Last night my wife and I attended “The Drowsy Chaperone”, a musical comedy from which I can provide a strong lesson for salespeople. The show starts off with the “man in the chair” saying something like, “I know, you hope the show will be good” and “you probably hope it doesn’t run too long” and “you hope it’s going to be funny”. The audience just eats these lines up because that’s exactly what they are thinking at that moment. They’re hooked in the first 10 seconds.

That is exactly what must happen on your sales calls. Your prospect must be hooked in the first 10 seconds and you can do that by saying things you know they will agree with. This is the essence of the Positioning Statement.

For instance, if I had to make a cold call, right now, to you, I would say, “I help salespeople who feel like they’re working too hard and selling too little.” Chances are, you would relate to that comment and decide to listen to my next question. You’re hooked. Then, if I give you a couple of examples of the people I help, you’re likely to share. It might sound something like, “most of the salespeople I help were either not making as much money as they hoped or they didn’t have enough quality opportunities in their pipeline. Again, chances are, those two examples would resonate.

What can you say, about the problems you solve, that you know your prospects will agree with?

Just refer to your copy of Baseline Selling, which has an entire chapter on Positioning Statements. You can also refer to your copy of the Baseline Selling Field Guide. One of the 24 Exercises in the Field Guide helps you create Positioning Statements. And, as you might expect, we’ll devote some live time to this issue at the Boot Camp on May 8 and 9.