In a previous post, we introduced the concept of the Impact Statement and using that tool to focus the opening of your sales call. Remember, as stated before, no one is sitting by the phone waiting for your unsolicited call, and sometimes, not even your scheduled phone call. People are busy. They have things that they need to get done, especially if they are in any kind of decision making capacity. So once you break their preoccupation and get their attention, you have to build their interest. And for that you need an effective Impact Statement to tell your story.
What is the Impact Statement?
In its most basic form, the Impact Statement is an elevator pitch. You’re trying to get across very succinctly the primary benefits of doing business with you. Salespeople often fail on this point. Without a solid Impact Statement, your average salesperson will meet a prospect with a laundry list of what their company does without making any connection with the buyer. In short, they spray and pray.
The Impact Statement should be a thirty-to-forty-five-second commercial. And like a commercial, the Impact Statement should speak the buyer’s language, not yours. It needs to tap into the buyer’s mind-set, address their needs, and create opportunities.
What is the Basic Framework of the Statement?
There are 4 basic components of your Impact Statement that, when melded together, will deliver an impactful message that will generate interest from your client. Here are those components:
- Provide the general benefits you bring to the table. This is where you give a general challenge your other customers in your prospect’s industry have faced in the past, and a solution to that challenge.
- Give a brief overview of how you work or provide an example. Here is where you provide a brief synopsis of how you work, how your product or service has provided the general benefits for your other customers. This part gives your statement credibility.
- Suggest similar benefits are possible for them. This part pulls back and adds a sense of realism to the statement. In an earlier post, I recounted how my team of new salespeople, fresh out of college, were calling their prospect base and promising to deliver 10 to 40% increases in revenue when they knew nothing about the prospect’s business. You can’t make promises like that. But you can imply a correlation with a statement like, “We’ve done this for our clients. We might be able to do the same for you.” That’s not a claim. It’s a potential opportunity for the prospect.
- Trial close – Get an appointment or advance the sale. Usually, this last component is the trial close. You’re asking the prospect if they are willing to walk through this discovery process with you. You’re asking them to take the next step.
What Does a Good Impact Statement Look Like?
Remember my encounter with the financial advisor, Doug? He might say something like:
“You know, if you’re like a lot of the folks we work with, you’re probably looking to sustain your lifestyle over a period of time, get your best return, create an income even as you sleep, ensure the success or legacy of your family. We help our clientele do that by getting a clear understanding of where they are and where they’re going. And we also design and build options for them to execute that long-term plan and, ultimately, we measure results. We might be able to do the same for you. Would you mind if I ask you some questions about your financial situation?”
Do you see the four components in this example? Using something like the above Impact Statement, a financial advisor can communicate a succinct message in a predictable way. They aren’t talking about their financial services business. But they are talking about what their financial services business does for people like their clients.
What Situations Are Best For The Impact Statement?
The Impact Statement can be used in all sorts of scenarios where a salesperson is trying to get the prospect to be more receptive. It will do two things. First, it will qualify the prospect to see if they’re a good fit for the salesperson’s services. Secondly, it will qualify the salesperson in the prospect’s eyes. Remember, they are also judging how the salesperson builds rapport, trust, and understanding of the prospect.
Here are some examples of where you can use an effective Impact Statement to generate some initial interest:
- Business Development to set appointments.
- Face-to-face meetings.
- Social Selling situations.
- Networking events.
One of the drills that we work on with the salespeople we train is: “Can you tell a prospect or a prospective buyer what you do in less than thirty seconds?”
Here’s another example. If I were selling accounting software like QuickBooks and I get an entrepreneur on the phone, I might say something like the following to get an appointment with them:
“Look, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, you’re probably concerned with money in, money out, accounts out the door, and taking care of all the taxes and things you’re responsible for as a business. We’re able to help businesses like yours because we have an understanding of what they’re trying to do, what kind of business they’re in. We have a couple different versions of software that are less complicated for different kinds of businesses, and then we teach you how to use it so it becomes part of your system. I’m not sure we can do the same thing for you. Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions, or would you be willing to meet over a cup of coffee?”
A Fantastic Opening is the Basis for Powerful Sales Calls
Remember, when opening your sales call, you’ve got to be able to speak with impact and credibility. You put in plenty of work to break your prospect’s preoccupation and win their attention. Don’t waste it with a lukewarm effort to get their interest or use the time in a fishing expedition. Instead, know how you are going to work with this prospect to cultivate interest. Your goal is to reach the point where they want to know more when you arrive at the trial close.
So, I leave you with this action to take. Before talking with your next prospect, create your own Impact Statement by answering this question: what can I say about my business that answers what I do, how I do it, and why it would be important to them?
Once you have your Impact Statement, you have to present it in a compelling way. Be sure to download our digital publication, Basics of Dynamic Sales Presentations, here and give yourself a tactical advantage when opening your sales call.