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Gaining a Favorable Start to Your Professional Selling Presentation!

Knowing how to gain a positive, favorable start in the selling cycle is critical for maximizing time and increasing sales volume. Sales professionals (aka - customer service, loan officers, recruiters, relationship managers, etc.) must understand the difference between a “professional visitor” and a “professional salesperson.”

The Attention step in selling is analogous to taking time to establish a solid foundation upon which to build a home. However you go about establishing rapport and building a relationship of trust, you are in essence gaining the prospect’s or customer’s favorable Attention.

Unfortunately, many sales professionals have not thought much about the power that effective Attention-Getting plays in the overall sales process. Others fall into a routine sales opener that may not always work. The objective of Attention-Getting is the same for your emails, letters, presentations, voice mail messages, etc., not just the live face-to-face interaction. Here are eight effective ways to gain immediate, favorable, and undistracted attention:

  • Shocking Statement: Start with a shocking statement that will grab attention.

  • Handshake with Meaning: Shake the other person’s hand, solicit her name, and repeat it twice before letting go of her hand.

  • Offer Something: a gesture, gift, assistance, rebate, coupon, or information that will be valued by the receiver.

  • Compliment: Pay a sincere compliment; it could be something about clothing or accessories, conduct, reputation, accomplishment, or standing in the group.

  • Know people by Name: Use names early and often to establish rapport and make customers feel comfortable with you.

  • Inquire: Start with a positive question.

  • Needs Analysis: Offer a needs analysis or your observations of a correctable problem.

  • Give a Gift: Offer something of value from your organization as a gesture of welcome.

Another powerful Attention-getting conversational starter is to ask a Question Bearing upon a Need (known as a QBN). In order to use this technique effectively, the sales professional must have working knowledge of what you represent, understand the five selling steps, and know the typical customer served by the organization and what the usual needs are.

A QBN is a positively framed question that is tied to a statement and is designed to solicit agreement from the prospect to continue with the sales dialogue. The architecture of a QBN is this:

“If there were a way to ____________ [Insert the perceived BENEFIT of the customer.], would that be of interest to you?

The reason I ask is that ____________ [Insert your FEATURE/FACT solution to the perceived need.] Perhaps we can do the same for you. In order to determine if we can, may I ask you a few questions?”

A completed QBN might sound like this:

“If there were a way to increase the effectiveness of your sales team, would that be of interest to you?

“The reason I ask is that we have developed a selling system and training program that has significantly helped thousands of organizations to increase their sales effectiveness and overall profitability. Perhaps we could do the same for you. To determine if we can do so, may I ask you some additional questions?” (The last question takes you directly into step two of the selling process, with the customer’s permission and undivided Attention.)

If properly set up, this Attention-getter can pull the prospect or customer into your dialogue quickly and allow you to move to step two of the selling process.

Whether you use a SHOCKING opening statement or a QBN, the objective is to determine whether your prospect or customer has an interest in continuing the selling dialogue. Gaining someone’s Attention serves as the attraction phase to selling.

"If you are looking to master the sales process to propel your career or your company forward, We have several great programs for you!"