In an earlier post, I cited an example where a member of my sales crew had unsuccessfully tried a few times to engage a prospect during her sales opening. Yet when she asked a question that cut to the heart of her contact’s problem, her sales starter got her contact’s attention. And it earned her a meeting!
Here’s a sales coaching tip: the more generic your sales starter, the less engaged your contact will be and the less effective your sales opening will be.
Instead, customize your sales opening specific to the contact and to their business or industry. Jessica was successful when she created her opening to address her contact’s challenges down to a personal and career-impacting level.To make that happen, Jessica had to do some research on her contact. She had to know something about her contact’s business, and the challenges her contact faced on a regular basis.
Mind you, these aren’t cold contacts. These are people in companies where you think you have a decent shot at driving some business. These are people who have already raised their hand and have in some way indicated that they are in the market for what you are selling. So take a little time to do some discovery work on these people.
Sales Training Exercise – Sales Starter Assignment
Here’s your assignment for the week. During your lunch break today, write down the top five industries that you serve. Then, for each industry, write down five companies that you are looking to break into or are looking to upsell.
Then, when you are back in the office, write down three contacts that are in a position to make a decision for each of the companies you have listed. Now, for each of those three contacts, write down:
- Their name
- A compliment on one of their accomplishments
- A startling statement or statistic about their industry that ties into the solution you provide
The information here is easy enough to find on Linkedin, your CRM, and their social media streams and blog posts. You don’t have to go overboard and discover every detail about their lives. But you do have to show them that you are seriously interested in their business.
Now, you have some options in creating your sales starter before you perform that follow-up call. And your sales starter will be more effective at grabbing your prospect’s attention because it leverages an issue, concern, or idea that already has their attention.
Remember, no one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care. So, do like Jessica. Use a sales starter that shows your prospect immediately that you have their best interest at heart. Your sales opening will seize your prospect’s attention every time.