Has anything changed more in recent years than prospecting?  Cold calling a business phone number to sell a potential prospect is a marginal task, at best, today.  Email is a similar task with similar results.  Salespeople who do their own prospecting need an advantage, a shift, in their approach.

This Selling Power article provides just such an advantage.  The gist of the article comes down to understanding System 1 and System 2 thinking.  First, let’s establish an important aspect of cold prospecting:

The customer needs time to understand your words. In the first outreach, the customer is not expecting the call or email – and must change their mindset from whatever they’re doing to the business solution you’re offering. That shift requires energy.

Cold calls are always an interruption to any person’s day.   Many of the worst cold calls I have experienced have literally jumped deep into a topic that wasn’t even on my radar.  When that happens, my mind switches to how fast I can get off of the call.  The best cold calls hook the potential prospect early and that is due to System 1 thinking built into all of us.

System 1 thinking comes into play when reading large words on a billboard or understanding simple sentences. Customers have the time and energy to engage only their System 1 thinking in the brief span of a prospecting call.

Speaking fast and loading the pitch with too many numbers and features will burden the listener. It demands they use their System 2 thinking, which is exhausting. What else requires System 2 thinking, according to Kahneman? Filling out a tax form or comparing the value of two washing machines. These aren’t tasks for a quick call. Slow down and simplify the message.

Think of your Differentiating Value/Value Proposition/Value Engine…however you refer to it.  This part of your message has to be tightly worded and impactful.  With that in mind, here is a perfect explanation of why today’s market requires a strong DV message.

Resonance matters more today than ever before. Consider a review of more than 1,600 B2B sales professionals, which shows that “accelerated commoditization and substitution” are circumventing the dialogue between the sales professional and customer. Rising above commoditization means bringing customized value to the customer.

With a slower pace, customers feel more at ease with the conversation. They’re more comfortable offering details that matter. Remember: While the solution might boast many outcomes, keep the list focused on those that will matter to the customer.

Slow down with a more mindful approach that simplifies the proposition, clarifies the value, and amplifies your presence in the customer’s world.

As they say, read the entire thing.

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