Seven seconds is the average length it takes to make a first impression. If you make a good first impression, the customer is more likely to take you seriously. Your attitude and presentation will determine if a customer will want to buy your product or not. Your voice and approach is more important than ever because your client cannot see you. You only get one chance to make a good first impression!
In this article, you will find advice from some successful sales experts on how to succeed in sales based on your first impression with customers.
“When your initial encounter is over the phone, 70% of how you are perceived is based on your tone of voice and 30% on your words. Clearly, it’s not what you say – it’s the way that you say it,” states Lydia Ramsey, who was featured in the New York Times for her work as a business etiquette expert.
Colleen Francis, a sales expert and founder of engage selling solutions states “I think the reason so many sales people use such disastrous opening statements is that we often spend very little time planning and preparing what we’re going to say. Most sales experts say that we have between 4 to 30 seconds to create interest from the time the customer picks up the phone, yet many of my clients confess that they don’t even begin to think about their opening line until they’re actually dialing the phone.”
Record your calls, and ask a manager to critique you. Then listen to the record and focus on the conversation. Make sure it sounds natural and that you are listening to your client more than talking.
Where to Start
It is important to make sure the customer feels appreciated. Express a form of thank you, such as “Thank you for taking your time to listen.” During the conversation, use the client’s name within the first sentence. This not only shows that you value the customer, but that you are focused on them.
No one wants to talk to someone with low energy, or a downer talking about bad weather, traffic or negative things. Always remain positive and think of weekend plans or good weather.
James Blount is a well-known business speaker and best-selling author on business success. He states that “First impressions are about likability and likability is the gateway to building emotional connections with your prospect. Emotions drive sales. If your prospect likes you they will be open to answering your questions, engaging in a conversation about their needs and situation, and ultimately buying from you.”
There are many things in a business that you cannot control, including the people you interact with. But, what you can control is your personality and attitude, which defines the way you approach people. Having a positive attitude is the first key. People do not want to talk to others who are not personable or likeable, especially a sales person.
- Smile- Smiling shows through, whether in person or on the phone. It radiates and is inviting.
- Be Polite- People do not want to speak to rude people. Always be polite, people take notice of manners.
- Enthusiasm- Show your passion for your business and product over the phone with enthusiasm. Blount said that “Enthusiasm is transferable and infectious. One note, though: there are few things more off-putting than insincere enthusiasm; so be careful not to get carried away.”
- Confidence- When you are confident, it attracts people to you. To exude your confidence onto others of your product knowledge, you must invest in yourself.
After you’ve created a good impression, and captured the attention of your client, then it is time to explore for an opportunity of business. You do this by getting to know your contact by asking open-ended questions. Create a couple of questions for answers that will help you determine if there is a possibility of business. Find out the prospect’s issues and use them to your advantage for a sale.
Making a good first impression is the most important part of a conversation in sales. You need to show that your focus is completely on the prospect and that you truly care about their needs. No one wants to feel like they are just another number in line; they want to feel important and cared about.