Nothing is more important to prospecting (other than actually doing it) than the quality of your opening statement.
In person or on the phone, windows of attention usually close in less than 10 seconds. This means you need to maximize the impact of every word, syllable, and pause in your opening statements. They have to be works of art – convincing in the extreme. Minimizing the importance of preparing a solid opening statement is potentially bypassing your sales efforts.
Fortunately, opening statements can be prepared and practiced before a sales opportunity is sought. Below are some guidelines and thoughts for creating your opening statement (s), as well as some examples that you can rework in your particular sales world.
Keep in mind that the people you are trying to reach are likely to be approached by many other people every day as well (your competition and not). A powerful, compelling, and practiced opening statement can open up a lot of sales opportunities for you, where a competitor’s lack of preparation can leave them standing still.
”But nothing the copy said could convince her and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious Copy Writers ambushed herRobert JohnsonThemeNectar
Your opening statement
Objective: generate immediate interest in further discussion – engage the prospect (make sure you are working with the pen on the paper or your fingers on the keyboard)
What am I selling?
Respond using as few words as possible. Avoid words or phrases that mean nothing to outsiders (e.g. industry acronyms, fuzzy corporate communication language, etc.).
What are the benefits to my customers when they purchase my product / service?
If you are selling to consumers, include the potential additional emotional benefits of being liked, respected, more attractive, etc. (if they exist).
If you are selling to businesses, be sure to include the emotional benefits for the buyer / decision maker in addition to the more specific benefits realized by the business (a good buy or product implementation may be the path to promotion or status within an organization). You are looking for several real benefits, not just functionality.
Construct multiple opening statements for the different scenarios you might be faced with (for example, catching a decision maker without a screen or guard, catching a decision maker ‘walking out of the door’, delivering the opening statement to an examiner or a guard who insists on knowing “what does it refer to?”, for voicemail, etc.).
Address each of the following in the order you feel is most appropriate for your particular sales world (just make sure the benefit to your prospect is mentioned within the first 10 seconds and it’s real … not fluffy).
Who are you?
Who you are with (company name)
What you are selling (in very simple terms)
How your prospect will benefit from your product or service
A question to gauge the prospect’s interest
Opening statements are not meant to shut down a lead (they are meant to grab attention and engage someone).
Maximize every word, syllable and pause.
Never leave a misleading or vague voicemail message – hit it with your opening full and prepared (it should be short enough). If it was worth dialing the phone number, it’s worth leaving your opening statement. You won’t trick someone into buying something because you “caught” them.
Never use industrial jargon or unnecessary thousand dollar words.
Avoid being vague.
Examples of opening statements
Hi, [first name]. We provide [a product / service] to help people [benefit, minimize, maximize, prevent, etc.] [something important]… I am calling to see if this can be of use to [you / and your customers] .
Hi, [first name]. This is [sales name] with [company name]. We provide [products / services] to help businesses minimize expenses [whatever] and maximize monthly revenue. I’m calling to see if this could be helpful for you and your team.
Hi, [first name]. [sales name] with [company name]… We help companies take full advantage of their existing resources through our [product / service] which [has / a / has some point or characteristic of differentiation]… J ‘call to see if you are interested in discussing how it might help your [whatever] efforts / initiatives…
Hi, [first name]. [sales name], [company name]. We deliver [product / service] that could save you more than [specific percentage] on your [what] expenses. Would you be interested in discussing how it might fit into your environment?