Holding your client's attention during a meeting

A study has shown...that our average attention span has decreased by about 25% over the past 20 years.

In 2000 it was 12 seconds - it is now closer to 8 seconds.

Interestingly (not to mention alarmingly) a goldfish has a longer attention span of 9 seconds!

In a world of instant gratification surrounded by social media platforms designed to grab attention quickly our neurological wiring has changed.

An average office worker checks their email every two minutes and will pick up their phones over 300 times a day.

The average website visit lasts less than a minute and users often leave in just 10-20 seconds. (I wonder how many people are still reading this!)

In the world of sales this means we have even less time to hold the attention of our prospective clients.

So how do we manage this effectively during a demo?

1) Firstly, by making sure we don’t talk ‘at’ clients for sustained periods of time. They must be constantly engaged.

2) Get regular affirmations that they see the benefit of what you’re offering.

3) Interject your talking points with relevant questions to re-engage your client.

4) Use their name when it’s appropriate to personally connect with them. People like to hear their name - it makes them feel like you care.

5) Do not drone on about how amazing your company is or talk around other irrelevant products & services you offer – if it doesn't directly benefit them, they really don’t care.

6) Get to the point and ensure what you’re saying is relevant to them. Focus on the outcome and results in relation to the challenge you have identified.

7) Be comfortable in silence and let them fill the gap. This will keep them alert & engaged and demonstrates that you are secure in not having to talk constantly.

8) If your meeting is on video use positive body language to engage your buyer. This will keep them involved in the conversation and there are many ways you can do this.

I’ve heard plenty of calls where the salesperson speaks at length, and it seems like the buyer has either dropped off or decided to do something else.

Or they have reached a new level of boredom they previously thought impossible.

The salesperson is then surprised when they get ghosted, or the deal falls south.

Is it really that surprising when half of what they said was completely irrelevant to their prospective client?

Salespeople must have the awareness and skill to read their buyer's responses, whether this is through body language and manner on camera, or tone of voice & demeanour at the end of the phone.

They must leave their ego at the door and realise this interaction is all about the buyer.

Getting this right is where business is either won or lost.

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