You have…After a bigger misstep…

You have…my attention

As the saying goes, if it was easy anybody could do it. That certainly applies to our profession since it requires such a wide array of skills to succeed. And while being only just “dangerous” at a few of those can still allow for success, there’re a few where nothing less than real mastery of them will do.

First among those is our skill at the sales task. And perhaps the place where that is most dramatically at play is successfully completing its’ first step: Earning the prospects’ favorable attention.

By definition that involves making a short statement or asking a question that can result in the prospect thinking, “If I hear him out, I might just benefit”.

That small seed of self-interest is the key that can make or break a sales attempt. If it’s sufficiently tantalizing – and importantly ties directly to your intended presentation, chances are very good that call will end well – or at a minimum begin on a positive note.

The rules of that favorable attention getting opening are simple. First it needs to be short. No more than twenty seconds or so. Then it must foretell a benefit that will very likely be of real interest. And finally that idea has to clearly link to what you will say early on in your presentation.

Next up: He who speaks first…

After a bigger misstep

So you took a shot at landing the warewashing or laundry business and struck out. Your solid approach, for good or bad, was pretty much dead on arrival. So now you have two options: Either smile graciously and slink away – or you can pivot. Do that and perhaps you’ll turn that failed cold call into a toehold in great new account.

It’s where you could say something like, “I realize it’s a big decision to make the change –especially when you really don’t know me very well, or for that matter if I can really deliver what I’ve proposed.” So, how about starting small and work from there. I’d like to take a quick look at your operation to see where I might be able to offer you a way to make life easier and maybe save you a few dollars. Does that sound fair enough?”

Now zero in on that not so clean and maybe slippery quarry tile or that nasty oven, finger printed stainless, or any number of possibilities. Assuming you get that small win, use it to demonstrate just how willing and able you are to fulfill your promises of outstanding service, training and products that really deliver.

Do those things and later that major decision can look a lot less daunting to the buyer. And for your part, you’ve perhaps learned a lesson in a new (or better?) way to open a new account.