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How to sell like a pro in six minutes

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Too many salespeople dance around the table too much. In other words, they don’t get right to the main point at hand. They talk about nonsense like the weather, or sports, or whatever they want to discuss, that basically just wastes time and really does not build any true relationships at all.

What made me think of this idea was something I used about 30 years ago and it worked really well then. It has to work even better now since our attention spans have become the same as a Cocker Spaniel puppy, which means we do not have any attention for anything any longer.

I had a small glass and wood egg timer that was about an inch to two inches tall. When I was in someone’s office, whether it was a cold call or even an appointment, I told them that by the time the sand runs out (which is six minutes) I will be done with my sales call.

Sometimes, I even said that on the phone so I could prove it to them when I was in their office on the appointment. Really, think about it–who does not have six minutes in their day to hear something?

My approach was simple, straight to the point and very, very honest. For example, on the phone, I might have said three sentences which were as follows: “Hello, my name is Hal Becker and I work for (fill in company here) and I would like to meet you for no more than six minutes.

“When the six minutes is up (and you can time me), either you will be interested or worst case, you will have learned something new!

“I will not take more than the time I am asking for.”

When I sat down in their office I pulled out my little egg timer and said: “Now I would like to ask you three simple questions, and when the sand runs down I will leave as I mentioned to you on the phone.”

  1. Are you familiar with our company; if yes, what are you familiar with, and if no, why not?
  2. Tell me what you like and maybe even dislike about your present supplier or vendor?
  3. If you were to realize that doing business with us would be more beneficial to you and you wondered “Geeze, why didn’t I switch to this company in the past,” would you at least consider looking at us?

That should take about six minutes, and then I will excuse myself and say thanks for the time, and could I call you to follow up? The person behind the desk will be floored, since I kept my promise. Think about it, if they are interested, they will want to meet me again, and now they can trust me since I kept my promise to the “six minute deal.”

Try it, naturally using your own words, style and whatever questions that you want to ask, as long as it gets the other person to talk about themselves and their company rather than you going over your presentation and just non-stop talking.

Oh yeah, you can always schmooze or talk about the weather or sports after you get a true relationship about business established.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service and the author of two best-selling books “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” He is the closing keynote speaker at this year’s Senior Market Advisor Expo in Las Vegas.