Getting Their Attention without a Smack in the Head

If you haven’t learned this yet as a sales representative and business professional, you will very very soon.
You need to get a prospect’s attention in order to initiate a sale (a booking, a referral, anything).
In fact, in today’s world where everyone is bombarded with so much from everywhere, how you open a sales call is more vital than packing it full of content and it is more important than the close.

So, it doesn’t matter if you are the most knowledgeable, most fun, most professional,  have the best products, etc. That stuff matters WHEN you get someone’s attention.

There are 5 ways to get their attention, but don’t take my word for it. I found them by reading a great  article from Larry Prevost at Manta.

1. Use a compliment.  People love to hear compliments, and they appreciate the fact that you noticed a certain fact about their accomplishments.  Give them a sincere compliment and, in their minds, you will become extremely significant, not to mention extremely perceptive and intelligent.

2. Ask a question.  Asking a question of your prospect immediately turns their attention to finding an answer.  Make the question relevant to a common challenge in their world. And please refrain from asking trite questions: “Do you want to add more romance in your life? Or, “Do you need to make more money”  They will probably want to hang up a second later.

3. Use a referral.  Using a referral is a transference of credibility.  Basically, if you are trying to get someone’s attention and they respect the person (or institution, website, social site, etc) then you can get their credibility and gain respect.  If you are with someone and asking for a referral, be sure to ask they know them or  about the relationship so you can reference that.
4. Educate.  Opening with a statement that provides information is establishing value.  You are showing that you know what you’re talking about and that you are a valued professional in the business.

5. A startling statement. This type of opening can be an analogy, a statistic or a little recognized fact that reaches out and grabs your prospect attention by changing their perspective.  Again, make sure that the statement is relevant to your business or what you are trying to sell//book/recruit, etc.

I think #5 is critical. If you’re stumped and need a good source for finding attention getting statements, look no further than your junk folder in your email inbox!!!  The subject lines are key-make them relevant to your business or purpose.  Another is to look at the some the junk mail in your mail box–the copywriters use text on the front of the envelope to get your attention and open it up.  Then the copy on the inside has to be engaging enough to capture and hold your attention. These techniques are invaluable in any business, if you are aware of them and use them!

The next time you actually open one of the Publisher’s Clearing House envelopes or any other piece of junk envelope in your mail box, ask yourself “What made me want to open this?”
Then ask yourself what attention getting method, phrase, comment, picture, opening line can you use in your efforts?

See…there is a use for all the junk mail and email you get after all…

Where credit is due on this article and invaluable tips: Larry Prevost is an instructor and an IT consultant for Dale Carnegie Training of Ohio and Indiana.   Take the time to read his entire article posted on Manta

Subject lines, opening statements, engaging voice messages, text on envelopes. You probably know your sales pitch down to the ‘t’. Get their attention first!