to work with anyone that is not completely honest with you.  The other one is when they are upfront about the challenges and struggles they are facing.  The one the prospect uses is decided by the way the salesperson positions themselves at the beginning of the conversation.

Building trust and establishing rapport is the most important step of the entire sales process.  Some may not agree with me.  Other training programs stress ‘closing’ is the most important.  Not true.  The difference between honest answers and prospects misleading salespeople is trust and rapport built on an earned respect from the prospect.

One rapport buster is when salespeople ‘assume’ the prospect has a problem.  They start the call off by saying, “We help companies…..”  The prospect is thinking, “What makes you think I need your help?”  Using the word ‘help’ is assuming the prospect has a problem.  They have not shared that with you.  In fact, their guard goes up and they defend their current position, though they know things are not perfect, to maintain their dignity and ego to avoid feeling like a victim that needs rescuing from an unknown salesperson.

Rather say, “I work with companies that want to….”  Or as Mark LeBlanc would say, “I run a company that works with others that want to.…”  If you have the option to use that one, it make it easier for a decision maker to work with another decision maker.  We want to share enough to piqué their interest, but not enough for them to say, “I’m not interested.”

Keep in mind there are two human motivations; avoid PAIN and GAIN pleasure.  “Companies that want to….” is gain focused.  Your second statement is pain focused, which could also be used independently.  For instance, “We work with companies…and are frustrated, concerned, upset, etc”, followed by the consequences or costs a perfect fit prospect would experience if they do not hire you.  Consequences are the opposites of the benefits you offer.

My piqué statement is, “I run a business that works with companies that are frustrated with long sales cycles, concerned about low closing ratios, or upset with not getting in front of enough qualified prospects”

Your next line would be, “I don’t want to assume you need any help, or that you are having any problems in that area.  Are you open to a brief conversation to see if it may be worth talking more?”

Then have some simple prequalifying questions ready.  Remember your call was an interruption.  Your goal is to schedule another time to talk more.

Don’t make your prospect feel like a victim.  And don’t boast about your services if there is no need.  No need equals no value.  That only makes you defensive.  Work with the information you know and at the beginning of the call, you don’t know much.

Let me clarify.  You prepared and have done some research.  But has the prospect owned your findings as theirs and is the situation you found true?  That takes rapport and asking specific and timely questions.

Keep the ‘assumptive’ rapport buster in mind and ask your prospects if they are open to a conversation.  Maintain a mutual consent relationship.  Your conversations will be more balanced.



  1. I appreciate the information on your web sites. Thanks a ton.

  2. Kelly Schaefbauer says

    Great Article! What a much more enjoyable approach to a new prospect.


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