Why The First Few Minutes Of Your Sales Interaction Are Make or Break

In this article I’m going talk about why the first few minutes of your sales interaction are make or break. We’re going to delve into a brief bit of psychology and then examine one of the recommendations we condone which uses this principle.


The below is an extract from the soon to be released book Sales Icon: Selling in the Shadows.


With any sales interaction our timing is critical. What we mean by this is the timing of what we converse and the material or content that we divulge. It’s the same for all interactions, whether that be over the phone or face to face with a buyer.


The first stage of the interaction is often make or break for the sale process due to something known as the primacy effect. Sounds alien but think back to a presentation you’ve made in the past, maybe in your work life or back at school. Were you ever told that in a presentation it’s best to either be first or last to present?


You may have thought that this was hearsay but it’s true, it’s known as the serial-position effect. It states how a person has a tendency to recall the first items and last items best, and those items in the middle worst. The primacy effect is part of the serial-position effect, it relates to the fact that a subject will have cognitive bias to recalling the primary information it takes in. Whereas the recency effect relates to the cognitive bias to those items at end of a series of information.



This is the reason why in cold calling we’re told that the first 5-30 seconds of the call are integral, and why many cold calling practices start with what’s known as a hook to captivate and intrigue the person whom you’re on the phone to.


Most sales people are mindful of this and apply it rather well when cold calling, however, the concept of the primacy effect is often neglected when we have a meeting with a buyer.


Typically when we have a meeting we have the perception that because it’s a meeting the buyer is going to take in everything we say…I wish! The truth is that the primacy effect is as topical in this situation as any, so we should take advantage of it.


So here’s what we at sales icon coaching encourage. Use what we call a Power Statement at the beginning of every meeting. Get the particulars out the way, the housekeeping, rapport building and talking about them. But when it’s your time to speak use a Power Statement.


So what is a Power Statement?

Well it’s a short captivating blurb. It’s a statement you can make to intrigue the person you’re in front of, to make them want to know more and give you the time of day in the meeting. Some people call it a power statement, some people call it a value statement. All in all it’s a short thirty second to one-minute statement.


The key bit:



Your Power Statement can make or break the sales process, if it’s compelling then the buyer will be interested, if it’s lack lustre then you’ve lost them for the rest of the meeting.


If you want to help in developing the most captivating power statement then read the soon to be released book Sales Icon: Selling in the Shadows or if you need some help in the short term then send me a private message on LinkedIn and I’ll help wherever I can.

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