You’ve got Only Five Minutes…

Published on May 2, 2000

You’ve got Only Five Minutes- So Give It Your Best Shot!

How many times have you gone on an appointment and had the customer say you’ve got five minutes, so start talking? Now I know you wouldn’t do that (right?) but you have probably seen others fall into the trap and start spilling their guts (shotgun approach), hoping that something they say will grab the customers attention in five short minutes. It is safe to say that in 90% + of those situations, the sales person really did end up with only five minutes.

When you find yourself in that position again, simply remember it’s not what you say that counts, but what you ask. We have proven over and over again that when you ask enough of the right questions, many times those five minute deadlines turn into meetings lasting much longer. Customers only have 5 minutes or less to be “sold”. But they have as much time as necessary to discuss their challenges with people whom they believe can help them. You start building that belief in your customers mind by asking them about the challenges they are struggling with that day.

And for those of you who still feel threatened when you hear the “five minute” drill and are not sure how to turn it around, here is an example (modify it to your own selling situation) of what you can say: “Mr. Customer, thank you for warning me. To help with your time crunch, why don’t we discuss the three biggest challenges facing your sales force so we can quickly determine how my services can best serve you.”

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