How to Make a Powerful Sales Opening Using the Sales Impact Statement
Updated: May 30
Build a Strong Foundation for Opening Your Sales Call With the Sales Impact Statement
In a previous post, we introduced the concept of the sales impact statement and on using that tool to focus the opening of your sales call. Remember, no one is sitting by the phone waiting for your unsolicited call. And sometimes, they aren't even waiting for your scheduled phone call. People are busy. They have things they need to get done, especially if they are decision makers. So, once you break their preoccupation, you must work to get their attention and start building their interest. And for that you need an effective impact statement to tell your story.
What is the Sales Impact Statement?
In its most basic form, the sales impact statement is an elevator pitch. It is a brief, structured statement customized to the buyer in question. It’s designed to overcome the natural preoccupation and elicit some interest on the part of the buyer. In this statement, you are highlighting the primary benefits of doing business with you as succinctly as possible. Upon opening the sales call, you’ve already earned their attention using a sales starter. Now, you are attempting to break through the buyer's preoccupation by eliciting interest from them.
Salespeople often fail at this point because they don’t have a solid framework for directing the sales call. Instead, your average salesperson will meet a prospect with nothing more than a laundry list of what their company, product, or service does and hope that name recognition or prior knowledge on the part of the prospect will be enough to win them over. These salespeople have to work harder at becoming trusted advisors because they fail to connect with the buyer at an emotional level and start building trust. They employ what I call the spray and pray strategy, and that never works.
The impact statement is analogous to a thirty-to-forty-five-second commercial on television. 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.
Ultimately, how you use your sales impact statement in your sales process will be determined by your sales methodology. With that, let's take a look at the basic framework of the impact statement.
How to Create the Sales Impact Statement
There are 4 basic parts of your impact statement that, when combined, will deliver an impactful message and elicit interest from your client. Here are the 4 components of the sales impact statement:
Provide the general benefits you bring to the relationship. This is the stage where you state a general challenge your other customers in your prospect’s industry have faced in the past, and a solution that resolves the challenge..
Give a brief overview of how you work or provide an example. This is where you provide a brief synopsis of how you work. Remember, you are selling yourself at this introductory stage. This goes a long way to starting your journey towards becoming a trusted advisor. You also provide a brief synopsis of how your product or service has provided the general benefits for your other customers. This component 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 wrote of how my team of new sales professionals, fresh out of college, were calling their prospect base and promising to deliver a 10% to 40% increase in revenue when they knew nothing about the prospect’s business. You can’t make promises like that. But you can imply a correlation by using 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 your prospect.
Use the trial close to get an appointment or advance the sale. Usually, the last component is the trial close. You’re asking the prospect if they are willing to walk through the discovery process with you. You're asking them to take the next step.
What is an Example of a Good Sales Impact Statement?
Remember my encounter with the financial advisor, Doug? Here’s an impact statement example he might use in his sales process:
“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. Also, we 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.
Where Does the Sales Impact Statement Fit in the Sales Process?
The impact statement can be used in all sorts of scenarios at the beginning of the sales process where salespeople are trying to get their prospects to be more receptive. It will do a couple of things. First, it will qualify the prospect to see if they are a good fit for the salesperson’s products and services. Secondly, it will qualify the salesperson in the prospect’s eyes. Remember, the prospect is also judging how the salesperson builds rapport, trust, and understanding of the prospect and their situation.
Here are some examples of where flexible sales professionals can use an effective sales impact statement to generate initial interest:
Business Development to set appointments.
Face-to-face meetings and introductions.
Social Selling situations.
One of the drills we work on in our sales training sessions with corporate sales teams is: “Can you tell a decision maker or a prospective buyer what you do in less than thirty seconds?” We pose this question to the teams. And then we let them go to work in small groups to develop their impact statements and address prospective buyers in their company’s primary industry of service.
Here’s another impact statement 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 owner. We’re able to help businesses like yours because we understand what they are trying to do and the kind of business they are in. We have a couple different versions of software that are less complicated for different kinds of businesses, and then we teach them how to use the software, so it becomes part of their process. 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 a sales call, sales professionals have got to be able to speak with impact and credibility. Look at it this way. You put in plenty of work to research your prospect and break that 7-second barrier to form a good impression. Don’t waste it with a lukewarm effort to break through their preoccupation, elicit their interest, or use the time in a fishing expedition. Instead, know how you are going to work with this prospect to cultivate their interest and build your credibility. Your goal is to reach the point where they want to know more when you reach the trial close.
So, I leave you with this action to take. Before talking with your next prospect, create your own sales 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 learned how to create and use the sales impact statement, you must present it in a compelling way before you are on your way to successful sales. Be sure to download our digital publication, Persuasive Sales Presentations here and give yourself a tactical advantage when opening your sales call.