We all do it — react to something automatically. We respond to a question or situation without thinking, in a very predictable way. Somehow we have to find a way to get above the sales noise of others.
When you use ineffective or self-centered sales approaches, even the best solution sellers may provoke such a knee-jerk reaction—not at all what you want to happen. Solution selling training experts know that you do not want buyers to consciously or unconsciously tune you out and stop listening. On the contrary, you want to engage your prospect in a two-way conversation that entices them to want to learn more about what you have to offer that differentiates you from the competition.
You want your target clients to be open to you and your offering. Not to shut down and close you off. You need to get above the sales noise.
Sometimes our brains work on autopilot. When in a stressful or annoying situation like an incoming sales call, our brains look for an escape route. They look for clues on the most likely scenario and react as they have in the past. For example, think about the latest robo call you picked up by mistake which began with, “How are you today?” You immediately go on alert as you identify the caller as a telemarketer. What do you do? You shut down and exit as soon as possible.
Business sales training experts know that salespeople who begin their call with such standard phrases as, “We’ve worked with companies in your industry” or “We’ve helped companies like yours increase ____________ by __%” risk similar reactions to the robo call above. What can you do instead? Change your approach. Don’t sound like what the buyer expects.
Our microlearning experts point to researchers at Duke University and Penn State who found that when you can open the sales call with an unexpected statement, potential buyers recalled 17% more of what followed. Even subtle changes in the words you use in your opening can be enough to squelch the knee-jerk reaction, get above the sales noise, and get the customer’s attention.
Some Examples of Unexpected Approaches
The following suggestions don’t represent a change in your introductory sales message, just a shift in language and delivery. Try these:
- Greet with “I hope you’re well today.”
- Follow up with, “We’ve worked with one of your main competitors” to jog the customer into thinking that you know their company and their competition.
- Or how about, “We succeeded in growing their sales significantly but don’t know whether we can do the same for you.“
- For a hoped for meeting, try “I don’t want to take up your time unless we can determine a priority that my team can address.”
The Bottom Line
To create more open sales prospects, get creative with your opening message. See how many more ways you can differentiate yourself from all those other salespeople out there and get above the sales noise.
To learn more about how to have more effective sales calls, download Is Your Unique Value Proposition Unique Enough?