Written By: Keith Rosen
Getting a prospect’s attention is a challenge that most salespeople face – but it doesn’t have to be! Use these three ways to improve your changes of getting that first meeting.
Getting a prospect’s attention these days is quite challenging. Prospects are bombarded every day with calls, emails, direct mail and social media for meeting requests to consider your products and services. In fact, most business executives are estimated to receive an average of 200 communications EVERY day.
How can you effectively alleviate the barrier of entry and successfully get their interest for that initial meeting? It’s a challenge today that all sales professionals face. Even though you’re great in front of the customer, you’re challenged to get that first appointment! Let’s look at the 3 ways to improve your chances of getting that first meeting.
The first major problem you face when making that initial call to a prospect is their indifference. It’s bad enough that you might be calling someone that doesn’t know you, but just as important is how you can get their immediate attention to hear why they should spend the time to meet with you. Is there a need you can address and if so how bad is that pain?
To peak their interest, start by stating an issue that your research shows to be the most likely one they are facing today. Given the uncertainty of our economy, one issue that would get the attention of most prospects might be cash flow.
Test that hypothesis by saying, “Most of my clients say that one of their biggest challenges right now is the need to improve cash flow. How much of an issue is cash flow for you today?”
There are several issues that can be of concern to companies/individuals today. It’s fairly easy to uncover what those top issues are in your specific industry. Good research to identify their most common issues will pay off by getting their attention.
Once you have their attention, help them understand the impact of that issue on their business. Heighten the issue by asking impact questions. Impact questions reveal how the issue can implicate other areas of their business.
For example, ask, “If cash flow is an issue, how does that impact your investment goals in equipment or application software or expansion goals? What’s the impact on your hiring strategy? What’s the impact on your customer satisfaction goals?”
Impact questions can help the prospect see the consequences of unresolved issues. But remember, understanding impact alone doesn’t necessarily mean they will take action. You’ll need to make sure that you touch their emotions too, because we make decisions with both sides of our brain.
Ironically, even though people may buy when they see an opportunity to improve their business – they don’t like to be sold. So, speak to their emotion first, and then back it up with the logic to justify the solution. Emotions always have the upper hand.
Lastly, be prepared with potential recommendations. Even though you may not have all of the information needed to make a firm suggestion, having some realistic ideas shows that you’ve done your homework – you do understand something about their business. AND, you have experience with other clients and have a track record of success. Customers look to the sales person for advice.
To close the call share a success, “Mr. Smith, we recently helped one of our clients free up $250,000 a month in cash flow savings that allowed them to expand their operation by opening up a new office in Boca Raton. Their revenues are now projected to grow 15% this next fiscal year. I would like to sit down with you and discuss an approach that can achieve the same results for you. Would you be free next Wednesday at 2pm?”
Getting appointments is difficult, so you’ll have to stand out from the other noise and competition in the marketplace. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting your foot in the door. When you use these steps, you will improve your chances of getting that first meeting and being front and center to close the sale!
You’ll find that you will quickly improve your chances of getting that first meeting if you follow these three simple steps!
Jeb Blount’s new book, Selling The Price Increase, is a practical guide for successfully navigating the single greatest growth and profit improvement opportunity for B2B enterprises: Customer Price Increases. Download our free book club guide that will engage more prospects & customers, in less time, at a lower cost, while reducing the sales cycle. HERE
Keith Rosen is fanatical about your success. He is a globally recognized authority on…
Join more than 360,000 professionals who get our weekly newsletter.
Self-paced courses from the
world's top sales experts
Live, interactive instruction in small
groups with master trainers
One-to-one personalized coaching
focused on your unique situation