This week, we continue our look at improving our odds for lead engagement by looking at words, phrases and salutations that will most support our engagement objectives.

In a recent HubSpot article, 20 Phrases that Make Introductory Sales Emails Exceptional, author Mike Renahan provides excellent insights and suggestions for words that will have more impact in getting a prospect's attention and increasing our chances of engaging with him/her. Take a moment to read the entire article and you will notice a common theme around Renahan's list. Why would these words pique a prospect's interest? Nearly all the terms on his list center around the prospect (vs. the sales person), what they've done, what they need, what they are interested in, how the sales professional can help them, what the sales professional has learned about them. Conversely, none of the terms on the list focus on the sales professional or the products/services he/she offers, and this is no coincidence.

While Renahan positions his list for email communication, these words (and the principles behind them) work just as well in LinkedIn and other social media platforms and, if you are willing to experiment on this front, even text messages. This line of customer-centric exploration is equally effective in face-to-face and phone conversations.

Essentially, Renahan's list of phrases for sales emails mirrors foundational principles for improved sales performance and those found in Carew's Dimensions of Professional Selling sales training: Get into the customer's "Odds Are," explore to better understand the customer's needs and motivations and, finally, seek first to help/add value and improved engagement and sales performance will follow.