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The power of the first impression

Everybody knows this phrase and probably considers it common sense.

During a sales call it also matters a lot. However, it’s much more complex.

Let me explain: you can use the right suit, the right tone of voice, the right expression on your face, and still, make a terrible first impression.

Nowadays and especially during the pandemic, most people feel time is the most precious commodity they have. Therefore the amount of time they’ll give you keeps getting shorter all the time.

You need to grab your customer’s attention in the first few minutes or they’ll lose interest quickly.

Here are some tips:

  1. Research, research, research: Before you even meet with your customer, try to gather as much information about them as you can (what´s their company about, what is their position in the company, if possible what products are they using (that could compete with yours), what are they looking into when considering to purchase such products. The more you know the easier the communication will get.
  2. Opening statement: as important as the way you look is, what you begin the conversation with is also vital. I´m not talking about conversation ice breakers which is part of any human communication. Your first statement needs to pique your customer´s interest right from the start. Instead of describing how wonderful your product is, focus on what their current requirements are. If you talk about what is of interest to them they´ll get much more comfortable.
  3. First question: to understand your customer´s needs there´s only one way to find out: asking. Be cautious. Don´t ask everything you want to know. Just ask enough questions to uncover what is of interest to them and why. If you ask more than one question (which is always the case) make your other questions toward understanding the information you got from the first one.

Once you get these three steps of the process right you´ll show your customer how you care about what´s important to them and how you´re there to solve their problems in a professional and timely manner.

However, the way you look and talk also influence your customer equally. I’ll discuss this in another article.