The reading level for this article is Novice

If you are not seeing the sales and marketing results that you desire you might want to take a hard look at your communication style for both spoken and written communications. You could be getting in your own way.

Think about your goal in every communication you have with a prospect or customer. Then look at how you communicate with that prospect or customer. Are you getting the looked for results?

Recently I offered a series of free teleseminars. My goals for the teleseminars were to help attendees with difficult prospecting issues and to introduce my new product, “Cold Calling College.” As an incentive to purchase the product I offered a one-day only discount (standard marketing procedure.) Here is an e-mail that I received from one of the participants:

–> “Dear Wendy,

–> “I thought the concepts on the cold calling telecall today were valid, however, somewhat rudimentary for me. I would consider purchasing ‘Cold Calling College’ for the scripts&.  my Area Director is in Prague [so] I cannot get approval until next Monday. To get the approval I will need to sell its value as being more advanced than what I have thus far seen.  Considering these factors& I would like to request that the discount still be offered to me next week.”

It was fascinating that this participant e-mailed to request a favor, an extension on the deadline to purchase the product, yet she chose to start out her request by disparaging the teleclass and the offer. Hmmm& She’s getting in her own way.

I did not take this personally. Actually, I found it to be rather amusing. We have sold many, many copies of “Cold Calling College” and will continue to do so. One sale more or less will not make or break us. I replied with a polite e-mail that the deadline to purchase was midnight that night and could not be extended.

In thinking about this communication I wondered had she sent a different e-mail would I have been more inclined to grant her request? How could this participant have changed her communication to make it more likely to get a positive response?

Let’s see

It’s always a good idea to start out a request with an acknowledgement. It puts the recipient in a good frame of mind. It is also important to tell the truth. The issue here would be for this participant to find something she could acknowledge. How about this:

–> “Dear Wendy,

–> “Thank you for taking the time to offer this free teleclass.”

This is the truth. The class was free. It took some of my time. This was a statement the participant could easily have made without compromising her feelings about the class.

Next, outline the problem in a positive manner, again always telling the truth. In the original e-mail this participant said, “I would consider purchasing ‘Cold Calling College’ for the scripts& my Area Director is in Prague [so] I cannot get approval until next Monday.” (The subtext of this sentence is that there is nothing important in the product except for the scripts.) How about this instead:

–> “I’m interested in purchasing ‘Cold Calling College,’ but I need to get my manager’s approval to do so. She is in Prague until next week.”

This approach is much softer and is also true. She did have some interest in purchasing “Cold Calling College.” In this approach she is not promising to buy, she is simply expressing interest in a positive manner. She did not have to minimize the value of the product to make this request.

Next this participant said, “I will need to sell its value as being more advanced than what I have thus far seen.”

This is totally unnecessary information for the recipient, it’s also rather insulting. She should have skipped this sentence altogether.

Then ask for what you want. It is also a good idea to acknowledge that your request is out of the ordinary.

–> “Would you be good enough to give me an extension on the deadline?”

Had this participant followed this outline, I might very well have granted her the extension she requested.

Think about every communication that you have with a prospect or customer. Ask yourself, “What is my goal?” Then ask yourself, “What is the best way to frame this communication so that I get the desired result?” Ask yourself, “How might my prospect or customer react to my words?”

Asking yourself these questions before you communicate with a prospect or customer will keep you from getting in your own way. It will help you to create easy, stress-free communications. It will also help you get the results you desire.

This Marketing article was written by Wendy Weiss on 2/28/2005

Wendy Weiss, “”The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success,”” is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her book, Cold Calling for Women, and the recently released Cold Calling College, can be ordered by visiting Contact her at Get her free e-zine at
© 2004 Wendy Weiss