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Stand Out in 30 Seconds or Less

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In recent months, I have worked with a variety of companies and I have been dismayed to find that their salespeople always start their sales meetings, appointments and presentations with a corporate monologue. They discuss “who we are,” “what we do” and “who we serve.”

They talk about the awards they have won, the clients they have worked with, how long they have been in business and other self-serving propaganda. Contrary to popular belief, this approach is not effective.

Here are a few points to remember:

  • Prospects don’t really care about you or your company.
  • Decision-makers don’t care about the awards you have won.
  • Most people don’t care what other companies you have worked with.

Here is a more effective approach: Open your presentation by discussing your understanding of your prospects’ situation, goals and objectives. Even if you have done your due diligence prior to your meeting and know some of your prospects’ key pain points or potential problems, it is much more effective to review those concerns before you launch into your solution. Here’s why:

  • Things change. Reviewing your prospects’ key issues before you jump into a presentation ensures that the information you were initially given is still valid and relevant. If your prospects’ situation has changed, you can modify your approach accordingly.
  • New people may be present. It’s not uncommon for people who were not involved in the initial discovery conversation to be present at a sales presentation. Starting your presentation with an overview of their situation, goals and objectives brings these individuals up to speed and gives them the opportunity to add their perspective.
  • It changes the dynamic. Rather than launching into a sales pitch, this approach encourages a two-way dialogue and exchange of information.
  • It captures their attention. Most buyers and decision makers are used to passive, one-way sales presentations. And most of them are busy, which means they may be distracted. This approach captures their attention and makes them more likely to pay attention to the entire presentation.

Research has shown that you have 30 seconds or less to make a great first impression. Don’t waste it by talking about your company, its awards or anything else that is not important to your prospects. Use those critical moments to make a great impression and to connect with them instead.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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