Opening Skills: How to Gain a Prospect’s Attention Early in a Meeting

So, you’re about to conduct a first meeting with a prospect. What’s the prospect really thinking, early on? What’s critical for them to answer, that you need to address in the first five minutes of the meeting?

There are many thoughts swimming around their heads. The first among those thoughts is if they even want to listen. A prospect can be friendly and appear attentive, when in actuality, they are mentally disengaged. They’re wondering, “Are you different from the other sellers I’ve recently encountered? Can I trust that you’re sincere in your interactions and are competent? Can you actually help me?”

You’ve Got to Move Quickly

Many of those initial decisions lead to other questions that the prospect is asking themselves: “Do I really want to share sensitive information – details about my business problems and insight about how we operate?”

You gain the prospect’s attention by quickly addressing these questions and concerns. But, how do you do that?

There are a number of ways that you might structure the opening of a meeting, based on a number of factors. That being said, there are three tactical things you can do in any situation that will help you gain the prospect’s attention.

  1. Share a meeting objective. You want one that suggests that there’s no intent to keep selling after today, if there is no clear benefit for both parties.
  2. Position yourself and your company. Share a handful of compelling facts, not opinions – facts that are highly relevant to the prospect/audience.
  3. Share a brief client success story. Of course, pick one that is relevant to the prospect/audience and that will establish early credibility.

With these simple steps, you can differentiate yourself by the way that you engage the prospect in the first five minutes in a sincere, efficient manner, and one that paves a way for further exploratory conversations.

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