Fact. People think 10X faster than you can talk.
That means while you are yapping, they have time to think, ponder, evaluate, doubt, disagree, and form judgments about what you are saying.
If you give them things to think about or doubt, guess what? Their minds will be thinking or doubting and not focusing on what you say.
“Thinking” Is A Bad Thing.
Simple short verbiage that does not activate preconceptions, bias, or previous negative experiences is what you want.
Stay away from hype words or obvious puffery.
When you use words like best, superior, top rated, you are asking them to make a judgment. Are they going to accept what you say or not? As they don’t have the information to agree or disagree with your hype words, they immediately discount what you say.
As soon as they start wondering whether they can believe what you say, you are doomed.
Stick to solid, straightforward statements of fact.
Your goal is to say things they can grasp, process, and then say “yes” or “no.”
If you say things that get them thinking, they cannot say “yes.” Why? Because they are thinking.
The First 3 Seconds
The first 3 seconds are key as to whether they will continue to listen or not.
You cannot botch the first three seconds and expect to win. Not happening.
Once you hear “hello” you must activate something within that enables a buyer (someone who recognizes a need you can fill and if they heard the right things would agree to participate in a reasonable next step with you) to determine that you are worth listening to a bit longer. That is it.
What Are The Important Issues In The First 3 Seconds?
First, your presence. Do you sound like a peer? Do you sound like someone capable of helping them? Are you perceived to be cool and confident? Or, has just the slightest hesitation, lack of confidence, or touch of confusion crept into the first few seconds of your interaction?
If so, you are toast right from the beginning.
If you don’t sound confident about what you are saying, why would a top decision-maker feel confident about spending some time with you?
If they cannot immediately grasp what you do, they will not invest time trying to figure out if you are worth their time. Buh Bye.
You must pass this initial 3-second test.
The 30-Second Test.
All right, they are listening to you. Now what?
You must communicate the proper foundation for them to conclude that you are worth spending more time with. You must touch all the necessary bases to enable them to conclude that within 30 seconds.
For them to meet with you in-person, over the phone, via zoom or string phones, you need to cement all the bricks in place necessary for a strong foundation. You are not working from strength if your foundation has holes in it, or worse, you are building on sand.
These are the building blocks you must communicate within 30 seconds to maximize your shot at selling the next step.
Who you are and where are you calling from.
What you do.
That you are credible.
3 benefits clients/accounts get from working with you.
What they will get at the first meeting with you.
(Worth their time even if they don’t buy.)
Ask to meet.
Your goal is to earn the next step: To sell a meeting.
That is your sole objective, and you must stay locked onto it.
Be professional and respect the person you are talking to.
That means being prepared and quickly communicating a message they can grasp and say “yes” or “no” to.
In my opinion, you show respect for those you are purposely interrupting when you are prepared and take the least amount of their time possible. Say what you need to say, then let them respond “yes” or “no.” Done.
Many seem to think that they first must communicate that they are kind, considerate, and nice — not the kind of person who would rudely interrupt someone when they are busy. But the fact is, you are interrupting them. When you call you have decided to interrupt them. That is the point. To interrupt them and get them to focus on you. So, the insecure feel compelled to start with “how are you, is this a good time?” or “I know you are busy so I will be quick.” Or other such drivel. This has never made any sense to me.
You are interrupting them. Nothing you say can change that.
Once you decide to call you have decided that interrupting busy people is acceptable. That being the case, why not make that interruption worthwhile for those you can help. For those who have needs you can fill, who would love to speak to a top-shelf credible, experienced provider. Make the interruption worthwhile for them.
Nice is not the issue. Enabling those you can help to conclude that you are worth more of their time is the issue.
Busy people in positions of authority say “no” to nice people all the time.
Think of it another way. The people you are communicating with get dozens of calls a day. Most of those calls are quickly perceived to be a waste of time, and the callers are thrown down the stairs. Many of those who find themselves at the bottom of the stairs are nice, kind, considerate callers who started out apologizing for the interruption, promising to be quick and acknowledging that the suspect is undoubtedly a busy person. They still find themselves at the bottom of the stairs.
Do you really think you are separating yourself from the rest by somehow being nicer or more considerate than the rest?
Don’t Confuse Being Prepared, Concise And Direct With “Salesy.”
How often do you hear “I don’t want to sound “salesy.”
After 20+ years of sales training, I have concluded that “salesy” is anything that a sales rep doesn’t want to do or feels uncomfortable with.
“Salesy” is your issue. Not the issue of those you speak to.
You earn the next step by saying things that enable buyers to conclude that you are worth more of their time — nothing else.
Communicating what you do, your credibility, benefits, what they will get if they spend more time with you and exactly what you want, have a chance of earning you that next step.
Anything else does not.
The above is an excerpt from my book “Sell The Meeting.”
Find it on Amazon.