Like many of you, I get cold calls and e-mails every day. Ninety-eight percent of it is spam – offers for things I have no interest in, or don’t need. Only two percent are even relevant to me or my business.
Truth be told, I almost never answer or respond. I’m sure you feel the exact same way. It’s not because I have it in for salespeople – although most of us cringe at the hard sell tactics of stereotypical salespeople. Instead, it’s because the vast majority of salespeople completely blow their initial approach and fail to capture my interest.
Now, I appreciate and respect the fact that these people are just trying to do their jobs and make a living. Selling is not a crime. In fact, we are all in the business of selling something – a product, a service, an idea, a lifestyle, a belief, or a cause. So, like you, I’m not insensitive to the plight of the honest, hardworking sales professional.
The problem is this – most of their hard work (and possibly yours) often goes to waste when they lose the sale for reasons that are preventable. They end up turning me off because I am either bored, confused or overwhelmed by the sales pitch. These feelings usually show up in one of three classic responses, which I’m sure you have heard (or given) before. They are telltale cues that they (or you) are about to lose the sale:
- This isn’t a good time for me,
- I need to think about it, or
- Leave it with me and I will go over it later.
Fortunately, the mistakes that produced these three classic responses are completely avoidable – mistakes that you don’t have to make. In fact, once you discover how the brain of your customer hears your message you will better understand what you need to do to help him or her make a decision quickly.
Creating Sales and Marketing Messages That Stick
The first and most important step in creating a sales or marketing message that closes more business is to become an expert at capturing attention up-front. If you are successful at quickly and strongly enchanting your prospect within the first 60 seconds, you stand a much greater chance of holding his interest until you can communicate your entire message.
Regardless of the length of your sales presentation, or marketing message, you must capture attention and deliver your most powerful points up-front when your audience is the most alert and receptive. Never begin by introducing your brand, building your credibility, talking about your competitors, or listing features and benefits. This strategy will put your customers to sleep. Meanwhile you risk having to deliver your most important claims and proof when your customers are least likely to remember them.
In order to capture the attention of your audience and hold it, you have to know the one thing that is the most important to them right now.
In order to capture the attention of your audience and hold it, you have to know the one thing that is the most important to them right now. This is something that you cannot afford to guess or assume. In order to make the greatest impact and charm the brain of your customer, you need to do your homework in advance. You can’t afford the luxury of pitching five or six features and benefits and hope that one of them will hit the mark.
By taking the time upfront to help your prospect understand, acknowledge, and quantify his #1 source of pain, he will become clear about the true source and intensity of the problem, and you will reinforce that it is safe to trust you and your proposed solution.
Failing to do so, will inevitably lead to the undesired result of causing you to lose the sale and waste your valuable time and money in the process.
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