Some prospects, especially those who don’t know you, may get the jump on you and ask, “What can I do for you?” or “What is this regarding?” Resist the temptation to talk about your products or services and instead cast it in YOU terms.
When you hear, “What can I do for you?” say:
“Mr. Smith, what you can do for me is to give me a word or two about your cabinetry situation. How are your cabinets doing for you?” (Obviously, substitute whatever service or product you sell.)
If you hear: “What is this regarding?” you might respond in this way:
“Ms. Smith, this is regarding the investment you’re making in the hotels you’re using for your business meetings, and when you or members of your team need accommodations. May I ask which hotels you’re using?”
Notice that what works is to use your prospect’s words as much as possible; if he says, “What can I do for you?” You respond, “What you can do for me is…” And if she says, “What is this regarding?” You respond, “This is regarding…”
And notice, too, that early on in a conversation—and, for that matter, throughout it—you should use the prospect’s name. Not necessarily all the time, but with some regularity! If the prospect’s name is difficult, take the time to ask if you’re saying it properly, and repeat it a couple of times so you can say it with confidence.