Two major changes have occurred over the last 12 – 15 years and if you don’t adjust to them, you’ll soon become a dinosaur. These shifts have slowly crept up on us and have made it much harder to get the time and attention we need from our target prospects.
In this short article we will examine these challenges and we’ll offer some tangible solutions, in fact, a 19-Minute solution, for you to apply.
When I first began my outside sales career in 1979 it seemed prospects had more time to meet. For me, one out of three approaches would result in a presentation. In the 1980s I noticed prospects becoming harder to pin down. They asked more questions up front—wanted more information before committing to a face-to-face meeting. As the 1980s came to a close it was taking me six or more attempts before I secured just one decision maker appointment.
The later 1990s and early 2000s heralded in the information age. A vast amount of knowledge became readily available. This made it easier for consumers and decision makers to learn about the products and services they had interest in. The digital revolution eventually put everything at our fingertips. As a result, prospects have stopped perceiving a need to jibber jabber—spend time—with a salesperson. They’d rather not have their schedule interrupted. They know they can do a quick Google search, and then make some initial determinations regarding their level of interest. In this increasingly noisy world, our busy prospects seem to value their time differently than they did way back when. As a result, you now may have to make 12 – 15 approaches to get the 1 appointment that used to take me only 3 attempts to get back in 1979.
Prospects don’t want to WASTE time with a long-winded salesperson when they perceive they can get the SAME information faster and more conveniently online!
So, the first shift that you need to be cognizant of has to do with TIME and INFORMATION—the way your target prospect values both—and their perception of your worth as a salesperson when they believe similar information is available online.
Think about it…you do this too. You see an advertisement for something or a salesperson calls on you. You don’t immediately summons a salesperson out to see you—give you a lengthy presentation.
…why would you waste time doing that when the answers you think you want and need are right in your pocket or your purse?
Instead of disrupting your calendar, you simply tap on your mobile device, bring up the company or product you’re curious about and quickly obtain the information you think you need or want. This tactic sure as heck beats the other option…having to deal with a gabby salesperson that’s going to be hard to get rid of.
In addition to the volume of credible information that’s readily available to our prospects and the increased value they’ve placed on their time, there’s another challenge we must recognize and navigate around…
…short attention spans!
In today’s sound-bite world, people (especially Millennials) aren’t bothering to develop their ability to focus or concentrate. Your average prospect has a gnat-like attention span, which means that you must compress the core of your initial message down to a matter of only a few seconds to get their attention. Then, when you have a small piece of their attention you better convince them of the following…
…you can deliver exclusive information to them—proprietary solutions—and you can do this using less than 20 minutes of their valuable time.
I have been preaching this for some time—this 19-minute presentation thing.
It just always sounded good to me…19 minutes. It doesn’t sound like a major commitment—a major disruption of a person’s day or schedule. Think about it…if you have even a small amount of interest in a product or program and the salesperson seems to have some unique information about it, and you believe that he or she can enlighten you in less than 20 minutes, you’d probably bite.
Here’s the trick…
You develop and perfect the front-talk that convinces prospects that you have something of real and unique value for them (something they can’t learn online) and you can deliver the message to them succinctly. (In under 20 minutes)
If you are successful in accomplishing this, your odds of getting an appointment go up exponentially!
Because your prospect doesn’t have the time to meet with just another salesperson, buy they may give you their time and attention if they think you can offer them information they can’t easily find online. In addition, I can almost guarantee you they will give you their time and attention if they believe you can become a thought partner for them!
Take a quick read on the archived blog below if you want to increase your appointment conversion ratios:
So, in this crowded and noisy environment, this world where information about what you are selling is readily available and your prospect is guarding their time, you’ve got to do two critical things:
- Persuade them you have valuable, unique or proprietary information that can’t necessarily be accessed online, and…
- …you can deliver it to them succinctly and quickly!
We certainly urge all of our CAP Equation sales coaching clients to design their sales presentations to speak to the 5 Buying Decisions and practice the 10 Presentation Elements. CLICK on the link below to access all of our free resources: GO HERE: http://www.thecapequation.com/access/
However, following the path of the 5 Buying Decisions and building a presentation around the 10 Presentation Elements doesn’t mean you shouldn’t design an efficient client presentation that you can deliver in 19 minutes.
To help your prospects focus on your presentation and to help yourself stay on track, state your objectives prior to beginning your presentation. Limit your objectives to just three. For example, you might preface your face-to-face presentational with the following front-talk:
Today I would like to do three things.
First, I’d like to better understand your business.
Second, I would like to provide potential solutions that I believe you’ll find beneficial for your situation.
And finally, if you see value in these solutions, I’d like to discuss the action steps required to help you benefit from them as soon as possible.
Map out your opening statement(s) and question(s) then add the points you’d like to make along with a few assumptive or trial closing questions. Then, I want you to practice, drill, and rehearse your presentation so that you can get through the nitty-gritty in just 19 minutes.
The reason I want you to get it down under 20 minutes is so that you can tell your prospect that you’ll “explain unique solutions to them,” or be able to pass on “valuable, proprietary information,” that will “better their present reality,” and you’ll do it in UNDER 20 minutes.
I want you to be able to tell your prospect this and not be fibbing!
Now…you have to be able to deliver on this promise, and when you do, they will usually and happily grant you additional time. On the other hand, if you go past 19 minutes and you haven’t engaged them and have not established genuine interest in one or more of your solutions, you‘ll notice your prospect’s mind wandering and their eyelids drooping. Besides helping to keep your prospect awake, brevity and conciseness demonstrates concern for their valuable time.
This 19-minute drill may challenge you if your products, services or programs are more complicated or complex. In that event, you may want to get some key benefits, features or possible solutions on the table during the first 19 minutes and then plan for a summary or question-and-answer period. Letting your potential client become actively engaged will increase the level of concentration they give you.
In summary, in today’s market you must develop the ability to convince your prospect that you can deliver information of value to them (information they can’t get elsewhere) and you can do it in UNDER 20 minutes.
I can assure you that, in this crazy/busy world, they aren’t going to agree to just meet with you to kill time and they won’t sit there for an hour listening to a pitch they have no interest in.
People focusing on your products, paying attention should be worth its weight in gold to you. A premium should be placed on this. It is definitely becoming more and more difficult to get a prospect’s time and attention, but if you can develop and perfect a 19-minute presentation and deliver it well, you’re going to be in great shape and you are going to thrive while others fail!
Oh…and if you’d like to listen to a Podcast on this subject, please go to the link below and steam it.
GO HERE for the: Podcast – 2 Major Shifts – The 19-Minute Solution
If you haven’t had a chance to read my book, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales, please click on the link below. It’s now available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CdFi2t
The CAP Equation© website offers free resources for commission salespeople and sales leaders. Please click on the link below for free instant access: http://www.theCAPequation.com/access/
Did you know…
Joe Buzzello’s BRAND NEW NOVEL was just released? You can go look at it here and read the first two chapters FREE!:
Or…you can click on this link and order it on Amazon: Drawing Circles
Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com