The "How Are You?" Controversy

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

I’ved opened up a right can of worms on the internet!

“Hi Mr Prospect, it’s John Byrne from ABC, how are you?”

Do you get upset when a cold caller uses the “How are you?” opening?

It’s a bit like marmite really – you either love it or hate it!

Well, I’ve been putting the question out to my networks and it’s a 75/25 split against using the question.

My take on this?

I can see both sides of the story. In my experience of having helped 10,000 sales people around the world, your success in asking the question will all come down to the execution of it.

I’ve used the question myself in the past and have got some awesome results. Having said that, we don’t train it nowadays as much as we used to because the modern day buyer has wised up to it because so many cold callers ask it! The thing is, is that you need to ask it in the right way. It’s no good asking it in the tonality which says “I’m calling for your money”. Those cheesy openings from the smile and dial era are to blame for giving the “How are you?” question a bad name in the first place!

Personally, I don’t like being on the end of “How are you?” because as of yet no-one has said it in a way that made me feel that they were genuinely interested in me apart from getting money.

But what do you think?

Do you use it?

Do you hate it?

Well, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Maybe you use the line and have had great success with it? Maybe you use the line and wonder why you don’t get the results you want?

If you do use it, your success will depend on the timing and also the tonality of your voice.

Please make a comment on this blog below and let me know what you think.

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat

The UK’s #1 Authority On Sales Success

PS I’ve just started a new group called Practical Sales Tips on LinkedIn – I would love you to join the group and it’s also a great opportunity to network with other sales people too. The debate about “How are you?” is hotting up there too!

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Originally published: 9 November, 2008