“So I was dead.”
That was the opening line in the movie Confidence and it was accompanied by a shot of a guy sprawled out in a parking lot looking quite dead.
I have watched hundreds of movies over the years and this opening line rates as one of the best. In fact, it’s one of the openers I still remember even though the movie was released in 2003.
So what does this have to with sales?
The faster you capture a person’s attention (prospect or existing customer), the more likely it is you will move the sales process forward. This applies to telephone conversations, voice mails, face-to-face conversations and networking meetings.
The other day I listened to a horrible voice mail message on Art Sobczak’s blog. The caller was not prepared. He did not articulate his value proposition. He did not explain how he could help the person he was calling. And most important, he failed to capture his prospect’s attention.
In today’s ultra-competitive business world it is critical that you find ways to stand out from the competition. That means you need to grab your contact’s attention—usually in five seconds or less. Otherwise, you will fail to capture that sale.
You need to develop an opening that piques their interest. And the best way to achieve this is to demonstrate that you might have a solution that addresses a key problem they might be facing.
Here are a couple of examples…
“Mr. Smith, Bob Jones calling. I understand that you are currently merging with XYZ Company. Research has shown that employee productivity drops by as much as 34 percent during mergers which usually leads to an increase in sick days. If you’re struggling with this issue, perhaps we should talk.”
“Mrs. Statham, John Roberts here. Many companies experience pressure to offer significant discounts in order to capture a sale. If your sales team is faced with this challenge we might be able to help. We specialize in helping sales people respond effectively to those requests and our clients report an immediate improvement to their margins after working with our program. You can reach me at…”
The key is to identify a potential problem your prospect might be facing and demonstrate how you might be able to help them solve that problem.
If you can achieve that goal, there is a greater likelihood that you will get a meeting and be able to capture a sale.
So, how do you get—and keep—your prospect’s attention?