Let’s face it: Salespeople don’t always get the respect they deserve. And sometimes, they don’t deserve any respect (for instance, when they deliberately mislead prospects in order to get them on the phone or to schedule a face-to-face meeting).

However, assuming this is not your approach and you are meeting with new prospects for the first time, here’s a surefire way to not only capture their attention but instantly earn their respect: Place your watch (or other time-keeping device) on the table in front of you. Then say something such as “Mike, I know your time is valuable and I don’t want to overstay my welcome. Can you still devote 30 minutes to this meeting?”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? By try looking at it from your prospect’s perspective for a moment. Most decision-makers are forced to endure long-running meetings where salespeople drone on and on. I know I’ve been guilty of running overtime on a sales call or two. But this mistake seriously affects your credibility. 

I can practically guarantee that your competitors run too long during their presentations and end up wasting their prospects’ valuable time. And this gives you a perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Get in, make your case and stop talking. Your prospects will respect you for it.

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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 http://www.Fearless-Selling.ca.