You’ve been making prospecting calls for the last hour and haven’t reached a single decision maker. All of a sudden on your next attempt, you’re transferred to the head of finance at a good-sized assisted living organization. Not surprisingly, he sounds busy and distracted. You barely have a chance to introduce yourself and he responds coldly, “What’s this about?”
Now you’ve got about ten seconds to pique his interest and make him feel like you’re someone worth talking to.
It’s an uncomfortable but not unfamiliar situation. What you don’t want to do for sure is fall into the nervous trap so many salespeople do when they face an intimidating suspect: vamping for time or vainly trying to warm up the call with platitudes and padding. “How are you today?” or “The reason for my call is…”
These hackneyed phrases do nothing but poison the water and turn people off. Forget about trying to feel comfortable at that moment. Accept that you’re on the spot and tell the prospect what’s in it for him; something that will draw him in and make him want to know more — something that sparks his curiosity.
This is your opening benefit statement, and it should focus on the prospect’s situation, telling him what you offer and why he should care.
Here are three examples of pithy benefit statements, each followed by a question to engage the prospect and keep the conversation going.
Assisted living businesses like yours have been able to reduce premiums significantly through a program we offer…
What’s your organization doing about lowering insurance costs?
Because the company underwriters we work with trust our judgment, they’re willing to include more coverage options for assisted living operations like yours.
How comfortable are you that your coverage fits all aspects of your operation?
The risk management services we deliver – safety videos, hiring seminars, and much more – help reduce claims and keep premium rates consistently lower.
What kinds of risk mitigation support does your current agent offer?
If you offer something that’s apt and resonates with the prospect’s needs, he’ll probably want to engage further and learn more about what you can do for his operation.
A ready and pithy benefit statement, like the value proposition and elevator pitch, should appeal to your prospects’ anticipated concerns and values.
If you’re alert and focused on conveying honest advantages and don’t get lost in the weeds of unnecessary small talk, your pipeline of prospects will grow along with your skill and confidence.