Ever had a salesperson cold-call you on the phone and launch into some long-winded speech about you-don’t-know-what and you-don’t-care-what? You’re trying to be professional and let them get to the point of why they called you in the first place but they just never seem to get to it. It’s like a plane going down the runway at an airport but never actually taking off. The entire time they’re talking you just wish there was a fast-forward button you could push — or better yet, one of those “skip intro” options like they have on Netflix.
…and that’s if you simply didn’t hang-up on them.
If you feel that way about the calls (and emails!) you get from other people — how do you think other people might feel about the calls you’re making and the emails you’re sending?
When reaching out to someone you don’t know (a new prospect, a supplier, etc.) via phone or email, try using Netflix’s Skip Intro technique to jump past the awkward-for-you and boring-for-them introduction about yourself and your company and how many years you’ve been in business and blah-blah-blahbbity-blah-blah to get right to the main reason that you’re contacting them.
This is similar to my recommendation that you Begin Like Bond in your webinars, keynote presentations, and podcasts. The main difference here is that in those instances the people chose to listen to you. They opted-in to your webinar, they registered for your keynote, or they downloaded your podcast. You’re not showing up unexpectedly and imposing your presence or pitch on them like you do with an unscheduled call or unsolicited email.
When you launch into long preamble to the point you want to make, the person on the other side isn’t listening to you — they’re trying to decide whether to hang-up (or delete your email). What you’re saying probably isn’t even registering.
Just hit “Skip Intro” and get to the good part
How do you start your calls?
Do you ask “How you doin’ today?”
When you say this as your opening line on a call it immediately let’s the other person know you’re a salesperson who has no idea who you need to speak with at the company you’re calling.
Maybe you ask “Who is the person in charge of…”
That’s a really efficient way to annoy the person who answered your call and let them know you don’t care who they are unless you can buy from them.
Those are boring and mind-numbingly skippable questions.
I always like to start with a provocative question or fact that makes them think or even laugh. The right opening line takes the person out of their normal phone or email-scanning routine just long enough for you to get an opportunity to earn their continued attention.
What Oscar-winning opening scenes or action sequences can you come up with to hook your audience and engage their attention long enough to take interest in what you’re saying and tune in to the rest of your show?