Nothing beats a great first impression and although you can recover from a less than stellar start, it certainly helps if your first 20 seconds causes your prospect to focus all of his attention on you.

After witnessing the inconsistency and ineffectiveness of so many salespeople, it’s fair to say that most salespeople do not nail that first 20 seconds and perhaps, even sabotage their efforts as a result of their mediocre beginning.

How can you be sure that the first words you say, after building some rapport, get the call started on the right foot?
Try this opening which should work perfectly for almost all of you. Just fill in the blanks.

“I’m a _________________ expert. By the way, do you know the difference between a _______________ expert and a __________________ salesperson? OK. Let me explain.

While selling is one of my responsibilities, as a ________________ expert I also:

___________________________, ___________________________, ___________________________, ___________________________, and ___________________________. (that last one should also lead into your first question which comes next.)

Speaking of ___________________________, what is the single biggest challenge that you have right now?”

That was what I call a positioning statement which can be used in several areas of the sales process. In Baseline Selling – How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball, I address Positioning Statements in great detail with several examples of how they can be incorporated into your phone calls.