How To Social Engineer Your Justification Statements!

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Woman shutting her mouth How do most people feel when they receive a ‘cold call’?

One reason that most “cold” calls fail and result in rejection is that most salespeople start their conversations the same way to everyone they speaking with, sounding like a robotic mouthpiece.

How about trying something different? How about using personalised, customised information in your openings and voice mail, linked to an on-target value statement?

There is a wealth of information online, found through search engines and social media sites. The other way is by simply talking to people other than your decision maker. This is called “social engineering.”

It can be done as a separate call before your first call to your prospect and, after that, every time you call your prospect.

What it takes is a deep sense of curiosity, and some conversational questioning techniques. People are willing to give you a lot of quality information if you just ask them!

We’re talking about using social engineering in the positive sense: asking for information from people that will help other people and the business as a whole. Here’s an example of a Social Engineering-type call.

Firstly, identify yourself and your company:

“Oh, hi there, I’m Sean McPheat with MTD Sales Training.”

This immediately shows that you are not hiding anything.

Then, ask for help.

“I wonder if you can help me out” or “I need some assistance.”

Most people have an innate desire to be helpful to others in some way.

Follow this with a Justification Statement. This is the key that will unlock the most useful information.

Some examples are:

“I want to be sure that I’m talking to the right person there…” or “I’m going to be speaking with your sales manager, and I wanted to be sure that I have accurate information…” or “So that I’m better prepared when I talk to your purchasing department, may I ask a couple of questions?…”

The theory behind the success of these Justification Statements is discussed by Dr. Robert Cialdini — widely considered as one of the foremost experts on persuasion and influence — in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” Cialdini cites an experiment conducted by Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer where students let others cut in line in front of them at the copy machine simply because they provided a reason for their request—“because I’m in rush.”

We recommend that you take time to create your own Justification Statement — your reason for them to talk to you — and use it regularly. Have ones that you are comfortable with. Then brainstorm the questions you will ask at every level of the companies you are prospecting. This process will make your prospecting calls much smarter.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 9 April, 2010