Brian Tracy, one of the best sales trainers in the world, says that 50% of salespeople don’t ask for the sale. Jack Canfield, of mega-phenom Chicken Soup fame puts the number at 60%.
With that said, we are convinced that the OPEN, not the CLOSE, makes the SALE.
If sales is defined as the forging of a human connection, then skipping the open means skipping the human connection!
In our For Impact Presentation Flow, the open is comprised of three elements:
If you don’t tell/own your story, this is the story that will be told for you:
I’m Nick. As you can see from my title, I’m a major gifts officer and so I’m coming to talk to you about money.
Instead, talk about: Who are you? How did you get here? What makes you passionate about this work?
An open also puts you in the driver’s seat for managing the flow of dialogue:
I’m looking forward to our conversation, would it be okay if I share a little about myself to start?
This works whether you are brand new or the founder of the organization – the prospect just needs to know you as a human being.
No matter the order you do these, this is simply the time to talk about what or who brought you together:
I’m so happy that (Board Member/Champion) made this introduction. As I said in my note, I’m really excited to share our story/vision and talk to you about how you can help us make it happen.
I know that (Board Member/Champion) thought it was important for us to meet. Could you tell me what you already know about our organization (or our impact)?
It’s a VISIT, not an appointment. Talk about yourself and ask about the prospect. Then you can move to the purpose of the visit.