How do you get the attention of a prospect long enough to start the conversation? In his recent article, 3 Questions That All Great Sales Messages Answer, sales guru Geoffrey James provides a succinct punch list of insights we must provide prospects if we expect to engage them and gain permission to sell to them. Here is an adapted and abbreviated summary of James' insights on the questions we must answer:

  1. What's in it for me?
    People are too busy to think about anything that's not immediately relevant to them. The benefit must be as specific to the potential customer as possible, rather than just vague value-added.
    Wrong: "I would love to talk to you about‚ "Strong: "Our clients typically see a 25% average increase in sales revenue‚"
  2. Why buy it from you?
    If you fail to explain why your company is the right source for the product or service, your competition might benefit instead of you. For example, it's not enough for Carew sales professionals to convince prospects of the benefits of sales training. We must demonstrate why we are the best resource for sales training.
    Wrong: "Our mission is to be the very best sales training provider‚ "Strong: "We've helped [immediately recognizable companies] increase their sales revenue by an average of 30%."
  3. What's the next step? The biggest mistake sales professionals make is attempting to hedge their bets by supplying multiple calls-to-action or leaving ambiguity around the next step.
    Wrong: "To learn more visit our website [address] or feel free to call me [phone]‚ "Strong: "Are you free for 15 minutes next week?" or "Does this interest you?"
    Of course, each of these elements is addressed in greater detail as part of the sales presentation process, later in the sales cycle when the prospect is engaged, we have completed a thorough exploration of the prospect's unique needs and goals, and we are ready to close the sale. Here, James makes an excellent point about leveraging top-level insights to incent the prospect to begin the conversation.

Read James' entire article here: 3 Questions That All Great Sales Messages Answer