Too many prospects will politely smile and nod through your entire sales pitch – when all they’re really doing is nodding off to sleep. How do you wake them up? It takes an eye-opener – an unexpected problem or issue that will grab their attention early on in your sales message. One of the most effective eye-openers we use is to tell prospects they’re on the wrong plane….
“Excuse me, but what did you just say?!”
Picture this. You’re on a business trip to Seattle. You survived the airport security lines, made it to the gate on time, crammed your overstuffed bag into your overhead bin, collapsed into your seat, and staked out your claim to the armrest. Just as you’re about to close your eyes, the guy on the other side of that armrest turns and asks the million dollar question: “So what takes you to Miami today?”
Miami?! You thought you were on a plane to Seattle!
It’s amazing how quickly prospects wake up when you tell them they’re on the wrong plane.
Sales prospects come to life when you challenge their view of reality. The minute you show them that they’re acting on outdated, incorrect, or incomplete information – you’ve got their attention. Instead of leading with “let me show you our solutions”, start by showing them that a crucial element of their business isn’t what they think it is:
- “Everyone says the market is going in this direction, but it’s really going in a different direction. Here’s how we know ….”
- “You’d think this would help your business. Actually, it hurts more than it helps. Here’s why ….”
- “People choose this option because it’s supposed to be less expensive. And for the first month it is. But after that, the real cost of ownership doubles. Here’s what’s happening ….”
- “Our competitor says their product does this. And they’re right. But here’s what they aren’t telling you ….”
- “People used to think this was true. Most still think so. But we now know otherwise, because ….”
- “If you stay the course, here’s what will happen 90% of the time ….”
Comfortable people don’t get up from their seats.
The problem with a lot of sales messaging is that it’s all about improving the flight. That’s nice, but if prospects are reasonably comfortable where they are, they’re unlikely to take action. New information changes this. The minute someone finds out they’re on the wrong plane, they want to get up and do something about it. Now.
Try it, and watch what happens.
Instead of always leading with your solution, try an eye-opener (See point #2 of The 5-Point Pitch) first. You can base it on unseen obstacles. Counterintuitive facts. Common misperceptions. Hidden opportunities. Anything that tells sales prospects they’re on the wrong plane. Take the time to let it really sink in. Then watch what happens. They’ll wake up and ask if you have a way to get them where they really do want to go.