Top-Shelf Tip No. 082:

"The best vision is insight."

Malcom S. Forbes

How To Lose A Prospect’s Attention In Five Seconds Or Less

When you make contact with new prospects—either by telephone or in a face-to-face meeting—you have an extremely short window of time to connect with them. If you fail to achieve this, they will quickly tune you out and you lose the opportunity to increase your sales. Promotional Consultant Today shares key strategies for keeping your prospect’s attention.

Here are eight ways to lose your prospect’s attention in the first five seconds of the conversation:

  1. Start a telephone conversation with, “Hi, how are you?”
  2. Open your conversation by introducing yourself, your company and what you do.
  3. Make small talk.
  4. Give them an overview of your products and services.
  5. Explain how your product or service will benefit them.
  6. Tell them what other companies you have worked with.
  7. Show them the awards and accolades your company product has received.
  8. Give them a brochure that outlines your key products or services.

Unfortunately, most salespeople fail to effectively open the sales conversation with a new prospect. The moment your prospect senses you are trying to sell them something that they don’t need or want, they will tune you out and look for a way to disengage or disconnect from the call. They don’t want to know about your company. They don’t want to listen to you talk about your products or service. What they want is a solution to a problem. They want to know how you can help them improve their business.

Focus your attention on the prospect
Truly effective salesmanship is all about asking the prospect the right questions and demonstrating that you can help them solve a particular problem or issue. It’s about giving them some knowledge or perspective that they didn’t have before. That means you need to direct all of your attention on their situation and resist the opportunity to talk about your company or your offering.

When you meet with a new prospect for the first time, open the conversation by asking, “Mrs. Prospect, many of our clients are currently experiencing (insert the problem here). How does that compare to your company’s situation?” This demonstrates that you are knowledgeable of their business and/or the industry and it gives your prospect the opportunity to tell you about their chief concerns.

People will tell you almost anything you want to know providing you give them a reason to do so. Launching into a product demo does not achieve this, but showing interest in their business does.
The key is to develop and ask high-quality questions.

At a recent trade show, the company’s sales reps simply talked about the products in which people showed interest. Not surprisingly, their closing ratio was low because in most cases they gave information that was not relevant to that prospect’s situation and they talked to people who had little or no motivation to buy.

After some focused sales training, they began asking people a few high-quality questions to determine the people who had problems or challenges and who were seriously interested in their products. At the end of the show their sales were slightly higher, but they also had a list of highly qualified people with whom to follow up, and many of these individuals became customers.

The more time you spend talking about your product, the less inclined a prospect will be to continue that conversation. The more you focus your attention on their situation and their problems, and on demonstrating how you can help them improve their business, the more you differentiate yourself from the competition.

You only have few moments to connect with a prospect, so keep it brief, keep it focused and keep it about them. You will keep their attention.

Source: Kelley Robertson helps people master their sales conversations so they can win more business and increase their sales. He is a seasoned business professional and highly skilled sales trainer and sales keynote speaker who is well-known for delivering persuasive and compelling sales keynote presentations and sales training workshops.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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