Jeb Brooks – The Brooks Group

Sales managers often help their sales teams overcome the fear of rejection. Today, many salespeople are also facing a fear of frustration. In other words, these days, salespeople aren’t as worried about being rebuffed as they are about being ignored.

In the past, salespeople worried about having doors slammed in their face. Literally! (In fact, I once saw an old sales training manual that instructed its readers to put their heads — instead of their feet — in open doors because prospects would be less likely to slam them). Old school stuff!

It’s different today. Now, the biggest roadblock for many professional salespeople is frustration. They’re worried about wasting their time and their prospects’ time. After all, in today’s 2.0 world, it’s a lot easier for busy prospects to simply ignore salespeople’s efforts than it is to blatantly turn them away.

A deleted voicemail message doesn’t have the same psychological effect as a slammed door. It’s not as immediate. It’s not as physical. It’s also not as evident. An e-mail awaiting a response could mean anything: Is it caught in a Spam filter? Is it lingering in an inbox about to garner a response? Has it been forwarded? Or has it been…DELETED!  And, even though it doesn’t have the same psychological effect, it can still be debilitating to the sales process.

Of course, the question becomes how to break through? How can a salesperson get an immediate “yes” or “no” in an increasingly ambiguous world?

I’m not talking about shortening the entire sales cycle. I’m simply talking about getting quicker responses to messages.

The secret is:

  • Getting in front of the right people,
  • At the right time,
  • With the right offering, and
  • Packaging it in the right way.

The answer is really hidden inside that first bullet: The right people.  Too many salespeople search for someone – anyone – who’s willing to listen to them. And, if that’s the only qualification they’ve got, they’ll eventually get tired of listening.

Salespeople need to gain clarity on exactly who can benefit from whatever it is that they’re selling. And, when I say clarity, I mean extreme clarity. It’s critical to describe in complete detail exactly what an ideal prospect looks like. With that clarity, the next step is to go find them!

Then speak to those prospects in the way they’d like to be spoken to. Offer them something they can benefit from. If good salespeople get in front of the right people, the rest will fall into place.

The truly “right people” are willing to do more than just listen. They’re also ready, willing, and able to buy. They’re the “acres of diamonds” that can eliminate forever the fear of frustration!


Jeb Brooks is Executive Vice President of The Brooks Group, one of the world’s Top Ten Corporate Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. Jeb authored the second edition of the book “Perfect Phrases for the Sales Call,” the popular book “High IMPACT Selling,” and writes for The Brooks Group’s Sales Training Blog, “Sales Evolution.” He can be reached at + 1 (336) 282-6303 or on the web at