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  • Writer's pictureLance Tyson

How to Use a Sales Starter to Quickly Secure Your Prospect’s Attention

Updated: May 30, 2023

Use a sales starter to get your buyer's attention quickly

Use a Sales Starter to Get Your Prospect's Attention Opening a sales call to get your prospect's attention is no different than introducing yourself to someone of interest in your personal life.  Both situations require authenticity, interest, and relevance. Beginning the conversation hinges on a good sales starter – something that captures your prospect's attention favorably. To make this happen, you can compliment a prospect on an achievement or positive quality. You can highlight a referral. Also, you can leverage statements that educate or even startle your prospect to capture your prospect’s attention. And you can ask questions to guide your prospect's attention.  Getting a two-way conversation going is crucial, and questions are a great way to do it. Consider this example I experienced firsthand. I was at a meeting with a VP at Comcast with one of my new hires, Ellen Valudes. Now, sometimes pleasantries can get out of hand and take over a meeting. But when Ellen couldn't find her opportunity to bridge out of the pleasantries, she made one.  She said, "Did you know your salespeople are stealing from you?" You can find more ideas for Sales Starters in Lance Tyson's latest book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World. Order it from Amazon, today.I looked over at her, jaw wide open, not knowing what to say. After a dramatic pause to let that statement fully sink in, she continued. "Every time they go into a sales call without a plan and a process, they steal time from the prospect, and from Comcast." Ellen had both me and the VP at hello. She went on: "Our meeting today is going to focus on ideas of how Comcast salespeople can leverage a predictable process to grow sales." In that short period of time, Ellen not only captured the VP’s attention, she also generated a ton of interest!

Get Your Prospect's Attention by Leveraging the Importance of Time Here’s another tactic you can use as a sales starter when opening your sales call. Understanding your prospect's anticipated and desired time allotment can be critical to delivering your impact statement and using the time efficiently.  An effective approach the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns use when meeting a potential partner in person is asking a question pertaining to time. They'll say something like, "How much time is too much to talk today?" And the prospect will respond, "Jeez, I've got about thirty minutes." Now, the prospect has a sense that this is going to be a two-way conversation and that their time will be respected. We use Sales Starters as a question bearing on time (QBOT) in a layered attack. So, if I ask a prospect, “How much time is too much time today?”

  1. There is a feeling by the prospect that they have control of the meeting.

  2. I'm asking about their time, so I've tailored the starter to them.

  3. It’s a trial close. They’re telling me how I should facilitate the meeting and the allotment of resources I get. They say you have less than 7 seconds to make an impression and hook someone’s attention. This is especially true in a public speaking setting or delivering a sales presentation.  When you acknowledge the importance of your prospect’s time, and are prepared with an attention-getting statement, you establish quickly that you are there for the prospect. And you are ready to provide important information that will impact their business. You’ll find additional tactics and strategies for conducting your sales calls in Lance Tyson's book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World. Get your copy today!

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