Use an Intent Statement

I recommend the use of intent statements to set the stage for every presentation. An intent statement is designed to reduce sales resistance that is created by the unknown. When potential clients don’t know what to expect next their minds tend to wander and their anxieties build.

Your intent statements tell your clients clearly what they can expect from your time together and relieve any sales pressure they are imagining. It accomplishes two very important tasks:

1. It introduces an agenda of sorts so everyone has a clear picture of what to expect.

2. It lets your potential clients know that it’s okay to say “no.” (No, I’m not crazy…read on!)

The agenda fulfills the protocol for every good presentation. You tell them what you’re going to tell them. In essence it’s a roadmap for the balance of your time together.

By letting them know it’s okay to say “no,” you’ll be bringing down their innate defense barriers. This opens their minds to pay more attention to what you’re saying than wondering when you’re going to ask them for their hard-earned money. Too many average salespeople just dive right into their presentations without properly setting the stage and end up building sales resistance instead of taking it down.

Here’s an example of an intent statement from my book, SELL IT TODAY, SELL IT NOW – The Art of the One-Call Close (co-authored with Pat Leiby).

“John and Mary, if you don’t mind, let me explain how we will proceed today.

First, I’ll tell you about our company.

Then, to customize my presentation to meet your needs, and to be as brief as possible, I would like to ask a few questions. Is that okay with you?

Next, I’ll show you the benefits of our product and we can discuss the details of the investment range.

Now, I represent my company and we both know it’s my job to help people own our products. However, I’m not a high pressure salesperson. I just don’t believe in it. I realize my product isn’t for everyone. It may or may not be right for you. I just hope you’ll keep an open mind as we talk today and at the end of our meeting tell me if this product might benefit you. That’s fair, isn’t it?”

Once you master delivering an effective intent statement you will see your potential clients literally relax their shoulders, possibly lean back in their chairs and feel a reduction in the amount of tension in the room. It’s not unlike adjusting lighting in a room to set a mood. Start practicing its use today! To learn even more about reducing sales resistance, take advantage of this month’s special product offer below.

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This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

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