The Thirty Second Sales Rule

Do you believe 110% in the power of your product(s), truly understand your customers problem(s) and have a dogged determination to communicate just how beautifully your products solve these problems? Can you pitch this to your clients using the 30-second rule?

The “30-second rule” suggests that a salesperson has 30 seconds to talk about the problems they solve before a buyer stops listening. A person who has asked you about your company or even specific products, doesn’t expect a rambling answer. Take too long on any one point and you are going to lose the attention of your prospective buyer. The 30-second rule is not 30 seconds of talking points about your product or service. This is about using half a minute to address the problem — the real-world pain points your prospect experiences on a daily/quarterly basis. If you haven’t caught the potential client’s attention with your “tackling the problem” dialogue after 30 seconds, the buyer will zone-out and you will find yourself mentally herding cats to regain their attention.

So how do you get the prospect’s attention in 30 seconds?

  1. State what makes your business unique. For example, if you are an independent insurance broker, saying, “I sell insurance for a variety of companies,” doesn’t tell a story that is inviting enough. Advancing, “I offer access to a variety of insurance choices which can mean lower rates, less restrictive policies, and better coverage for my clients,” paints a much clearer and enticing picture.
  • Get as much background information as you can before engaging the prospect. What does the potential client need? What are their challenges and pain points? Are they related to productivity, support, finances, or processes, and where do you really fit in? What is their ultimate motivation to make a purchase? When possible, research ahead of time and tailor your approach to their needs. After all, no one wants to waste time hearing a general pitch that could apply to absolutely anyone. (NOTE: When you use a digital prospecting and marketing tool like e-Relationship, you will know what your customer may be looking for beforehand, and easily personalize your pitch.)
  • When using the 30-second rule, your pitch should be effortlessly adjustable, (as noted above in point #2.) But it should also contain consistent content. You want it to be able to convince many different groups of the brilliant ways your products meet their needs, but each time you present it, your brief pitch should contain many of the same essential points that make your company an ideal fit.
  • Start your conversation by identifying how you fix the customer’s problems, versus simply listing all the stars in your product’s or service’s crown. If one of your specific products helps to insure a prospect in a particular way for example, how does this help stop the pain being felt by the prospective customer? This is the sweet spot in your sales approach … if the prospect doesn’t acknowledge the problem you can solve — in all honestly, you don’t even have a prospect.
  • One effective way to do this is by asking three rhetorical questions you know are likely of high concern to the potential buyer. This demonstrates your deep awareness of their needs and makes them feel understood.
  • Once the buyer is convinced that you have a genuine interest in an agreed-upon problem, now is the time to share your potential solution to their problem. When they have a clear understanding of why what you are selling should be meaningful to them, you can work toward closing the sale.

A potential way to do this well, is to literally flip the script. Summarize the questions you’ve been asking and get the prospect to start talking by asking questions the prospect must answer. This gets the potential buyer more involved and makes them feel more included.

Truly include the prospect in ongoing dialogue by requesting permission to place their name into your database. This will cause your prospect to be more receptive to your information and will begin a unique and compelling relationship since you offered to give, versus get something of value. This is a welcomedapproach with most prospects in today’s market. Consider the following script:

“(Name), can I get your business card? I would like to place you in my database, treat you as one of my privileged clients for a year or so, and send you occasional financial items about saving taxes and increasing after-tax income. It would give you a better understanding of how I work with my clients.

Most of our clients get to know how we can help them before ever transacting business — which I am sure you agree makes a lot of sense. (Pause) Would it be OK if I send you occasional financial items and if something eventually strikes your interest, we could then grab lunch or coffee. Does that work with you?”

Then set up your automated digital marketing messaging system to build rapport and interest with this person. With 16 automated e-Relationship connections to clients and prospects per year, you can set up your system once and spend the rest of the year scheduling new appointments! Content is refreshed annually. You simply populate your database with clients and new prospects and e-Relationship will do the rest.

  • Practice and eventually memorize your 30-second pitch when you have the final draft. Use your phone or computer to record yourself …  hearing your own voice, your words, your nervousness or ease out loud can often help you to improve your presentation. Remember, excitement is contagious! If you love what you do and the products you offer- let it show and others will share in your enthusiasm.

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