Brooke Greening of Building Momentum Resources On The 5 Most Effective Sales Techniques Leaders Need to Know

An Interview with Rachel Kline

Authority Magazine
Authority Magazine


Listen more than you talk.

This is a hard one for me because I like to talk (just ask my husband). In my former life, I performed in plays and musicals. I’m not afraid of being at the center of the conversation.

What I’ve learned and believe (even if I have to keep reminding myself) is that: In sales, if you’re talking more than your customer, you’re doing it wrong.

Asking questions, and listening is the key to excellent sales. I often ask my customers if it’s okay if I take notes. This helps in two ways. One, it reminds me to listen, focusing on their needs instead of mine. Second, it communicates to my customer that I care enough about them to write down what they say.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, sales leaders are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to engage prospects, close deals, and exceed targets. Mastering effective sales techniques can be the key to unlocking greater success for both individual sales professionals and organizations. But with countless methods and strategies available, how can sales leaders identify the most effective techniques to drive results and enhance their team’s performance? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders. sales professionals, trainers, coaches, and thought leaders to explore “The 5 Most Effective Sales Techniques Leaders Need to Know.” As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Greening.

Brooke Greening is an expert sales coach and co-owner of Building Momentum Resources. Before starting her own marketing and sales coaching business, Brooke’s successful sales career included phone sales, turning around struggling businesses, launching a new insurance product, and mentoring and training others. Brooke believes that the key to valuing your customers, standing out from the competition, and making more sales is serving customers and positioning your product or service as the solution to their true problems.

Thank you for doing this with us! Before we begin, our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this career path?

People joke with me that sales is in my blood. My dad was in sales for almost all of his career, and my older brother followed suit. So as long as I could remember, I would hear stories of my dad working with customers, taking sales calls any time of the day, and traveling all around the state. Sales was something to be proud of, and there was integrity in it.

After college, I pursued my master’s in counseling to offer hope and help others.

While getting my master’s, I worked at Wells Fargo Financial’s calling center. I learned that the principles of effective counseling — understanding the client’s problems and helping them move forward — were exactly what I did when I was talking to people on the phone to help them apply for a loan.

The calling center wasn’t my dream job, but it taught me how to build trust with customers who didn’t want to talk with me. (I had about 5–8 seconds to connect with them before they hung up or started yelling!) It also confirmed that I would be involved in sales in some fashion for my career.

After succeeding in sales for over 15 years, and training others to be successful, l wanted to be home more with my husband and three kids. We started our own business to help businesses and sales professionals grow in their confidence and sell more. To add to my already powerful arsenal of sales knowledge, I became a certified Story Brand Guide to be able to help others in their marketing messaging.

Now I get to do what I love every day and see my family more. I hope my kids see there is pride in sales and it is all about helping others.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that has occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or takeaway you took from that story?

I am not a car person, but during the “Cash for Clunkers” government program I worked in the calling center for Bill Stasek Chevrolet in suburban Chicago.

I remember hearing someone say they were coming to kick the tires on a vehicle.

WelI, I thought that was something you actually needed to do to see if it was a good car. I thought, “Maybe it had something to do with the actual tires!? Maybe you could tell if you kicked it and it did something that was a sign of the car’s quality!?”

I clearly had no idea that that was an idiom and that you should NOT ask customers to come and set up an appointment to kick the tires. Because when I asked a customer to set up an appointment and come and kick the tires, a man laughed and laughed at me and said, “Did you seriously just ask me to come over there and kick the tires?”

That was a good lesson and a humbling one for me. You need to know what you are talking about regarding the products and services you are selling. Otherwise, you lose all credibility with your customers.

Now I’m pretty confident that man probably doubted my credibility before I said that, but after I made that blunder, I removed all doubt for him!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m working on an on-demand micro-course. These videos will help sales professionals break through their growth barriers. We’re going to talk about how to double your revenue by ensuring your marketing and sales are aligned and not working against each other. I’ll share how to avoid awkward follow-up conversations and how to expand your referral network so you get needed referrals and have resources to share with your customers. We’ll also learn how to share the value of your product or service beyond features and benefits because your product or service’s biggest value is solving people’s problems.

For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a bit about your experience with sales? Can you share an anecdote or two that illustrates your experience in this area?

I’ve been in sales for over 15 years, including banking, automotive, educational, and healthcare-related positions. I was a Director of Sales at a senior living company and then started joining the corporate side by training and helping new sales directors. At the end of my time in that field, I went into communities that struggled with their sales, figured out what was wrong, fixed it, and moved on to the next problem spot.

My varied sales background and my counseling education create a great mix of understanding customers’ problems and advancing them to buy.

What grew my sales confidence the most was working in senior living. I had thousands of sales conversations where families were usually getting ready to put a loved one into care that would last the rest of their lives. It was very emotional and involved an indefinite financial commitment of six to ten thousand dollars a month.

One family I worked with needed to determine where their older loved one would live and receive care. The loved one was hospitalized, and the family knew she wouldn’t be coming home. I talked with the family, some of whom were local and others that lived across the state. They didn’t want to put their mom into a care community. I asked questions and discovered they felt guilty because they told their mother they would never do something like this. They didn’t want to betray their mom’s desires but also knew they couldn’t care for her.

I had this type of conversation over and over again, and more often than not, people thanked me for investing my time to help them and their loved ones. When we genuinely care about people’s needs and concerns, and with integrity, position our products and services as the solution to those issues, we can value our customers and make more sales.

Focusing on serving people has helped me be very successful in every sales role that I’ve been in, from being plugged into a robot dialer at a calling center to insurance sales to senior care to now owning my own business.

How do you approach developing a sales pitch that resonates with potential customers and sets you apart from the competition?

I spend most of my time focusing on questions to ask my customers to help me uncover and understand their frustrations and concerns. Once I have those answers, I can position my product as valuable to them because I can show how my product will solve the problems they’ve just shared with me.

Taking this approach helps me stand out from the competition because most salespeople take their best guess at what resonates with their customers and then try to solve a problem their customers may or may not have. I don’t assume I know what my customer wants. I ask questions to understand what they want and clearly connect what they share with my services.

When selling to different types of customers such as small businesses versus large enterprises, how do you differentiate your sales approach?

When I am talking to larger companies or individual business owners, we start at different places.

With larger businesses, I ask questions concerning their frustrations and concerns with their sales team and the obstacles they face. What they feel is keeping them back from the growth they want.

With individuals or small businesses, the questions are directed at their personal struggles with sales and the frustrations they are facing individually.

For both types of customers, my selling always focuses on the client’s concerns and problems they want to be fixed. I demonstrate how my services can solve their problems, what success will look like, and the steps needed to get started. The only difference is that I start with different sets of questions.

How do you handle objections during the sales process, and what tactics have you found to be most successful in overcoming them?

I first want to say objections are a great thing, and we want them. So I encourage you to ask for the objection. I ask for the objection by saying, “What questions or concerns do you have before we move forward?”

I handle people’s objections with three steps: validate, clarify, and advance.

First, I validate their objection. You don’t wanna skip around it or minimize it. Validate the objection as a reasonable consideration. If someone is concerned about wasting their money, I would respond: “I don’t want you to waste your money either.”

Second, I clarify. I may think I understand why the customer has their objection, but it’s always better to ask more questions to clarify what they mean. Returning to the money example, I would say: “You said you’re afraid you’re going to waste your money. I don’t want you to waste your money either. Can you share with me where in what we’ve been talking about that you feel like you would be wasting your money?

The last piece is to offer the appropriate advance. Maybe you discover they just need a different product. It could be a down sell or an upsell. Or, they may realize their objection wasn’t valid and are ready to proceed with the original sale. There are many different options for advancing from objections.

I recently used this strategy while talking to one of my clients. He did not like my day rate for in-person training, but after understanding more of what he wanted, I realized he wanted more hands-on weekly training, which I provide. So instead of him paying for a one-day seminar, he happily agreed to a monthly retainer to train his team that was four times as expensive as the original proposal. It was a win for both of us.

Can you share a time when you failed to close a deal despite your best efforts, and what you learned from the experience?

I always say the sales are not done until I get paid. This happened with a company that I was working with. We went through an assessment process to determine exactly what they wanted and needed. We had everything set up. The contract was out; they were ready to sign it. They even verbally committed to signing it, but they just needed to get final approval. They said, “Brooke, we’re ready to go we just need to get one more clarification. I don’t see any problems coming up, and we are excited to start in a month or two.” This dialogue went back and forth for about a month and a half, and then radio silence.

After this month of conversations, the prospective client said, “Oh, unfortunately, we won’t be able to move forward. Best of luck to you.” We had a great sales conversation where we uncovered their marketing problems together. They agreed to the cost. They were no questions about what I was going to be doing. They were ready and willing to sign, and then, in the end — nothing.

That was frustrating, to say the least. So much time and effort went for nothing. But, it was a great reminder that you can be so sure of a sale that you focus on that project and ignore some of your other leads or referral partners.

Do not put all your attention on one potential customer. When they said no, I had to see all the missed opportunities I had while focusing on this “sure thing.” Work hard for every one of your potential customers, and work really hard for the customers you already have because business has no guarantees, and to survive, you need a thriving pipeline all the time.

What metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of your sales techniques, and how do you identify areas for improvement?

I created a sales calculator that includes sales calls, appointments, proposals, and applications. It helps me to know my priorities each week and month to be able to hit the targets that we have. My sales funnel helps me focus on the customer’s next step.

Regarding improvement, I always evaluate every conversation I have. Did I confuse the customer? Did I discover their problems? I’ve been in sales for over fifteen years, but it is still very important to go over conversations to keep getting better.

What role does technology or AI play in the sales process, and how do you leverage it to enhance your or your team’s sales performance?

I’m not a huge technology user, but there are some very helpful tools I use. I use an online CRM database. I use an email platform to communicate with customers and leads. Having a calendar tool allowing people to schedule their meetings with me has been a life changer — I don’t have to chase people down for meetings.

Like the rest of us, I’m trying to figure out AI. I use it occasionally to help jump-start ideas for marketing copy or emails. It eliminates getting stuck staring at a blank screen, wondering what in the world to write.

Here is the main question of our interview. In your experience, what are the “5 Most Effective Sales Techniques Leaders Need to Know”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

1. Work Your Funnel

It has surprised me as I talk with other clients and sales professionals about how easy it is to become passive with their sales funnel. A telling symptom of passivity is using the phrases “checking in to see where you’re at,” “following up on our discussion,” or the double whammy “checking in to follow up.”

Those mean nothing to your customer.

Excellent salespeople don’t just wait for magically people to get ready to buy. They engage people intentionally to move them toward a sale. Most people I coach want to be more intentional but don’t have a framework. Intentionality starts by focusing on two objectives for every sales call: Share what the customer needs to do to move forward and determine if they will do it.

If they’re going to move forward, find out when. If they’re not, find out why.

Take this approach to every step of your sales funnel, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your numbers will improve.

2. Listen more than you talk.

This is a hard one for me because I like to talk (just ask my husband). In my former life, I performed in plays and musicals. I’m not afraid of being at the center of the conversation.

What I’ve learned and believe (even if I have to keep reminding myself) is that: In sales, if you’re talking more than your customer, you’re doing it wrong.

Asking questions, and listening is the key to excellent sales. I often ask my customers if it’s okay if I take notes. This helps in two ways. One, it reminds me to listen, focusing on their needs instead of mine. Second, it communicates to my customer that I care enough about them to write down what they say.

3. Discover Your Customer’s True Needs

If I leave a sales conversation, not feeling like it went well, it’s always because I didn’t spend enough time asking questions and understanding my customer’s needs. I launched into sharing my products and services too quickly.

Let me give you an example. A few months ago, we were talking with some sort of business coach for our own business. He asked, “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

He asked maybe one question and then launched into his services for over 15 minutes! He didn’t even allow me to ask one question and just kept pitching how amazing his products were. He rambled on about all the benefits. Every minute or two, I got more irritated. It’s not a surprise I did not buy from him.

When we launch into sharing our products and services before actually understanding what our customer wants, we scream, “I don’t really care about you. All I care about is finishing what I have to say and getting you to buy.”

Understanding your customer’s needs is more important than delivering your pitch.

Instead of launching into our products, we need to have good questions so we can understand where our customer is coming from.

Remember: There are always needs and problems your customer wants your help to solve- If there weren’t, they wouldn’t need to buy from you.

4. Ask for objections- (Don’t create them)

Objections from your customer are a good thing. It lets you see where they might be confused about your products and services.

Notice I said to ask for them, don’t create them. Often we insert objections into the conversation by saying things like I know this is expensive but… I know that this could take a lot of time but…

Ask for objections; don’t create them.

Asking for objections values your customers by allowing them to share their concerns about buying from you.

It also shows them that you are confident in your products and services because you are not afraid to discuss their concerns or questions.

Your customers have objections, and they will either share them with you or someone else- (and end up buying from them)

Ask this in your next sales conversation: “What questions or concerns do you have before we move forward?”

Proactively bringing objections into the conversation will help you make more sales.

5. Ask for the Sale

We miss 100% of the sales we don’t ask for.

You may think that you ask for the sale, but I would challenge you. Are you asking for the sale directly, or is it a more indirect approach?

When you say, give me a call if you have any questions, or I’ll call you in a week to see if you have any questions, or, I’m going to send you a proposal that is not asking for the sale.

Why do we soften our asks? Sometimes we’ve convinced ourselves they are not going to buy. Maybe it appeared that they weren’t that interested; maybe we feel like our competitor will beat us out; maybe we think their objections couldn’t be addressed.

It’s easy to assume customers aren’t going to buy. When we think like this, we start asking weaker questions so we don’t have to face a no.

This does not honor your customers, and it’s not helping you make sales.

We need to ask for the sale in a way that allows the customer to either say yes or no to buying from you today.

An example would be: Is this something you would like to move forward with today?

Ask directly for the sale — every single time! Your confidence will grow, and you will make more sales.

We’d love to know, what is the most effective sales technique you’ve used to close a deal, and how did you come up with it?

My number one sales technique for closing the sale is to ask for the sale in a way that the customer has to say yes or no. I know that seems basic, but many times we can become passive in our sales. Saying things like, “OK, I’ll follow up with you next week” is not asking for this sale.

Asking customers if they’re ready to move forward with the sale today allows me to understand where the customer is and our next step. Knowing these next steps is crucial, especially when the sale doesn’t close the first time. Continued follow-up is vital; knowing the customer’s next step makes the next conversation a lot easier.

I encourage my clients that in every sales conversation, you have to have two objectives. One, the customer needs to know what to do to move forward with you. Two, you need to know if the customer will take that step. If so, when, and if not, why?

You can set up the appropriate follow-up action when you accomplish these two objectives. So, if you don’t make the sale during the first conversation, you are set up for success for the second, third, or fourth conversations — however many it takes!

I realized that this technique was vital after working with clients and realizing how many sales professionals don’t end their conversations with a clear next step. They were shocked when people didn’t buy from them. Always, always have a next step.

We are nearly done. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I feel like the sales professional and the sales world has a bad reputation. We’re always kind of looked at in regards to being manipulative or using bait-and-switch techniques. I believe serving your customers is the best way to value them and increase sales! If every salesperson adopted this perspective, they’d be more successful and have a profession that makes them and their families proud.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

The best way is to get my free “Three Ways to Confidently Turn Objections Into Sales” training video. You’ll also get my weekly sales and marketing tips. Visit to get access now.

Plus, I’d love to connect and hear from you on LinkedIn reach out and let me know you found me through Authority Magazine!

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!



Authority Magazine
Authority Magazine

In-depth interviews with authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech