High-Performance Sales Teams Make the First 7 Seconds Count
In the early 1990s, I remember being so excited when pay-per-view had on a Mike Tyson boxing match. It didn’t matter who it was, Iron Mike’s opponent was going to get their ass kicked, usually in the first round. The hype and excitement lasted for weeks, then it was over before it began.
When you think about it, every single sale starts like a Mike Tyson boxing match. What you do in the first 7 seconds determines whether you can last the next minute, or the next round. We only have 7 seconds to get favorable attention from our prospect—and 7 seconds goes a lot quicker than you’d think. By the time we’ve led with our name, company, and “how are you?”, 7 seconds is long gone. And we haven’t really created any value or differentiated ourselves.
If we lead with our own name and company, we likely haven’t caught someone’s attention as effectively as we could by catching them off guard by:
- Asking a question to verify their name
- Educating them on something that would be important to them, not us
- Using some of the information we have about them to get them to open up
- Appealing to their humanity by asking for help
High-performing sales teams know that prospects are deciding in a nano-second if we’re worth their time, so 7 seconds is all we have to get lucky. So why not, for example, lead off with the sweetest sound in any language: someone’s name. Think about it. Using someone’s name is at the root of connecting with them. They feel known, respected, identified.
The goal is to just keep making it to the next round. But if you can’t get through those first 7 seconds, you’re going to get your ask kicked.
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