How to Capture Decision-Maker Attention? – be interesting and interested in equal measures

A question I’m often asked when running telemarketing training courses is ‘How do I capture the attention of the decision-maker’ on the phone. My response is often semi-flippant. I tell them to be both interesting and interested in equal measures. It sounds simple but it never ceases to amaze me how weak some telemarketers (and sales people in general) are at those two things.

Why talk to Mr Boring?

It really isn’t hard. Think of it this way. When was the last time you were at a party, stuck in a corner with Mr or Mrs Boring talking at you for hours on end? Your response to that question was probably that you wouldn’t let it go on that long before extricating yourself from the situation. Well, it’s the same in a sales and marketing scenario whatever your chosen channel for communication.

Ultimately, time is precious. In business, time is money. If we’re sensible, task oriented and externally focused, business owners and managers should spend time doing things that develop themselves or their business. So, where in the pecking order would a dull, uninspiring overly sales-focused pitch from a dreary sales person sit? My guess is that it would be pretty low.

Work out what interests your prospects

Whether you’re calling customers to present a new product, lapsed customers to resuscitate their business, prospects to generate a new enquiry or regular clients for a customer care call, your call should be something of value. Why would they welcome your call? What would make them listen for more than a few seconds? It certainly won’t be you rattling off a series of things that are only vaguely of interest to you let alone to them.

Position what you say in customer terms

Therefore, consider it from their perspective. Whatever you’re selling, work out why they would buy it. What’s ailing them? What keeps the up at night? What might their current solution not be giving eethem? There are likely to be other providers mirroring your offer. But, if you present what you do well, it’s likely you’ll build the necessary rapport to move to the next stage. Of course, it won’t work every time. Sales is, to a large extent, still a numbers game. However, the percentages will move more in your favour.

Demonstrate genuine interest

One of the most frustrating aspects of sales in any scenario is a sales person that demonstrates, by their behaviour, that they haven’t the remotest interest in you. This could be on the phone, at a sales meeting or whilst out networking. I recently attended a networking event and a guy bounded up to me with a huge smile on his face and introduced himself. I did likewise whereupon he launched into an explanation of his business and what he does, who he does it for, how to use his services and so on. His business was online advertising and he was under 30 years of age. So, it certainly wasn’t a traditional age issue being pitched by a dyed in the wool old salesman.

What you need to do

The key is to think like a customer. What would make you listen? What would keep you engaged? Be genuinely interested in the person with whom you’re communicating. Demonstrate that interest by asking great questions. Use active listening. Do your research into the company and/or sector to understand likely issues. Inject some energy into your conversation. Keep eye contact if you’re face to face. Don’t interrupt. Don’t get distracted by things around you if you’re on the phone.

Thank goodness, in the main, b2b sales is still a people business, especially at higher values of sale. So, don’t blow it by focusing on you and your products and services. Focus on the customer at all times. And, remember that they don’t what you know until they know that you care!


GSA stands for ‘get sound advice’ (we were once ‘Get Sound Advice Limited!) . That means no sales pitches and total transparency. Check out this video for more about that. That also means that, whilst we aren’t agnostic, we do not always promote what we do to everyone since it may not be appropriate for individual business needs. However, we keep fully up to date on lead generation options and can either run a campaign or signpost clients to appropriate solutions elsewhere. Our own services include:

We also offer effective blended lead generation solutions that can include bespoke database building, email marketing to warm up the contacts, telemarketing follow-up, LinkedIn network building and targeting and content development and syndication to generate inbound leads that once again can be followed up by phone. We also work with partners to provide most other marketing services

We spend all our time in the lead generation world. So, feel free to check us out and give us a call to discuss your lead generation challenges.

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