Forget the slick, scripted summary of your services that you rehearsed and can’t wait to deliver in your best sales voice. Instead, only consider your 30-second commercial a success if you avoided the awkward sales-speak, skipped the five bullet points about your services and instead delivered a message focused on the prospect’s issues in a natural, conversational style.
Speaking at the September Knowledge Session presented by the Baltimore chapter of Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI), sales training expert Matthew H. Neuberger shared tips and techniques for the 30-second professional introduction that, when delivered properly, begins a conversation that can lead to a sale.
“When you are doing your 30-second commercial you are in information-gathering mode – you get ‘paid’ for what you gather and not what you give at this point,” Neuberger said. The more the other person talks about their frustrations and shares their preferred style of communication, the better position you will be in to deliver a custom response that makes them feel comfortable and connected.
“Is this how you would say it to a friend or a family member? If the answer is no, stop doing it that way,” he said. “If you are giving your 30-second commercial and it sounds like a script and you’re hitting all your bullet points, you’ve failed because that’s not how you talk to a friend.”
Instead, focus on getting them to talk about their business so you can understand their problems from their emotional point of view.
Ultimately, they don’t want to know the details about how you could solve their issues; they just want to know that you have the expertise and that they would be comfortable working with you.
Other tips shared by Neuberger, president and chairman of the Baltimore-based sales training firm Neuberger and Company, Inc., included:
People will use their senses and instantly judge you on how you look and how you sound. While it might be just 25 more seconds, “they’re going to spend the rest of the time with you justifying that initial judgment.”
At networking events, people will work to get away from you if you are simply talking about yourself. Picture a garage door going down – the second you start talking, it’s headed down and your job is to trip the laser beam to keep it from closing all the way, Neuberger said.
One way to keep that garage door open – focus the conversation on the person in front of you and not on yourself. To illustrate the point, Neuberger shared the quote: “it’s better to be interested than interesting.”
If the prospect is able to talk about their problems and frustrations, you can refine your comments to show how your services offer a solution. When you can learn how to connect emotionally with your prospect, and demonstrate that you truly understand their problems from their perspective, you can take the prospect from inaction to action and make the sale.
Founded in 1935, Sales & Marketing Executives International (SMEI) is the worldwide organization dedicated to ethical standards, continuing professional development, knowledge sharing, mentoring students and advancing free enterprise. For more information about the Baltimore chapter, visit www.smeibaltimore.org.