Nothing is more important to prospecting (other than actually doing it) than the quality of your opening statement.
In person or over the phone, windows of attention are typically slammed shut in less than 10 seconds. This means you have to maximize the impact of every word, syllable, and pause in your lead off statements. They need to be works of art – compelling to the extreme degree. To minimize the importance of preparing a solid opening statement is to potentially short circuit your entire sales effort.
Fortunately, opening statements can be prepared and practiced before a sales opportunity is ever pursued. Below are some guidelines and thoughts for creating your opening statement(s) as well as some samples for you to rework into your particular sales world.
Remember, it’s likely the people you’re trying to reach are also being approached by many others each day (competitors of yours and not). A powerful, compelling, and practiced opening statement can launch many sales opportunities for you where a competitor’s lack of preparation can leave them standing still.
If you like this tool, you might also like the author’s message on commitment called Cross The Line. Use this link to watch the quick little video.
Your opening statement
Objective: create immediate interest for further discussion – engage the prospect (be sure to work through this using pen to paper or fingers to keyboard)
What do I sell?
Answer this using as few words as possible. Avoid words or phrases that mean nothing to outsiders (e.g., industry acronyms, fluffy corporate communication language, etc.).
How do my customers benefit when they buy my product/ service?
If you sell to consumers, include the potential emotional added benefits of being liked, respected, more attractive, etc. (if they exist).
If you sell to businesses, be sure to include the emotional benefits to the buyer/ decision maker in addition to the more specific benefits realized by the company (a good buy or product implementation can be the road to promotion or status within an organization). You’re looking for several true benefits, not simply features.
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