It's no secret that technology has shortened our attention span, which can be a struggle for sales. One Microsoft study even found that attention dropped from an average of 12 seconds to a measly 8.
Plus, there is an increase in competition for your prospects attention. Slick marketing, social media, and competitive markets mean that you need to work harder than ever to make yourself stand out. Once you’ve gone through the work of prospecting and finding the right customer, you have a short window of time to get them to pay attention to you.
Your prospects can pay attention to what you have to say. It's just a matter of whether you are using the right techniques to pique their interest. With the proper sales communication and cadence, you can make yourself stand out from the pack and get a prospect actively interested in your product.
Here are the best ways you can gain and keep your prospect’s attention in very little time.
#1: Plan Out Your Sales Cadence
Before you even approach your potential client, your first job should be establishing your sales cadence. Larger teams most often use a sales cadence, but individuals and small sales groups could also benefit from establishing one.
What is Sales Cadence?
A sales cadence is a sales strategy in which you map out your plans for reaching a customer ahead of time. You plan for precisely what days into your sales process you reach out to the customer and how you intend to communicate with them. For example, a sales cadence could look like the following:
Day 1: Call client
Day 3: Email in the morning
Day 5: Call in the afternoon
Day 8: Email in the morning
Day 10: Call in the morning
The frequency or modes you contact a client may vary according to your schedule and the client's needs. This intentional, staggered sales communication, though, allows you to be persistent in reaching the potential client without annoying them.
Why You Need a Sales Cadence
Sales reps tend to make one of two mistakes: they either contact the client far too often, leading the client to view them as a nuisance, or they lack the consistency to get the client's attention.
By establishing a specific plan to contact your client, you can avoid getting discouraged from the lack of response. You can continue to bring optimism to your sales pitch because you know that you’ll follow up later if the client doesn’t respond right away. It will also keep you from dragging your feet when it is time to follow up with a customer.
A sales cadence will also keep you from mixing up your communications with your client. You may find that you accidentally send the same email to the client in two days, or leave a couple of voicemails and forget to send an email. A clear sales cadence signals each step of the journey to you and intentionality in every time you contact a client.
In sales, persistence can pay off. Plan out your sales cadence ahead of time to know exactly how you want to approach a potential customer.
#2: Watch Your Body Language
If you only have 30 seconds to grab a customer's attention, you need to use more than your words to draw them into a conversation with you. Body language is the difference between drawing them into a friendly discussion and repelling them.
Body language is what separates the good sales reps from the excellent ones. Although some sales reps study every part of their business and have a perfect pitch all ready, they neglect to consider how they present themselves to the customer. However, your body language could distract from your overall message.
Many experts estimate that body language accounts for anywhere from 60 to 90% of human interaction. Here are some tips for positive body language:
- Don’t cross your arms. It’ll make you seem closed off.
- Lean in slightly to your client. This shows interest.
- Beware of firing off too many questions. Give your client time to think and respond thoughtfully.
- Maintain eye contact. When you do break eye contact, look briefly to the right or left, not up or down.
Although you may feel nervous, try to relax and have fun. Any tension in your body will not come across well to your customers. If you’re warm, engaging, and fun, though, you’ll draw them in to spend more time with you.
#3: Take Time to Learn Their Problems
If you only have 30 seconds, you might be tempted to jump into your sales pitch and get straight to selling. You'll only see your customer's eyes glaze over, though, and their attention wanders elsewhere.
Instead, start by getting them to talk about their business. Pinpoint their challenges and opportunities for growth. The more that you can get the potential client to talk about themselves and their business, the more engaged they will be in the conversation.
Starting the conversation by identifying their issues and revolving the conversation around their needs will also let the customer know that you care about what they have to say. It also gives you an understanding of where to lead the conversation and what points you need to touch on. Every business, even within the same industry, has different concerns and priorities. The more you tailor your sales strategy to fit their business, the more interested they’ll be.
#4: Visualize their Future
Once they have established their challenges and areas for growth, you can discuss how your product or service can help them overcome their obstacles. Create a vision of what their company will look like with your business.
The classic mistake most sales reps make is focusing too much on what they have to offer. The reality is that potential clients don't care about your product or service. What they care about is how you can help them. By visualizing the future of their company, the conversation revolves around them and not you. This will automatically make it more interesting to the client.
Will your product or service make them faster or more efficient? Will they have better customer service or save money on operating costs? Let them know precisely how you can help them create a better business. Give them a vision of a better, faster, more efficient company. That is what will spark their interest.
#5: Give Actionable Advice
Make specific recommendations for their business. For example, if you work in SEO marketing, you could point out a couple of simple ways that their website could improve their marketing strategy to land more clients. Or as a copywriter, you could point out grammatical errors in their work. Clients will automatically be more interested if there is something actionable they can learn from speaking with you.
Not only will your client be more interested, but this technique also harnesses the Rule of Reciprocity. The Rule of Reciprocity is the universal trait amongst humans that compels us to repay, or reciprocate, any kind deed. This can be a physical gift, an act of generosity, or a kind deed. This underlying impulse causes people to feel obligated to give something in return for helpfulness.
Be helpful to your potential customer to get their attention quickly. Give just enough information, so they are interested in what you have to say, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and leave them wanting just a bit more information from you.
#6: Send a Video or GIF
Visuals have a proven track record of garnering more attention than a mass of text. A video within an email has a 200-300% increase in click-through rates. If your emails aren’t getting the response that you would like, consider putting in a video or gif to capture your prospects attention.
You can put in a funny GIF when you say hello to make your email more entertaining to read:
Or, you can put something informational about your product or service in video form for your customers to watch. Some of the most effective types of video content for sales include customer testimonials, tutorial videos, and demonstration videos. If they can see your product and how it can help them directly in a video on an email, you're more likely to get a response than a lengthy description of how you can help them.
If you want to attract a customer’s attention for longer than 2 seconds on your email, add a visualization. They’ll be more interested, remember what you have to say better, and take the time to look at what you have to say.
#7: Keep it Simple
You may have a lot to say, but be wary of overwhelming the customer all at once. This is also where sales cadence comes in. If you have a specific plan to email again later, you won’t be tempted to email a novel to your client.
If the potential client opens your email and sees big blocks of writing, they'll be far too intimidated to start reading. You'll lose the client before they even had a chance to read anything. Most people have minimal time to devote to their email and don't want to spend it reading through long sales pitches.
Instead, lighten up your emails. Keep your paragraphs short and no more than a few sentences. Add in visuals to make it more stimulating. Avoid long, run-on sentences and make your writing casual.
Keep your emails short and catchy in your sales communication to get attention. Not only will they read your email, but they will be more likely to read whatever you email in the future as well.
#8: Create a Better Subject Line
The subject line is the first email impression you can make on a client. If it is boring and generic, clients will delete it in their rush to get to Inbox Zero. In this case, you have less than 5 seconds to get a client’s attention. Make it count with a catchy subject line.
The better your subject line, the more likely customers are to open it: 35% of people will open an email based on the subject line alone. You have the chance to stand out from the mass of emails everyone receives by getting it right in the subject line.
To get your customer to open your email, you don’t need to employ shock tactics or spend hours coming up with the perfect subject line. Simply make the subject line personal to get attention. Emails with the recipient's first name in the subject line had higher click-through rates.
A light-hearted subject line is more likely to get attention as well. Emoji's in the subject line have gained popularity and for a good reason: 56% of companies that use emoji’s in their headlines see click-through rates.
To get the customer to open your email, improve your opening line!
Get Your Customer’s Attention Right Away
Although your potential customer's attention may be shorter, you can still attract them with the right techniques. Provide helpful, personal, and entertaining sales communication to get them to not only listen to you but convert them into paying customers.
Sell faster and smarter by employing these tactics today!