“Monkey see, Monkey do”

Paper shuffling, sweaty palms, time to go to the bathroom, nobody answers the phone, surfing the internet; the excuses run rampant inside sales bullpens. Sales monkey business has run amuck inside sales teams of all sizes.

Isn’t the ability to pick up the phone to potential clients supposed to be one of the defining features of a sales rep? Then why do so many do almost anything but pick up the phone to potential new clients.

Successful sales professionals do not make excuses! They understand excuses is kryptonite to their sales performance.

Here we come, walkin’
Down the street
We get the funniest looks from
Ev’ry one we meet
Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees
And people say we monkey around
But we’re too busy singing
To put anybody down

With a comedic twist, a prior post 3 Things Sales Reps Must Use So They Don’t Look Like Sales Monkeys With A Loaded Gun pinpointed how sales professionals successfully integrate the use of three silver bullets – Customer Relationship Management Software, Content and their Clients as their fellow sales monkeys run amuck inside the sales department.

What does a successful quota-busting sales professional do every day?

“Successful sales professionals don’t monkey around! They use the phone!”

It’s no shock to learn the very best in sales are incredibly focused, organized, and clearly plan out each day with a set goal in mind.

Part of this plan involves the use of the phone as they use to secure new business meetings. How you say things to a prospect matters more than what you say. According to Sandler Sales Training, “only 7% of communication relies on the content of what you say, whereas 38% of communication is about other attributes of communication such as tonality, etc.”

Sales professionals set aside the excuses and refrain from monkey business. They don’t buy into the “Monkey See Monkey Do” philosophy.


Top sales reps successfully “ditch the pitch” and use these three things…


True sales professionals prepare for their phone calls. They’ve adopted the mindset of “Quality over Quantity”. Pre-call planning success begins with small amounts of preparation.

Collecting a few key bits of information will help you gain valuable insight, if leveraged decisively, will separate you from all the other sales monkeys. When gathering this information, do so with the intent of trying to better understand the prospect’s challenges. Learn what makes their business tick and how you can become a problem solver for them. Demonstrate you have a vested interest in their success. This helps in driving an effective business conversation. Isn’t this what you want?

There’s a wealth of information inside company websites, business information sites and news outlets. With a few minutes of research, consider these questions:

  • What is my prospect’s market strength?
  • What are their top business concerns right now?
  • How are they positioned to handle these concerns?
  • Who are the key company decision makers?
  • How can I help?

Position yourself as the expert. Quality pre-call planning is one key to success and survival in a highly competitive sales environment.


I am a firm believer business people buy from business people; not just sales people. Let that one sink in for a second.

According to a Forrester report, “only 27% of buyers find that salespeople are knowledgeable about the buyer’s specific business.” Additionally Corporate Visionsdetermined, “customers believe sales reps are 88% knowledgeable on product and only 24% on business expertise.”

Sales professionals must have strong business acumen skills to provide value and insight as they communicate with prospects during phone conversations. Sales professionals have no time for monkey business when they are on the phone.

Sales professionals transform themselves into a true business advisor. Whether face to face or on the phone, engaging with a higher degree of business acumen sets sales professionals apart from the sales monkeys.

Increase in business acumen allows successful sales reps to…

  • Prepare for the sales process
  • Understand their prospects business strategy and current financial situation
  • Ask business situation questions, business challenge questions, and business opportunity questions
  • Position value from the client’s business perspective

Strong business acumen helps a sales professional to better understand a prospect’s pushbacks, placing those objections in greater context, helping them to move a possible meeting forward on the phone.

Sales professionals understand the phone is still an essential tool in the sales conversation.


Let’s do some simple math…

If 25 cold calls gets 0 results and 50 dials gets 0 results

25 x 0 = 0

50 x 0 = 0

Sales professionals don’t increase their activity to expect different results they change their activity to something that works.

Quality calls will yield quality results. Sales professionals leverage referral calling into a prospect from their current clients, their network, or one of their strategic partners.

Sales professionals are constantly developing and working their target prospect list. They leverage this list as it makes it much easier when they ask a current client, their network or strategic partner for help.

Sales professionals leverage their social networks prior to contacting prospects. Socially minded professionals realize they may be one LinkedIn connection away from their best sales opportunity. They ask their network to edify them by making an introduction on their behalf which facilitates a rewarding experience on the phone.

Please think about this… If you provide a high level of service and your clients know, like and trust you then why not ask them to help grow your business?

“If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will”

Bob Hooey

I encourage you to ignore the sales monkeys as they run amuck inside your sales department. Please don’t allow them to become a distraction from achieving the phone success you deserve. The only thing worse than phone distraction is a sales monkey with an empty sales funnel.

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