How to Start Your First Conversation With A Prospect

by | 2 minute read

How do you usually strike up a conversation with a prospect?If you’ve never given it much thought, it’s definitely time to come  up with a standard practice. Your first exchange with a prospect must be both memorable and engaging, so it’s important to make those words count. “Most salespeople wing the initial components of a sales conversation, but prospects will decide in the first seven seconds whether they want to continue a conversation with you,”writes sales blogger Marc Wayshak.

He wants reps to be more conscious of their first sales conversations, so he shares seven best practices for those initial conversations:

Show your expertise. You want to wow the prospect right away and make him or her want to hear more. You can accomplish this by beginning the conversation with some valuable insight. Mention what’s going on in their industry or provide some other relevant bit of information that instantly sparks their interest.

Point out common challenges. Now that you have the prospect’s attention bring up common marketplace challenges. Make sure they are relevant to the prospect’s business and they are problems that your company can solve. “Come up with some issues, jot them down, then begin incorporating them into those early conversations. “By sharing a few of the challenges that I’m seeing in the marketplace and then engaging the prospect, I immediately pull the prospect into the conversation while at the same time showing that I know what I’m talking about, and showing that I am focused on providing value,” Wayshak explains.

Engage with a question. Keep the conversation going by asking a question. It can be as simple as asking, “are you noticing this, too?” after you point out current industry issues. You’ll not only learn more about the prospect you’ll keep him or her talking.

Wayshak shares a couple of other tips on crafting effective first conversations that can be found in his article. By simply incorporating his suggestions, you immediately can grab the prospect’s interest, establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert and learn about the specifics of his or her business. So, before you approach that next prospect, make sure your first words work for you!

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.