Why 78% of All Prospecting Efforts Fail and How to Get People to Want to Talk to You

Do you know exactly what to say in the first 30 seconds that captures someone’s attention so succinctly and effectively that they want to talk with you and are actually asking for more? If you’re like most salespeople, the answer is probably, “No.”

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If you’re attempting to prospect without sharing the measurable, intoxicating end results of what you’re selling that builds an impenetrable case around why a prospect needs to listen to you within the first 30 seconds of a call, then it’s no wonder why you’re finding prospecting to be such a challenging and frustrating experience.

The Global Selling Conundrum

It’s not a surprise that most salespeople don’t get past the first 30 seconds of an initial prospecting conversation before the prospect cuts you off and says, “Not interested,” or you hear “Click.”

To avoid this permanently, take the time to develop your compelling reasons which are sure to lead to more valuable conversations and more sales.

Develop Your Compelling Reasons That Stimulate Interest

One question that every salesperson wrestles with answering is, “How can I get a prospect interested enough to want to listen to and talk to me, let alone do business with me?”

The answer is simple; give them a compelling reason to do so.

The word compelling is synonymous with “convincing, persuasive, undeniable, and gripping.” When selling, are you providing your prospects with enough of a compelling reason during the first thirty seconds of your conversation for them to want to speak with you?

The primary objective of a compelling reason is to stimulate a NEW interest and possibility in your prospect’s thinking that will open up a conversation, in a creative and captivating way.

After all, you don’t want to sound like every other salesperson calling on the same prospects and saying the exact same thing.

What Do You Think You’re Selling?

What is it that you are actually selling? Many salespeople immediately think about the product or service they provide. If you’re selling technology solutions, 3D printing, insurance, advertising, cloud computing, social media marketing, videoconferencing, online training, financial, advisory or legal services, consumer goods, or widgets, consider this universal sales truth.

Your prospect isn’t interested in your actual product or service, but what it will ultimately do for them.

If you think that telling a prospect about what you sell and how it can help them is enough to stimulate interest and spark a stimulating conversation, think again. Your product or service is not what you are selling or what the prospect is buying.

A prospect buys what your product or service will ultimately do for them and the benefits they will realize.

How to Develop Mind-Blowing Compelling Reasons

If you are trying to grab a prospect’s attention, your compelling reasons will not include:

  • Your product or service.
  • Features of your product or service.
  • Strategies on how to achieve the desired end result. (The “how, the implementation, etc.”)
  • Unsubstantiated or lofty claims and guarantees.

You may be asking, “Keith, then what does it include?”

When developing your compelling reasons, follow these five guidelines and you’ll be able to develop your secret sales weapon that will become your competitive edge.

Five Guidelines to Developing Your Captivating Compelling Reasons

1. Include the End Result of the Benefit

Your compelling reasons include the benefit of the benefit’s benefit. What does that mean?

You know you have developed an effective compelling reason when you’re able to break it down to the specific results that the prospect will experience and most importantly, visualize and connect with.

14% of people make purchasing decisions based on prior knowledge and experience. 86% of people make purchasing decisions based on future expectations.

When making an initial cold call, you have seconds to grab the attention of the person you are calling on. You simply don’t have the time to discuss your product or service, especially features and benefits. You will have the opportunity to discuss your solutions later on in that conversation or throughout your sales process; after you’ve set an appointment or confirmed interest.

2. Your Compelling Reason Must Pass the “So What” Test

Building off number one, you know you’ve uncovered the end result of the benefit when the compelling reason can pass the “So what?” test.

For example, Jill, a client of mine, sells an automation platform for managing compliance and administrative tasks. When I asked her to list the benefits of her service, she responded with the following statement. “We have an online reporting system that automates your administrative tasks. My response, “So what?”

The benefit Jill shared with me was, “Automates your administrative tasks.” Well, we’re getting closer but this still doesn’t pass the “so what” test. Let’s peel away a few more layers to uncover the end result of this benefit. While we’re doing so, notice the questions I ask Jill and the creative process she goes through to finally develop a powerful, compelling reason.

I asked Jill to tell me what the advantage was to automating administrative tasks. She told me that by doing so, her clients can streamline their operations while ensuring they remain compliant.

I challenged her again by asking her to share with me what the end result would be if her clients were able to streamline their operations and become efficient. “They would be able to save a tremendous amount of time and money while reducing exposure to risk,” she said.

After several more revisions, here’s what Jill and I came up with. “We can help you eliminate three hours of your daily workload while reducing administrative overhead by 34%.

Now, this passes the “so what” test, since it demonstrates the measurable, end result of the benefit that the prospect will realize. This is certainly compelling enough to grab their attention within the first 30 seconds of the conversation.

If we were to break this process down, here’s what it looks like:

Feature: An online reporting platform for managing compliance and administrative tasks.

Benefit: Automates your administrative duties, while remaining compliant and reducing risk.

The Compelling Reason (The specific end results the prospect will realize):

Eliminate three hours of your daily workload while reducing administrative overhead by 34%.

Notice Jill’s compelling reason – the end result of the benefit, didn’t talk about her product, what she sells or what it even does that would enable her prospects to achieve this end result. When you have seconds to grab someone’s interest, the prospect will always care more about the end result of your product, rather than your product, it’s features or the strategy to achieve the end result.

You know you’ve created a powerful compelling reason when your prospects respond with a question that sounds like, “How are you going to do that?”

3. Speak to Their Ear (Make It Personal)

It’s one thing to tout the intoxicating benefits of your product that the company, as a whole would want to realize. However, if you’re speaking to someone in marketing, they may not do backflips when you tell them that your product or service will streamline logistics, reduce redundancies, ensure compliance and cut overhead.

As important as this may be, it may be falling upon uninterested ears. That’s why you need to create at least five to seven unique compelling reasons you can use, depending upon the scenario and the person.

People buy based on their reasons, not yours.

4. Include Testimonials and Measurable Results

The more you can offer and demonstrate measurable results that other customers have realized, the more of an impact it will have. This makes the process personal and humanizes the selling experience.

In addition, as you can see in the prior example, the most effective compelling reasons are those you can quantify. Use statistics, facts, percentages, numbers, or testimonials that make your offering more enticing to them.

Tip from the Coach: Be careful when using testimonials. Not only do you need to get permission from the client before using their name but be mindful of sharing them with the prospects who want to hear them.

5. Identify Their Greatest Pain

Unfortunately, people are still driven to avoid potential consequences or eliminate problems rather than create or take advantage of a benefit. After all, aside from scheduling a complete physical, we typically don’t go to the doctor when we’re feeling healthy.

What is the personal pain that you will solve if they utilize your product or service? What are their main problems, personal stresses, or triggers of anxiety that they experience in their job that you can eliminate?

Once you share with great precision each prospect’s greatest personal and organizational pains, it also demonstrates that you’ve done your research, know their industry and are putting them first. This will foster a deeper connection with every prospect you speak with. As a result, they are more willing and ready to resolve it.

Take Your Compelling Reasons for a Test Drive

At this point, you may be thinking, “How will I know if my compelling reasons are, in fact, compelling enough?”

They don’t have to be “perfect” to start. Besides, you have to use them in order to continually refine them into something better. Just get out there and start using them. You’ll be refining them the more you use them.

In addition, these compelling reasons will also be leveraged in every communication platform when engaging with your prospects and customers. That also includes weaving them into your prospecting emails, voice mails, social media, marketing, and presentations.

Keep in mind, every compelling reason is not going to include a measurable result, testimonial, personal benefit, and greatest pain. That’s why you have the opportunity to create several different ones that you can leverage throughout your prospecting strategy.

Developing your top compelling reasons why a prospect needs to speak with you provides a unique opportunity for you to reconnect with your product and service in a new, refreshing and empowering way.

By innovating, reinventing and repositioning what you sell, you and your customers will uncover additional and often untapped benefits that your prospects and customers can connect with on a deeper level which they were never able to do before.


What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your comments. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and connect anytime, as I want to be a resource for you. I’ve also opened up my personal one on one coaching practice for those who need a coach the most during these challenging times.