Why “Winging It” NEVER Works – 4 Steps That FIX This

In this blog I’m going to address both frontline salespeople as well as leaders and I’m going to tell you that I believe that more than 80% of you (trainers included) are…


Do I have your attention now? Good. Let me explain what I’m talking about. (This blog subject has been boiling up inside of me for some time, LOL!)


A month or so back I was doing a personal coaching session with a really nice and intelligent man. Let’s call him “Rob”. Rob had just begun our 8-week CAP Equation Frontline Sales Coaching program. It’s comprised of live + recorded teleseminar sessions as well as a personal coaching aspect.

If you’re a frontline salesperson or sales trainer, you can click on the link below and take a look at the program: https://t.co/8ssHONjwkE

Rob was accessing his personal coaching session that we also offer. He told me he’d sold professionally before. He indicated that he knew what he was doing and wasn’t necessarily lacking confidence, but in the same breath he mentioned he was quite frustrated. I dug further—asked more questions—and learned that he’d just joined a new company and was having challenges getting business owners to sit down with him.

In other words, he was crashing and burning at appointment setting and I could sense he was beginning to run out of gas.

I started chipping away at the problem, assuming he was working from a battle-tested appointment setting script. I inquired if he was getting to the point quickly. In other words, was he was asking for an opportunity to meet with the prospect within the first minute of the conversation (which all pros do).  He was vague in his answer, so I asked him if he felt he was trying to sell his products and services instead of simply selling the business owner on the time to meet with him. (This is called data dumping) Again, his answer was uncertain. I quizzed him…could he tell me what the 3 most common objections were, and did he have at least three ways of rebutting each of them.

Rob mumbled, “no” and became quiet.

I then stopped assuming anything and asked him to summarize what his script or appointment setting template sounded like—I asked him to read it to me. He went silent. Then responded.

“I’m not working from a script,” he stammered. “I guess I’m just winging it…I say whatever I think will get me the appointment.”

You see the problem here, right? He was jumping off the building with no parachute, hoping there’d be a soft place to land somewhere down below. If John was playing darts, this would be the equivalent of him putting on a blindfold, spinning around a dozen times until he was good and dizzy and then tossing the darts in some random direction.

He was never going to hit the target, let alone any part of the dartboard. In fact, he’d be lucky if he didn’t put someone’s eye out.

He was winging it for sure—saying whatever clever thing popped into his head. Rob was failing, and worse, he was trying something just a little bit different each time he picked up the phone or made a face-to-face approach. He was dizzy, throwing those darts wildly into the air.  After I got done biting my tongue, I advised John to do the following, and I’d also advise you to consider the following 4 steps if you’re winging it:

  1. Get with the person who coaches you (or is responsible for you) and ask them to give you the two most effective appointment setting SCRIPTS they have.  STUDY those scripts and select the one that most suits your personality. (The words flow out of your mouth well)
  1. MEMORIZE IT. Learn the front talk and all the standard objections and rebuttals. Know it word for word until you could say it in your sleep.
  1. INTERNALIZE IT. Make sure you understand WHY the script works—why you’re saying what you’re saying. Understand the psychology of the process—why prospects offer objections and why multiple rebuttals are necessary to get the appointment.
  1. PERSONALIZE IT. Make it your own. OWN it. It has to sound natural and confident. Spend as much time as you need to accomplish this, forty + hours of role-playing if necessary.

The top 20% of sales professionals get this. If you watch them ask a prospect for a few minutes of their time, they look like they are on cruise control

…they say and ask the same things every time.

The 20% don’t break a sweat. They are in total control because they don’t have to scramble or think too hard about what they’re going to say or ask. They are also totally in control of the scenario because they pretty much know what their prospect is going to say—what objections they’re going to hear.

Pros also have 3 SCRIPTED ways to rebut each of the common objections and ask for the courtesy of an appointment again. The rest…the 80%…they don’t work from a rested script. They WING IT and flounder.  And worse…their trainer or coach doesn’t have enough sense to hand them a proven script and hold their feet to the fire.

I want to appeal to you trainers out there. Please, please, please make sure your newer salespeople aren’t winging it!

  • Make sure they have a SCRIPT they are comfortable with
  • Make sure they MEMORIZE it
  • Make sure they INTERNALIZE it
  • Make sure they PERSONALIZE it

If you make sure these 4 things are happening, they WON’T be winging it and they WILL be making appointments in high volume.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the book, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales, please click on the link below. It’s now available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CdFi2t

The CAP Equation© website offers tons of good free stuff for commission salespeople and sales leaders. Please click on the link below for free instant access: http://www.theCAPequation.com/access/

Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com

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