The first 15 seconds of your approach are the most important seconds of your entire sales presentation. You must instill curiosity in the mind of your prospect. It is a form of interest. As people, we are curious by nature. Curiosity wants to be informed. This state of mind is just where you want your prospect to be in at the beginning of your sales talk.
The approach includes everything that takes place from the time the salesman meets the prospect until the salesman begins their first selling talk, or until the salesman enters the second phase of selling, which is interest.
At this point the prospect has not been told much about your proposition. This is your chance to make them curious enough to want to know more.
Curiosity can be aroused in a person in many ways.
You walk into a department store to find people crowded around a table looking at something. Out of curiosity you go over to the table to see what they are looking at. It’s a new model of DVD player. If you’re interested in a new DVD player you will want to know all about how this one works. If it does everything you want in a DVD player this may stimulate the desire in you to want to own it, thereby, leading you to make the decision to take the necessary actions to buy it.
Your potential customer is no different than you in this regard.
Or you see someone looking down the street. Out of curiosity you began looking down the street too to see just what has captured their attention.
A stranger comes up to you on a sidewalk. Two questions immediately come to mind. “Who is he?” “What does he want?”
A salesman telephones the manager of a store and tells them they have a brand new product that is being introduced in the area. Of course the details are far too many to go over on the telephone, so the salesman makes an appointment to demonstrate the item to the manager. The manager is automatically curious about just what this gizmo is and how it works. The first step of the selling process has already started in the mind of the store manager.
You see a man run out of a bank holding two giant moneybags and jump into a car and speed away. Soon after, you hear a police siren. You are not curious about why the police is chasing behind the car, but you may be interested in the outcome. We are not curious about things we already know and understand.
Without curiosity you cannot get the prospect interested in your proposition. Without interest, the prospect will not care anything about your claims. If you cannot convince your prospect that they will benefit from your offer, you cannot create the desire in them to want to own it. You will not be able to get the prospect to make a buying decision and take action.
It is also important for you to implant a favorable personal impression of you in your prospect’s mind because even if your prospect is curious about your proposition, they will have little or no interest in having that curiosity satisfied by you, if they are repulsed by your behavior. On the other hand, if you present yourself in a favorable manner, it will strengthen the curiosity for your proposal and open the door to interest.
You must pay close attention to your prospect after getting the prospect curious about your proposition. When you have piqued the curiosity of the prospect, don’t continue along this line for an extended period of time. You will exhaust the prospect’s curiosity and the first stage of the selling process will fall flat and it will have to be started all over again. After creating curiosity in the prospect’s mind, you should move on to the rest of the stages of the principles of the selling process.
Just remember, the first 15 seconds of your approach, that of creating curiosity in the prospect’s mind, are the most important. If this is not established the rest of your sales talk will be meaningless. So you can see the necessity of making a good strong opening statement, thereby getting the prospect curious about your proposition, so they will want to know more about your offer. It is also important to leave a favorable personal impression in your prospects mind.