What Is The First Step In The Sales Process?





A sale can only be made when the seller has the attention of the prospective buyer.

Your Business Professor had been regularly calling on the hospital account making dozens of sales presentations. I had known the decision maker, a nurse, for years. She asked me, “Do you have a 26-gauge?”

I stared at her. My small business was the only company on the market that did. And I had told her that dozens of times in dozens of sales pitches.

She had been paying little attention to me, and I couldn’t begin to tell the story as small business marketer, Sujan Patel reminds us. I was little more than a professional visitor. All of my company’s marketing efforts and budget, and my personal selling genius were dust in the whirlwind that was her Intensive Care Unit. My glossy, four-color direct mail piece did not catch any attention; she did not hear me.

I was selling the Good News of teeny-tiny catheters for intravenous therapy, but no one had ears to hear. No one was buying my copy.

Recent literature and studies confirm ancient understanding. In a 1898 issue of Printers’ Ink, a writer noted, “The mission of an advertisement is to sell goods. To do this, it must attract attention …” (Wikipedia 2015)

Later, in the June 2, 1921 publication of Printers’ Ink, sales trainer C. P. Russell, wrote How to Write a Sales-Making Letter. He said that selling could be best done after the salesman has first gained Attention from the customer, then Interest, Desire and Action. This popular formula has made its way into countless modern marketing textbooks under the rubric-acronym AIDA. (Wikipedia 2015 citing Russell 1921)

Management of the sales process is successful when a deal is done, the sale is closed and the account opened. Sales representatives as Account Managers are the best communicators: they accomplish organization goals with the active support of their company’s customers. They get attention.

These small business owners and sales managers, like all leaders, get noticed. People listen.

Your Business Professor, as a teenager, once sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door. I was acting as a Rainmaker where I performed all the actions of both marketing and sales. I studied under an experienced sales trainer, George, whose last name is lost to the decades.



He encouraged a simple method to catch the attention of the prospect and provoke some action with — literally — a sales pitch. He threw an attachment, usually a lightweight nozzle, at the customer. Now, it was a gentle, high arch toss, released after George had his catcher’s eye. The baseball pitcher assault and battery analogy always caught the buyer’s attention. And when the prospect had made the catch, it was easier for him to see and feel the product features to — most importantly — hear and understand the customer benefits.

My decision-making nurse was distracted by a beeping monitor. But I answered her question, “Yes, we have the 26 gauge.” My hands were full. I clumsily pulled a product sample from my bag and asked her, “Can you open this for me?”

She didn’t drop the ball.

I had her active attention; she finally heard the message and the deal was done.



Steps Photo via Shutterstock

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Jack Yoest


Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.

141 Reactions

  1. Jeff Charles

    Jack,

    I loved the story about your sales trainer who opened up his sales call by tossing an object to the customer. What a great way to capture their attention and interest!

    I think any opening interaction should involve some type of hook to get the prospect’s attention. Great story!

  2. Jack Yoest

    Jeff, “hook” is the perfect word — to get the attention of prospective client.

    Thank you for your comment,
    Jack

  3. Aira Bongco

    I have to agree. You cannot really make your pitch if the person is not interested with you to begin with. Attention is everything.

    • Jack Yoest

      Aira, you are right — the customer has to qualified by using MAP, money, authority and pain — but we can only sell (that is, transfer emotion) when we have the prospects’ attention.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  4. Hi Jack,

    It was really lovely to hear a personal story that you’ve learnt from and choose to share. Rather than the usual, statistical, advice and average biz talk.

    I did not expect it 🙂

    Naomi

  5. Attention is always key in any situation that requires communication. This makes it especially important in marketing and sales. Without the client’s attention there is no sale and thus nobody to market to. The point at the end was critical because in order to get that attention you physically handed the bag to her. Engaging the client is one of the best ways to sell because if the client can touch and see instead of just hearing it can make all the difference. You gave the example in class about the gentleman whose sales doubled after letting the client be part of the demonstration which requires the client’s attention.

  6. Emmelyn Chapilliquen

    Hello professor Yoest!
    -I really enjoyed your personal story on catching someone’s attention to sell a product or idea, I feel like now a days it’s getting harder to sell face-to-face with a customer because there is so much competition and technology that reach a potential customer more than a sales guy/gal. Even yesterday when I walked through the mall a young guy was selling us face cream and I watched how he tried his best to capture people’s attention. I saw how he would toss people cream samples similar to what George did and it actually worked 80% of the time.

  7. Without grabbing the clients attention there is not audience of value and will most likely result in nothing. Appealing to many senses and maximizing focus, the client will have to stay engaged which will then lead them to be interested in whatever it is they’re being offered. All clients and potential clients need to be convinced and shown that they need a certain good or service.

    • Jack Yoest

      Blaise, you are right: if we do not have the attention of the Prospect/manager/student/client/ that is to say, anyone, then we are not likely to have a genuine conversation and not likely to transfer emotion.

      Getting attention is the First Move.

      Best,
      Jack

  8. I find it very interesting to see how someone can have a method of easily catching the attention of a possible buyer. I’d believe there must be some kind of method of getting the customer to buy a product, since that will increase productivity and save time. “He threw an attachment, usually a lightweight nozzle, at the customer.” The “attachment” would be the key to catching the buyers attention. Once you have the buyers attention, they can hear/understand what you have to say about the product. Thus, making your job (the seller) easier.

    • Jack Yoest

      Raymond, good comment — we must have the attention of the audience or client. Just as when any public address loudspeaker would blast out, “Attention, please, attention…” so too does the speaker to get people to stop, look and listen.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  9. It looks like the key to getting attention is to involve the customer in the demonstration of the product. Your experiences reminded me of my summer job at an ice cream parlor. I’d find myself making recommendations to customers, and realized that offering samples helped customers decide quicker than with just a description of the flavor. Engagement drives a sale as much as the appeal of the pitch. In other words, seeing really is believing.

    • Jack Yoest

      Joe, a good interpretation — as you got the customer to move in your direction with, literally, a small bite — you got the goal accomplished — every customer walks out happy.

      And a FREE SAMPLE is always irresistible.

      Well Done,
      Jack

  10. The importance of storytelling is always emphasized in any kind of best-practices sales discussion. However, I find that people often gloss over the fact that the sales person has to provide a “hook” to the client to get them to listen to the story in the first place. In any good novel, the first chapter or even the cover of the book catches the eye of the reader. The fourth movement of Dvorak’s 9th symphony has a striking 15-second-or-so introduction (which John Williams stole for his “Jaws” soundtrack) that grabs the listener before he or she gets launched into the exposition of the main theme of the piece.
    If a great story is being told, but nobody’s attention has been caught, then is the story really a great one?

  11. Jack Yoest

    Alexander, you are right — we must get the prospect’s attention which requires talent. Not everyone can do this — too many confuse ‘showmanship’ with being a ‘clown.’

    Well done,
    Jack

  12. AIDA is such an intuitive idea, but seems to be often forgotten, or worse, taken advantage of. Most people look at politicians with preconceived judgments and don’t really hear their message, only seeing the person speaking. The problem is the attention is on the speaker and not the message. On the other hand, by shifting the audience’s attention to where the speaker wants it to go, instead of on the actual message, the audience can be deceived into believing something has been said that really wasn’t. A great example is Hitler: people believed he was bringing strength and independence to Germany, while instead he was taking away Germany’s freedom and security.

  13. This was a great article that got my attention. This attention grabbing technique is much like how a sales representative needs to grab the attention of the customer. Opening up with an attention grabbing line can either make or break your argument, and your sale. I always here in my different courses, that telling a story is extremely important in an area of business, and I believe especially in a sales pitch–telling a story, will sell your product.

  14. The first and probably most important step of the sales process is to catch attention from customers. There are so many ways to catch one’s attention but the key concern for a sales man is how to do it in the right way.
    I believe we all have the unpleasant experiences of answering sales phone calls. The person at the other end just wouldn’t stop talking when you were trying to end the phone call. By non-stop talking, the sales person definitely caught customer’s attention, but it is a bad practice since it arouses the antipathy of the customer.
    The article provides us examples of the right ways to draw attention from potential customers. Through small actions when delivering a sales pitch or when naturally asking for favors from customers. Both of which provide opportunities to catch the customers’ attention and have them touch and feel the products.

    • Jack Yoest

      Eve, you are right — first impressions are important. And this is why sales representatives — account managers make so much money: How to get attention without alienating (or abusing) the hiring manager or prospective customer. This is a valuable skill.

      Well written,
      Jack

  15. Until this article, I had not realized that getting your buyers’ attention is just as important and goes hand in hand with the story telling of your product. However, after thinking about it, I believe that we do it inherently. For example, I waitress at a restaurant in New Jersey during the summer. This restaurant boasts 28 beers on tap from the usual suspects (Coors Light, Miller Light) to different, local brews (Beach Haus, Carton). When a customer is trying to decide on a certain beer to purchase, I’ll give them my usual pitch about the taste, where it’s from, and similar beers that are like it. In addition, I’ll offer the customer a taste of the beer. This gesture immediately perks up my customers. Who wouldn’t like to have a free sip or three of a new beer they wanted to try!? Usually after the customer tastes the sampling, he or she purchases it. This goes to show that attention grabbing is just as important as the pitch. If people are not interested, they are not listening, and they will not bite. If I did not offer a taste to my customers, maybe they would just rest on their laurels and purchase one of the usual suspect beers, which costs less.

  16. Jack Yoest

    Clare, an outstanding example of getting the customer’s attention and moving him to the next step to make a decision. Your work of providing a FREE sample helped the customer make a decision.

    I often think of bartenders and wait-staff as experts in avoiding attention — of those demanding customers — while the waitress is in the middle of a task. As in trying to “catch the eye” of the server…

    A well written comment,
    Jack

  17. I absolutely agree with this. Getting customer’s attention is an important skill that salespersons need to have.

    I was a door-to-door salesman in the summer after I graduated from college. My sales trainer was Dan. I trained with him for only two weeks but I learned a great amount from him. Dan was very effective at getting people’s attention. He always maintained his high energy level and positive attitude. He treated people with respect. He also used his body language very effectively.

    These were simple techniques but they worked quite well for Dan as well as for me.

    • Jack Yoest

      Kien, Everyone needs a coach or a trainer. Sales and account management is a demanding profession and usually has a deep support system to assist the Representative in the field.

      But no matter where you are in the company, if your position or company does not provide an advisor or mentor go find one or rent one.

      If you can afford a coach or a consultant, take a management course at your local community college and find the Dean — You can get world-class advise for the price of a college class (cheap!).

      Cheers,
      Jack

  18. Humans tend to engage with things in the moment. By having a hands on approach salespeople can more easily hone the focus of their customers. Seeing as a vast majority of people are kinesthetic learners, having a physical grounding to the conversation helps to make theoretical situations more of a reality. This selling point solidifies the story you tell and looks to cater to the way that people think as opposed to attempting to alter their mindset which I am sure led to much success. This story demonstrates how sales takes so much more effort than just knowing the product!

    • Jack Yoest

      Emmy, you are right — good marketing attempts to enter the mind of the consumer through multiple senses — including touch and motion.

      Product knowledge is important, as you note — but we must also know selling tactics. It is good to know the lyrics, but the music is what sells.

      Outstanding analysis,

      Jack

  19. Adriana Del Castillo

    Grabbing someone’s attention is extremely important- not just when selling a product, but also when selling oneself (during an interview for a job, for example). In our business meetings we have been taught the importance of people hearing your message. One of the best techniques to do so is by engaging your audience through storytelling. In reading the article I learned about the AIDA technique. It made me further think about how important it is to grab someone’s attention; without Attention, the subsequent steps leading to the sale will most likely not happen, and therefore, important opportunities might be missed.

    • Jack Yoest

      Adriana, true, we must have the attention of our target — if we do not have his “undivided attention” (did you get that in elementary school…) then nothing we say will have impact.

      If we do not have the attention, then we might as well go silent, or go ‘dark’ as we say in politics– and say nothing.

      A thoughtful comment,
      Jack

  20. I absolutely agree that the first step with any form of sales is grabbing the potential buyer’s attention. It is understood that attention is the new currency for brand advertising and is sometimes valued more than money in the marketing world. Grabbing someones’ attention can be a difficult task. However I firmly believe that if you are knowledgeable of what you are selling as well as confident, then the attention of the buyer should be easy to obtain. If confidence and product knowledge is not enough, then using hands on examples or even reevaluating the customer and understand if they really need your product should be considered.

    Also since the advancement in Social Media is vastly increasing, methods for attracting potential buyers might be different than a person-to-person sales transaction. Definitely something that needs further research.

    • Jack Yoest

      Alex, yes, getting Attention is the first step in the sales process preceding rapport — and word of mouth is the best advertising — for our personal branding.

      And a personal referral makes for the best introduction to break through the ‘noise’ to get the attention of a possible client or a hiring manager.

      Well said,
      Jack

  21. I agree with the idea that you need to catch the customer’s attention in order to make a sale. That is what advertisements do best. You aren’t going to make a sale if the customer is bored and falling asleep. These days, it seems that you are constantly bombarded with ads wanting you to buy something. This can actually desensitize someone to ads, making them less impactful. A sales person needs to improve and adapt to capture people’s attention, most likely by learning about them instead of trying instantly sell them something. Be different from the rest of the world

  22. Attention is key. No one is going to listen to what you have to say if you are not interesting or draw attention. I relate this to what I learned as a music education undergrad. As a teacher, I have to draw and even demand attention from my students. Attention cannot be forced though. This is the same for sales. Most times when someone is selling something, whether it be on TV, in a magazine, or online, it is easy to look past the advertisement. What really sells is attention. Something like throwing a nozzle at a customer is most certainly a way to get attention. Even if this person does not buy your product, or does not like the means by which you got their attention, they still will have your attention and they will remember you and the product. Grabbing attention is easier said than done, but is possible. Sometimes the seller, or in my experience the teacher, must step out of the comfort zone and act a little crazy or unusual. People like crazy and unusual and it certainly draws their attention.

  23. AIDA is an almost reflexive and instinctual habit, which people incorporate into everyday tasks. It seems so simple that you must first grab the attention of the subject, but often times this is already assumed or not thought of. Your story reminds me of my experiences as a sales intern for the Athletic Department at UMD. As a sales representative, I would send off emails and make point of contact calls. However, the best way to make a sale was to work a lead that had already expressed an interest or desire in buying tickets to a UMD football or basketball game and scheduling them for a tour. By bringing them into the stadium to actually see their seats and get a better understanding of where they were going to sit, I was able to grab their attention and show them the benefits and rewards of buying the seats.

  24. Similarly to what my Business Issues class discussed yesterday, people love talking about themselves and a great sales person listens! Once the sales persons gets to know the customer, he/she can immediately demand attention by applying what was said into a story. This article clearly expresses the art that is a part of sales and not just the science, which many people think is the only component. Listening and using attention-grabbing techniques sets some sales people apart from those who only use the science.

  25. Jack Yoest

    Bianca, very true — sellers must get to know all about the buyer. We can then tailor our presentation of benefits to fit the preferences of the consumer.

    Well said,
    Jack

  26. Christina Breisler

    This really emphasizes how important it is for both parties to be actively listening to each other. Both active listening and AIDA – attention/awareness, interest, desire, and action, are integral to making connections with customers, which in turn leads to sales. When the 26-gauge was physically pulled out of the bag, it grabbed the nurse’s attention better than any glossy report or high-tech PowerPoint could have done. She was involved, had the product in her hands, and knew that none of the other competitors had this same product, which cemented the sale.

  27. I agree that it’s essential to gain a person’s attention before you can sell something to them. It’s also important to maintain that attention after you have it, and then be persuasive enough for them to believe it’s worth buying. That seems like easy logic, but it will take a salesperson some training and experience at doing this before he/she gets good at it. Also, the point about telling a story is a good one. People tend to remember things better if it’s told in a version of a story or a metaphor, so being able to accurately do that in a sales pitch is a huge advantage.

  28. I think AIDA serves as a really strong progressional model for sales, but the one thing that makes me think is, can this lead a salesman to be too aggressive and consequentially turn a potential buyer away. There is obviously a fine line to tread, because to catch attention you usually have to do something memorable (e.g. tossing an attachment to someone). While it may gain attention, there is the possibility of overplaying the hand. I think this is why people tend to shy away from sales attempts from car salesmen and the likes. They get attention, but almost in a bad way. If this line is balanced carefully, AIDA is an incredible tool.

  29. Grabbing the attention of your potential customer is the hardest part of a sale. Often times consumers will either brush off sales pitches by hanging up the phone or closing the door because nothing caught there attention. In this day and age, people want things yesterday. Meaning, we want things done quickly. So if a seller wants to persuade a potential client to purchase his product, the opening line or action must immediately grab their attention. For example, Mr. Yoest throwing the attachment at the potential customer immediately engages the customer. This is a great sales tactic instead of knocking on the door and bluntly asking “would you like to buy a vacuum cleaner.”

  30. The attempt to garner attention for your sales product or pitch is only getting harder I believe. Examine the world we live in today. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements on TV, on the radio, on the internet, and in print. As we see more pitches we become numb to them. Let alone being a distracted nurse who must account for the lives of the sick. Having her ask for an item you’ve told her you already carry must have garnered a defeated feeling. However, the sale was made. Ultimately I hope the situation caused you to address your sales technique for future, similar situations.

  31. It would seem like such a common sense thing– that you need the buyer’s attention to make a sale. But it’s often not as simple as it would seem, and not truly thought about. It’s especially hard now to get people’s attention, because there are so many stimuli out there already competing for it. But getting their attention is related to everything else we’ve learned about salesmanship, like establishing an emotional connection– a relationship with the buyer. Only once their attention is captured can you start to take this next step. In fact, you can capture their attention initially by appealing to their emotion. This is why storytelling is so effective.

  32. This was a very interesting read, as I too used to sell products not so much door – to – door but more through catalogue distribution. I used to hold “parties” in a host house and be able to show and demonstrate my products. After a few years I was able to come up with the conclusion that there are vital primary steps to take in order to make selling your product(s) work. The first is approaching the customer, getting their attention and getting them interested in your product. Next was determining the customers’ needs and realising how your product(s) can help them specifically. Next, presenting the product(s), overcoming the objections and closing the sale. Once the deal was closed, I realised that it was then on my own head to ensure a return visit from them. Suggestive selling of similar products and building a relationship with the customer were then my final steps to ensuring I had their trust.

  33. It is clear that the first step in the sales process is to catch the attention of the consumer or consumers. A sales person cannot attract and convince someone to buy a product or service without first having his or her attention. One way in which a person can catch someone’s attention is through an effective sales pitch. It is important that the potential consumer is engaged so that he or she can see the benefits of a product or service. An effective sales pitch will immediately draw the potential consumer in, which could even be by forcing him or her to physically catch something you pitch to he or she.

  34. I enjoyed your personal story about the sales process. Creating a sale starts with planning. Knowing your audience and directing your sales pitch to them personally is crucial. Then, once you have your targeted audience, the seller must attain the prospect’s attention. Something interactive, like throwing an item to a customer may be a turn off if the product has little relevance or desire from the customer. However, if there is a need for the product, this sales strategy could easily grab their attention. Engagement and sales go hand in hand. It’s important to be personal and relate the product to the consumer’s needs. Marketing emphasizes creating the connection between the produce and the consumer. Find the linkage to why the consumer should try/purchase your product, convey that to the customer in an interactive way, and then hopefully close that sale.

  35. In the sale process it is important to make a connection with the consumer or customer. The consumer will automatically be more interested in what you are selling if they hear something that interests them. As a seller i is your job to make sure that you are appealing and catch the eye of the customers or you will just be another average salesman.

  36. MacKenzie Gardner

    Attention is everything when making a sale. If you cannot hook the buyers attention then you have no shot at pitching them your idea or product. The way in which you appeal to the customers wants or needs can make or break the deal for you.

  37. Mary Margaret Sheridan

    Getting the buyer’s attention is essential for any type of sales pitch, whether it’s a job interview or a retail sale. People sometimes don’t know that they need something until you point out to them why they do. Engaging with a potential customer is necessary if you want to make a sale. Having worked in retail for the past three years, I have seen this to be true time and time again. If you engage with a customer, you are much more likely to make a sale. If however you never even make eye contact with them or do not try to start a conversation with them, there is no chance of making a sale.

  38. I think the “hook” of a sales pitch is so important. You really need to get the prospective customer’s attention. This draws them to your product, service, or your personal skills in interviews. Engagement is what leads to closing sales because then you have established a connection with the customer. I learned this when working at a trade show this past summer. I had to first draw the customer in and talk with them/form a relationship, then it was easy to talk to them about the products. Once I had established a connection the sale always easily followed.

  39. This article is interesting and it’s nice to hear of techniques and advice from people who are professionals. From this article, a point to ponder is what are you selling. In the case of a young professor Yoest who was selling a vacuum door to door but it was more than a vacuum, He was selling a good attitude, and he was selling his emotions which in turn reach the customer’s. It is very important to sell the product like it is the best thing ever and you have to believe in it even if you don’t. That is key to being successful.

  40. Christine Loughery

    Catching the attention of the buyer is key in the sales and marketing process. It is essential for the seller to capture the buyer’s attention with no distractions. The buyer must be entirely focused on what the seller has to offer in order for the seller to even think about making a sale. This starts with a strong sales pitch. A strong sales pitch draws the buyer in and puts them in a position where they are entirely focused. This article directly shows how important capturing the attention actually is. The nurse was distracted but as soon as she was handed a sample she automatically displayed a stronger interest in the product and what the seller had to say. This ultimately resulted in a sale.

  41. I found this article very interesting with some great insight from a professional and people with experience. It’s hard to sometimes grab the attention of people your trying to make sales pitch to and and its even harder to keep it. I love the idea of your sales trainer of throwing an object at the customer, getting them involved and making them feel apart of the sale already is a great way to grasp their attention. Having a sense of attitude and confidence in your sales pitch is also very important to grabbing your potential buyers attention by doing this I feel it allows the buyer to feel more comfortable with what your selling, and possibly turning that into a sale.

  42. Mahmoud Al-Attas

    Agree, I think this article is very interesting . Connecting with the customer is one of the most ideal approaches to offer in light of the fact that if the customer can touch and see rather than simply listening to it can have all the effect. You gave the case in class about the courteous fellow whose deals multiplied in the wake of giving the customer a chance to be a piece of the exhibit which requires the customer’s consideration.

  43. The hook- genius! But what I took out of this article is that some sales techniques never go out of style. If someone has a technique that works, use it! This is just a reminder to try to keep track of everything you learn in your training days at a new job, or any time somebody you’re working with offers advice on how to do something, their way might work in the situation, but also might work in future situations. Never write off information or ideas that could help as “stupid” or “useless”!

  44. The AIDA way of selling a good seems like a great strategy to me. By first getting the buyers attention, then interest, desire, and lastly most importantly their attention. This approach works because it puts in the extra work needed to make a sale. Anyone who can speak the english language can repeat a sales pitch. The successful people are the ones who are able to personalize the sale of the good and create a brand for them selves.

  45. The ‘need’ is a very important part of marketing and sales. The article is titled What Is The First Step In The Sales Process?, I believe that it is the ‘need’. In order to successfully market and sell an item, you have to approach your customer on a personal level and show your customer why they need what you are selling. If the customer only wants you item, they will feel that they can purchase it at any time and feel no obligation to actively pursue your item to purchase. However, if the customer needs your item, they will act on impulse and purchase it. The customer will feel if they don’t buy the item, then a part of them will be missing. Of course different customers will have different needs, especially in the various industries. The objective is to show why your competitors items are inferior to your items, and at the same time demonstrate why your items are superior to everyone else’s. As was stated in the article, the formula AIDA is consistently used in these scenarios. You need to gain the attention from the customer by explaining how your product is so unique and superior to your competitor. You have to spark the interest of your customer by showing how it is so different. You then need to preform the third step, desire. Make the customer feel obligated to buy the product because their world will be change without it. And finally, taking action, the customer will successfully purchase your product.

  46. Yes, marketing is important when trying to get people to buy your product, but the most important one of all is sales. Sales I think is important to me, because you can put out ads all you want to get people to try and buy your product, but at the same time you get the little old ladies that cannot take your ads anymore and will not buy your product. That is why if you make a good sales pitch, they will more likely be willing to buy your product. With your example of having her open up the bag to get her full attention, reminds me of the scene from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” at the end when Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Jordan Belfort, goes in front of a group of people that are at a conference to learn how to become a better sales person and how he started off was by giving someone a pen that he had in his pocket, gave it to them and asked them to sell him the pen he gave them. By doing that, it showed that people needed to find a way to sell him the pen and give him a good pitch that would make him want to buy it, so that means do not just give the obvious, give more features on why he should buy this pen. Yes, what he did was very wrong and made a lot of people lose their money, but the one thing he had was being a person who could make a sale and he trained his workers the same way. So to be a successful salesperson, you have to be the right person for the job, who can talk to people and get them to buy it and also get trained a little bit to, because like I said before, sales is one of the most important things when it comes to business and selling your product.

    • Jack Yoest

      AD, The ability to persuade is the most dangerous skill — to gain the confidence of others. This skill has a great burden because the sales representative has earned the trust of the buyer and this trust/confidence could easily be betrayed.

      Sales professionals are sometimes confused with confidence men — we shorten this to ‘con man.’ At the point of sale it is difficult to distinguish between the ‘pro’ and the ‘con.’

      Good comment,
      Jack

  47. Thank you for sharing that with us, I think it is brilliant that the sales pitch involved an actual pitch. It is something that one just finds so clever you cannot help but listen. I feel as if that is the hardest part about making a sale, grabbing one’s attention, a “hook,” but once you get that down the one listening becomes interested and it should be easier from their on out. Now in day, there are fewer and fewer face to face sales being made and I’m trying to think if that is beneficial or not to a salesperson. You have one side where the salesperson does not have to be as great as a communicator and if does well through technology he can get more sales done then face to face. But, when it comes to face to face I feel like a sales person has a better chance of convincing a potential buyer with his skills and friendliness or whatever his edge may be; like in the case of the story the actual pitch.

  48. I find this extremely interesting. There’s nothing more frustrating than talking and feeling like no one is listening. It’s another thing have it confirmed that no one is listening, let’s be honest it’s a huge blow to self-confidence. Grabbing the prospect’s attention is by far the most difficult part. Different strategies attract different people’s attention, so it’s difficult to find one universal strategy. That’s where the baseball pitch comes into use. It literally forces the prospect to pay attention. It forces them to use more than two senses. When you’re pitching to someone, all they do is listen and see you (or other materials you provide). By actually lightly tossing an object to them, they now use touch; they can associate touch with your sales pitch. The prospect has to pay attention because they have to catch the object, forcing them to react. I doubt many prospects get objects tossed at them by salespeople often, let along touch the product or objects associated with the product, it’s bound to leave an impression. For this method to be executed, it must be a face-to-face sale, which also makes a longer lasting impression. The baseball pitch makes the first step in AIDA ten-times easier for the salesperson, which helps give them confidence. A salesperson can’t put their best foot forward in a sales pitch without confidence. If the salesperson doesn’t have confidence in him/herself, the prospect will be able to catch onto that and be less inclined to listen. Using the “pitch” in a sales pitch opens the door for the salesperson to give it their best effort.

  49. Jack Yoest

    Michelle, you are right: the face-to-face sales pitch is the most effective of presentations — even though it is the most expensive.

    A well written comment,
    Jack

  50. This is a very smart approach to sales pitches. With many tangible products, customers base their first opinion on appearance. If it looks interesting or catches the eye, they are drawn to it. With products like catheters and vacuum nozzles, people don’t give a second look at. The sense of touch sparks an interest. By tossing the product to an onlooker, they are forced to interact with the product and actually give it a look. Once they have the product and are holding it, it is more likely that a customer can see this product as their own (since it is in their possession). Using the senses is always an effective way to pitch a product. For example, taste with food, smell with candles and air freshener products, touch with products like clothing. Without the use of senses to grab the attention of a customer, you are only talking AT the customer rather than having them interact WITH the product. There are many different ways a salesperson can capture the interest of potential customers by using the senses. That being said, in order to make a successful sales pitch, a salesperson must come up with a creative way to catch a customer’s eye, even if their product does not.

  51. Without a customer’s undivided attention, no matter how great the product is, the sale will most likely not go through. Now this responsibility is placed solely on the salesperson. He or she must find a way to MAKE the customer interested in what they are selling. Think of the age-old task of “sell me this pen.” A pen is mundane, very basic – a product where it really only comes in one form, for one function. A good salesperson must be able to make the customer interested in what he is selling, even if it is just a pen. Maybe that is throwing the pen at them for a catch, or maybe it is something else learned in a career, but the responsibility of customer interest lies with the salesperson.

  52. Quite fascinating. I’ve certainly found that any presentation that reels me in and grabs my attention and holds it is a successful presentation. Attention and interest is even more important in a sales pitch. A sales pitch is essentially you telling a group of people why they should give their money to you for your product or services. Telling someone that they should be buying from you isn’t exactly a walk in the park. People remember things that standout from the rest. They remember the guy that brought the intense energy, kept everyone awake and tossed some product parts around the room. It is essentially just like fishing. You have to attract the fish to bite your line. You lure them in, and once you’re within reach, you hook em and close the deal. It’s a skill that doesn’t come easy except for the ones who are naturally born salesmen. They understand the process and are masters at communicating, entertaining and informing. This is a wonderful piece that does a great job illuminating the first and one of the most important steps in the sales process.

  53. Love the hands on approach for getting your customers attention. What better way to hook them in then having them see the product for themselves. As a buyer, I’d rather hold and feel something rather than have someone tell me all about it and not listen to half of what they say. Going off of the AIDA system, the most important step is the first one, Attention. Going with a hands on and personal approach really draws in your customer. Great story!

  54. I understand the part of the sales pitch. However, do you ask before tossing something in the air for them to catch as you did? Or had George told you to just lob up the product, or a piece of it, and hope that they caught it?

    • Jack Yoest

      James, It depends, as always, on the situation. There are a thousand variables to consider: eye contact, hearing impairment, age, gender, distance, wind conditions, rapport, expectations and dexterity.

      The business owner/sales professional can handle this with decades of practice. Do not attempt with out adult supervision.

      Cheers,
      Jack

  55. This article brings up an interesting separating between sales and marketing. To make a sale you must get attention, the marketing must get the attention of the customer so you can close to deal. There must be bait on the hook to get the fish to bite (marketing) so you can close the deal by reeling in the fish (sales). This reminds me of another article you wrote about branding, how Trump was successful in maintain a constant brand while Rubio floundered trying to adapt his. It makes me thing there is something more to it than mere branding, Trump’s success has a lot to do with his ability to get attention. Just like George would literally throw the vacuum piece at the customer to make the customer hold the piece, Trump throws statements at you that hit you so that you have to hold his idea in your head. Rubio never did that. Trump will say outlandish things, but they are successful in earning him media coverage, getting people to talk about him and consider his product. He beat the other 13 candidates because they couldn’t get the voters to pay attention, so no matter how good the sales pitch they weren’t paying attention. Trump throws statements that may offend you, but you listen; the voters that chose the election heard many sales pitches but only one gained their attention. To make a sale you must have the marketing to gain attention.

  56. The most important step in the AIDA system would have to be attention because almost every situation requires communication. In order to make a sale you must gain the attention of the customer. Being able to grab the attention of the customer is key because it shows that you are able to draw in the customer using your own personal pitch. Great story and thanks for sharing.

  57. Selling door-to-door, I can definitely attest to this. I quickly learned that I must capture the customer’s attention IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, they were given the opportunity to quickly say “no” before shutting the door in my face. I learned that it was necessary to fill my first sentence with large amounts of enthusiasm, followed by an enthusiastic quick summary of the most exciting features of the services, emphasis on the “quick”. It was imperative that while selling, I didn’t give a long-winded speech. I had to remember that selling was not a monologue; rather, it was a dialogue between customer and I, a dialogue in which the customer did 80% of the talking. It was necessary to engage the customer otherwise they would become bored and the sale would evaporate before my eyes.

  58. Caroline Eldridge

    This is yet another example of how by including the consumer in the exchange of goods, the company increases the chances of making a sale. In this anecdote, you mention that you had the nurse hold the gauge she needed. By holding the gauge her brain thereby associates the salesperson with the gauge and creates a memorable experience with the product, causing her to return to you for business. This again fosters a relationship between the customer and the company, which increases connection with a shared memory and interaction. Most salespersons come into a sale and speak with the customer but never make the sale interactive, causing all salespersons to blend together in one’s memory. By differentiating oneself, he can call attention to himself and separate from the crowd of salespeople. Interactive marketing campaigns in shopping malls have taken off because of this. People are attracted to good experiences with a product and if they have an authentic and enjoyable experience, they will continue to want to experience that again. This guarantees talk about the product and the experience and convinces other potential consumers that the product is as good as the company advertises. People are more likely to believe things told to them by their friends and by giving one person a good experience with a product, five more people have the impression of a good experience.

  59. Undoubtedly, you cannot sell to a (potential) client if they are not paying attention; who would buy something if they have no idea what it is, or anything about it? So evidently, you need ways to get their attention, whether it’s if you don’t yet have it, or you’re about to lose it. As seen an discussed in class, one great way to retain or gain back someone’s attention is through silence. This has many affects, one being an awkward moment that would shock and refocus the attention of the “listener”. Another great way this article mentioned was through hands on activity. Physically handing the listener or client an object keeps the included in the conversation and keeps their attention engaged. This attention-grabbing is seen everyday, even outside the business world. Huge billboard sings, commercials amplifying the volume of the television output, the inflatable waving tube man outside car wash stations. It’s all to grab your attention, leading to a gain of interest, then to a potential sale.

  60. Anthony Spadaccini

    Your sales pitch is only as good as how receptive the person you are trying to sell too is. You can get someone wanting to hear your pitch, and other who do not have the time, or energy to deal with you at the time. For those who seem attentive, the sales hook is the most important. It will immediately keep the potential buyer on its toes waiting attentively and listening to all of the different products you have available. These people typically will also help your cause by telling their friends that a salesman from C company is going door to door. The hook, no matter selling door to door, or closing on a million dollar deal, you always need to hook in the potential buyer to keep the interest, so that everyone can make money.

  61. This article hit an extremely crucial point in order to make a sale. That point being attention and it really is key to making a sale. This is why before even speaking to someone about your sale you must have his or her attention. Otherwise you are just wasting your breath. In order to sell something you need a proper communication channel where the speaker and the listener are both engaged otherwise the sale is a ruined. When you have proper active attention this form of communication will make it easier to get your point across in order to make your deal.

  62. Once the seller is able to catch the buyer’s attention, closing the sale becomes much easier. There have been plenty of times where I have been in a mall and people stand in the center and would try to sell me stuff. In most cases I find myself saying “no thanks” and continuing to shop. However, certain sellers have been able to grab my attention whether it’s by saying something or doing something cool with the particular product. Once this happens I am engaged in what the seller is saying and find it hard not to make the purchase. Mastering the idea of grabbing attention is a quick and easy way to become successful in sales.

  63. Creating some type of “hook” is definitely important when making a sale. Without grabbing the customer’s attention, they will never pay attention to you and your products. If the customer does not immediately show interest when you are pitching a sale to them, keep trying a different technique until they do show interest. From the story in this article, the nurse did not pay any attention until she needed something, and of course this business had it and had been telling her many times. Instead, the seller should make sure the customer knows what they are willing to sell and “hook” them somehow, just as George had done by throwing a piece of the product to the customer. Once the customer is hooked, they are sold on your product and will be very willing to buy another product again if all goes well.

  64. Elizabeth Gittings

    The tactic of getting the customer’s attention both mentally and physically is critical in a sale. Just because a consumer’s eye is on you does not promise there brain is there as well. Through forcing the consumer to react it swiftly grabs their attention both physically and mentally and is a fun way to enter into a sales pitch. I also agree that once you have the product in the consumer’s hands, it gives them a tangible object to match your sales pitch. They can put a word to an image and it solidifies their trust in what you are selling. It can never hurt to show the consumer what you are selling before they receive it and I believe that this way of going about selling a good is fun and can prove effective.

  65. Michelle Bouchard

    It is so important that it is almost negligible. The act of catching and keeping your audience’s attention when giving a sales pitch. When speaking to another person or group of people, it is easy to forget that, while they may be physically present, their mind could very well be elsewhere. The attention of your listener” is not something you can take for granted as a salesman. It is your duty to entice your audience and convince them that what you have to say is more important than whatever is weighing on their mind at that moment. In fact, a salesman should always think as though he is selling two things: the service or product, and himself.

  66. Nicolette Crisalli

    Having the person’s attention from the beginning is very important in a good sales pitch. Tossing the product at the person catches them off guard and bring their awareness to what they now have in their hands. This is a great method… if what you are selling them is catchable. Sales is a hard business and many times people do not want to gives the sales person the time of day. A good sales person though know hows to catch the person, reel them in, and then either get the person very interested in the product or service or seals the deal!

  67. Physical touch of a product sounds like the key way to keep a customer’s attention according to your article. It seems to be more difficult to first get a customer’s attention so much so a salesperson might even have to toss the product at them. I also find it affective to tell a story. In my opinion and experience this can apply to any situation. People want to know about you, about someone else, or about something that will affect them. If the customer can catch the idea, I would say that is a home run for the salesperson.

  68. Closing a sale depends on whether or not you’ve grabbed the attention of the buyer. It is always important to plan your product and advertisement strategy in a way that can be entertaining, interesting, and curious to the audience and prospective buyers. It’s easy to ignore or say “no” to sales that look boring and common. Therefore, it is important to make sure the way you do your sales pitch is memorable and creative, as well as eye-catching. Once the customer takes a moment to listen to you, you’ve got an advantage. And once the customer’s attention is on your product, he or she will be more than likely to buy the product if it fits their needs or interests, as well as potentially buy more in the future.

  69. As a freshman in high school, all students were required to take a speech class. This class was to instill self confidence in all the students so giving presentations in the future would be easier than if they had never practiced. Aside from appropriate posture, one of the most important things we learned about was “the hook.” Whether one is writing a paper, giving a presentation, or formulating a sales pitch, the hook is what will make or break it. If you cannot grasp the attention of the audience in the first sentence, there is no way you will be able to keep their attention as you presentation continues. This is very similar to the sales world. If a salesperson is trying to sell an object to a customer, they need a hook. They need to draw the customer in and make them curious about the products that are being sold. Without a hook, the sales pitch will fail. In order to make a sale, you have to get their attention first.

  70. The first step in a sales process is to gain your customer’s full and undivided attention. In order to close a sale, the customer must be fully engaged in your sales pitch. If your customer is not giving you enough attention and does not show interest in your product, you most likely will not close the sale. Before starting any sales pitch, you need to find a way to attract your customer by relating to their interests and desires. The hardest part of a sales pitch is the first step. Once you get your customer’s attention, the ball is in your court and you can wow them and close the sale.

  71. There are two important parts to a sales pitch. The first one is attention from the person to whom you are selling your product to. Once you have their attention then comes the pitch, one that in my opinion should be short, sweet and to the point. These two things I think are the ones that are going to help you sell your product. But with them come a lot more things, like body language. If you don’t have good body language you will never have a good connection with the costumer. When doing a sales pitch the message has to go across clear, that message should be the why you should buy the product, why will it benefit the costumer. If you can do this successfully, you will be able to close the sale.

  72. Success in sales starts with great communication. In order to sell your product, you must be able to capture your audience’s attention right away, and keep them interested. A sale is only seen as successful when the deal is done, the sale is closed, and the account is opened. Therefore, you must be persuasive from beginning to end. Good salespeople accomplish organization goals with support from their company’s customers. These accomplishments and hard work are what get certain salespeople attention from their customers, and success in selling their product. The article relates a good sales pitch to the role a pitcher plays in a baseball game. This analogy is another great way to further understand the importance of capturing your prospective client’s attention.

  73. When making any sales pitch it is crucial to have their undivided attention, otherwise the chances of making that sale do not look good. Once you know you have their attention you must be able to keep their attention throughout the sales pitch. Keeping the sales pitch short is also important, you do not want to keep the buyer too long. Having a good performance is also important: its not what you say its how you say it. When keeping these things in mind making the sale will be much easier.

  74. Great article. I appreciated the part regarding the sale of catheters. Catheters aren’t a sexy or flashy product to sell. In this case, the product isn’t doing all the talking and selling. So it requires a quality salesperson to sell it. My father started his career in pharmaceutical sales so I have an idea of how it goes. You need an elevator pitch that captures the attention of your prospect so that you can move forward to get the opportunity to close the sale. Once you have the attention, hit ’em with the details. For pharma and the catheter, this is research, potential uses, and the solution to the customer’s problem. By being organized and focused on capturing attention of a prospect, a salesperson can have plenty of success. Having a good sales pitch is crucial, so know the product data and information, as well as your market.

  75. In many ways, selling or sales is an art form. To successfully close sales, the salesperson must create a relationship with the buyer. The relationship must be personal but not infringing. Showing empathy is a key quality of a salesperson. A buyer will not like or trust a salesperson that is incapable of showing empathy to the customer. A salesperson must skillfully understand the needs and wants of the customer, and balance their knowledge of the customer with realistic sales outcomes.

  76. Aubrey Gierlatowicz

    Having someones attention is very important and maintaining their interest is what sells. This is especially true in a situation that requires communication between individuals, like when your trying to sell a product. In the example that was shown for this piece it was important that the client was able to touch and see the product instead of just hear about it. This makes the marketing process a whole lot easier as individuals are more inclined to buy something when they physically can see it. This is because someone may be able to sell a product well without actually showing it, but once you see the product it is not as great as you thought it would be. This being said though you first have to grab the individuals attention or the product will be more difficult to sell.

  77. As we were told at our MGT 399 class, when professor Mark Weber gave a talk, sales is everything. Having a persons attention is incredibly important. And that we all can do sales. I think that is is important to have a hook in the sales pitch. Because without the hook, who is really going to buy the product. One must really sell the product and make it intriguing or convincing that they just have to have it. Even though sales can be hard, it is always important to remember that the story is what is going to sell it. Whether is is a personal story or a funny story, anything can draw in a customer, except a dry, boring story.

  78. It is extremely important to capture your audiences attention right from the get go. In order to do so, and sell a product, you must use a hook, such as a catch phrase or a question. When selling a product this is no different. If you really want to sell your product, one could use a story of a personal experience or even a funny story from a customers experience. Even though, it may be hard, beginning with a story willl draw in the sale. This is similar to the movie Joy and how she creates a product from her own experience, she then sells her product based off her own experience and it drew her customers in, selling billions of dollars.

  79. Having the attention of a prospective customer is the first key step to closing a sale. Whatever a salesman has to do to get the customers attention in a proper way, he or she must do. Without the attention of the customer, key facts might not be heard, interest begins to be lost, and the customer may begin to get annoyed. With any of these circumstances brought about from the customer not having full attention, it is clear that the sale will not be made. This takes practice and awareness by sales people, as they must be aware that just talking about a product right off the bat is not always going to be an affective sales technique. Once the salesperson has figured out proper and affective ways of getting the customers attention, the limits diminish.

  80. It is often very hard to initially grab someone’s attention; many times you have to do something that catches them off guard. Another important factor in the sales process besides having a way to grab someone’s attention is not losing hope when it does not work. A good sales person is persistent, and will not stop after a failed attempt. People admire this motivation and dedication to success and often respond to it. If you are able to keep this motivation and find a surprising way to grab their attention, you have a pretty good start for conducting a successful sale.

  81. In the business world, capturing people’s attention requires a lot of time and effort. It is not merely a test of endurance. Maintaining a clean and healthy appearance, putting whatever’s negatively affecting you aside, and tailoring your message to fit a particular audience all essential factors for getting people’s attention. I think the best way to get a buyer’s attention and to keep them coming back is to be a good listener. Listen to what’s bothering them, listen to their needs, and even pay attention to little details about their personal lives, and if you respond to them appropriately, they will surely give you the time you need to make an effective sales pitch.

  82. This seems to be an effective little trick to get the client psychologically invested in the product. Getting the buyer to complete some type of action, specifically when that action involves the product itself makes the client more inclined to want the product. This is similar to something I think I remember you saying in class. You told us that if you ever go for an interview or meeting of some sort and someone offers you something to drink, you instructed us to always accept the offer and take a drink because when someone does something for you, then they feel more connected with you and more inclined to like you.

  83. The first ten seconds of your sales pitch can either attract the attention of the customer or have them lose interest. This crucial time requires personable salesmen that can connect with the customer. As a requirement in high school, my English class would substitute a public speaking class once a cycle. Here, my teachers stressed the importance of engaging the audience and seldom practice selling an ordinary item to the class. Leading with a question or free sample help ease the introduction to the conversation. The customer can feel more comfortable due to less risk being involved, making them more likely to join the conversation. From there, the salesmen can showcase their personality and sell themselves as well as the product. Allowing the person to be involved in the deal and a part of the conversation increase the likelihood of getting the sale.

  84. This story cracked me up. Throwing a medical device at someone just seems absurd, and is such a bold move that he must have been a good salesman with a lot of charisma to get away with doing that. The idea of what he needed to do was get their attention, though, is a good one. I like your idea of simply asking for help getting the item out of the bag. Forcing it to be a two-way conversation instead of simply a one-sided sales lecture, engaging your customer almost always gets them to buy.

  85. Just as the article said, in order to make a sale you first have to hook the clients attention. Without it, anything you say will be lost on them. It is essential as a salesperson to have an attention grabbing opener in order to immediately gauge the consumer. Whether its throwing a piece of a vacuum or asking the client for help, incorporating the buyer into the sales pitch will demand that they give you their full attention. In doing so, your opening yourself up to more and more sales. After you have the clients attention you have to make sure the next words out of your mouth will keep them interested. The only thing harder than getting their attention is keeping it. If you can both attract the buyers attention and keep them interested and talking, it is almost guaranteed to make a sale.

  86. Your first couple words or couple seconds are the most important part of making a sell, you need to have some type of hook ready to use on the customer because if you do not get their attention then you are not going to make a sale. If you do not grab their attention right away it is going to be harder to make the sale because they are not going to be looking forward to what you have to say or what you are trying to sell. If you continue to fail to grab the customers attention then you have to change up the way you present your self.

    • Jamie you are right!
      As the old saying goes you only get one chance to make a first impression. In this fast moving world we live in, first impressions are critical to the sales cycle. you typically have less than a minute or two to explain who you are, what you offer and how you can help better the life of the person you are talking to. The hardest part of all this is just getting their attention. once you do that you can usually keep their attention for a couple minutes and show that you provide value.

  87. This article brings up some great points including the first couple seconds of you marketing pitch can make or break you. In the beginning of your marketing pitch you will either make the individual interested and gain their attention or you will lose their interest and at that point you are wasting your time. I personally experienced this when I worked as a sales associate for Jos. A. Bank, as I approached a customer within the first 10-15 seconds I could tell if they were going to buy something or if they were just gonna walk around for a couple of minutes then leave. Also if you do have the customers interest the longer you keep them interested the more you would be able to sell. Once you lose the customer or clients attention you will immediately stop the buying process.

  88. “A sale can only be made when the seller has the attention of the prospective buyer.” Being able to catch someones attention is one thing, but being able to maintain that attention, thats the skill of it all! This supports the whole idea of a sales pitch and its importance.
    At the end of the day, if you don’t have the client’s undivided attention, there will most likely be no sale and therefore nobody to market to. However, this isn’t an easy task. Being able to capture and maintain someones attention requires skill. It takes a lot of experience, time, and effort (like anything else worth achieving). As a consumer, I know that if my attention isn’t captured since the beginning, I will most likely stop paying full attention. I find this skill to be difficult to acquire since different things may capture different people. However, with practice, experience, and a firm understanding of the target market, I think it is totally attainable.

  89. This article made it very clear that the seller needs the attention of the buyer in order to make a sale happen. Without the attention of the potential buyer, nothing will be done. A person who is selling something is competing with the thousands of others things being offered to people. In order to catch a person’s attention and make them want what you are selling, they have to engage the buyer and offer them something better than the others. The story about Geroge throwing something at the people he was selling to was a great way to stand out and make the buyer want to buy something from him. Trying to sell something to someone who is not interested will only end up as a waste of time and a lost deal. Getting the buyers attention is the most important step towards a sale.

  90. As you mentioned in marketing class, in order to sell 1 vacuum, you needed to knock on about 100 doors, and make 3 sales pitches. Though it sounds like a lot of work to make one sale, that’s the way of the business. However, when you receive those sales pitches, it is crucial to catch the attention of the buyer immediately so that you do not lose the sale. In order to do this, the sales person needs to pay close attention to what they find interesting about the product, and stick to that aspect for the majority of the pitch. There may be days where zero sales are made, but in order to be successful, practice is more than necessary. The more times you are able to practice a sales pitch, the better. By remaining confident, cool and collected, a sale is bound to come.

  91. I believe the acronym AIDA is ideal when attempting to make a sales pitch. I also believe that attention is at the forefront and should be considered the most important. After all, if you’re just talking in one ear and it’s going out the other then what is the point of even talking. In order to make a sale you must convey your message clearly and precisely to the customer. In order to do this, a salesperson needs to capture the attention of the customer. From there, the salesperson can continue on with their pitch and, if done correctly, can make the sale. However, all is for nought if the seller never gets the attention of the customer. It reminds me of movies and their ads. The marketers for movies know that in order to get people to come into the theatre or watch the movie in general they must capture the attention of the viewer. I believe the same applies in all types of selling, attention, being listened to, is the most important factor in making a sale.

  92. When I read this I immediately thought of the saying “the devil is in the details”. Granted, it means making sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted but it has everything to do with attention. For a salesman, attention from the potential customer is everything. If you don’t have that, then why are you still sitting in their office or mailing them brochures? That is why I liked the anecdote about your trainer throwing an object to the client to grab their attention. Its every single tiny motion such as throwing them an object that keeps them attentive to your sales pitch. In other words, all the t’s better be crossed and all the i’s dotted in your sales pitch if you want the client to buy what you are selling.

  93. The picture at the top of the article says a lot about this topic. Getting your foot in the door is one of the most important steps to making a sale. Once you get your foot in the door, you are able to use other sales techniques to close the sale. By getting to know your client, you can change your techniques to better make the sale. It can be hard at times to get peoples attention because of the busy world we live in today. A lot of salesman can often get a reputation of being too be pushy and annoying.

  94. You cannot grab clients’ attention if there is not an audience of value. Attracting to senses and maximizes the focus. Clients may have to stay engaged in the situation. This will lead them to be interested in what is offered. Clients (and potential clients) all need to be convinced that they are in need of a good or service.

  95. As important as the sales pitch is to the sales person, it will have no purpose if the potential buyer is paying no attention to the sales person. The attention of the buyer is the most important thing to maintain during the sales pitch because if you do not have that then the sale is over before it begins. It is a good idea to do the little things to ensure that you are still the center of attention such as throwing the object or asking questions. It is also a good thing to make your pitch or presentation unique and so that way the audience cannot take their eyes away from the pitch. If you can keep the attention of the buyer the entire time, then there is a strong chance that you can make the sale.

  96. What you said about the first ten seconds of your sales pitch is very important. The potential buyer can make the decision to buy or not to buy that quick. This is why its essential to build a relationship with the potential buyer before even talking about the product. Or in your case, think of a creative idea like actually “pitching” the product to the buyer. Connecting to the buyer in any way can go a long way when trying to pitch a sale, and doing something that the potential buyer would remember like Professor Yoest did also helps a ton as well.

  97. I have had the pleasure of taking a very informative sales class with Professor McGlynn this semester. He has fought us a lot about personal selling and selling in general, but if there was one thing that really stood out in my brain, was that a story will go a lot further than the typical sales pitch. For starters, stories of past sales can really establish credibility with the buyer. Also, a story is always more interesting to listen to then shoving stats down your throat, people can relate to stories, and people remember stories. All in all stories in sales can never go wrong.

  98. I think a very important part of salesmanship is to be aware and to be adaptable. You have to recognize who the subject that you’re focusing your efforts towards, and adapt correctly to their personality and needs.

  99. This article highlights one of the most important things during a sale, which is capturing the attention of the consumer. This is very important if you want to find and close a sale. If the buyer is not interested in what you have to say, you will not get them to buy your product or service. Attention can make or break your sales. With a clever pitch, you can get the consumer listening and interested in what you have to say.

  100. As a salesman over the summer I was trained to be an outgoing force of energy to attract the customers attention. I wore a floral visor to stand out, and I made sure to look people in the eye and always be smiling. While it seems small, tiny details can have big effects with customers. It is important to take care of the little things, because if the customer doesn’t listen to begin with then you’re wasting your breath

  101. It is interesting how sometimes we expect to sell something without thinking who we are selling it to. Focusing on the custumer itself is what matters the most. However, sometimes we get used to selling the product to the same market that once we have to with a completely different one it is harder to adapt to those needs. One of the things of this article that got to me was “I was selling the Good News of teeny-tiny catheters for intravenous therapy, but no one had ears to hear”. At times we get so used to our ways on doing things that we do not realize that what we might be doing is not what the person is interested in. Obviously, when we sell something we are interested in it, but that does not mean that the person that we are selling it to is attracted to what we are saying. The most important thing is always to know where your customer is standing and to adapt out sales pitch to our customers.

  102. Elizabeth Gittings

    With anything in life, how can you get a person to really hear you without their full attention. The use of a physical object to grab someone’s attention is an amazing strategy that emphasizes the feel, learn, do concept. When a consumer feels the product they can analyze it and question it (learning) and then act on the purchase (doing). This leads to successful sales. I think that this way of selling can be utilized with non physical products as well. A consumer receives so many emails, phone calls and other contacts a day but what makes your company different? When I answer the phone and there is a pause in the automatic connection from the computer I immediately hang up because clearly I am not worth that much as a consumer to you to dial the 10 digit phone number out. Little things like this can create a benefit for companies and put them ahead in their opportunities to grasp new consumers.

  103. In order to make the sale, you need the attention of the customer and you need to be able to communicate with them and make sure you grab their attention. Attention is key when you are making a sale because if they do not understand what you are saying, they will never buy the product. Engaging with the client and having them interact with your product keeps their attention and keeps them interested in what you have to say. All sales people use different techniques to get the customer engage and to get them to think about the product and learn about the product.

  104. Stephen Terenzio

    When trying to get in contact with someone, whether it be to talk to them about a new product, or just have a regular conversation with them, you must first have their attention. Too often people start talking without first acknowledging that their audience is giving their full attention. This will lead to important information not being received, and can cause frustration in the person speaking when they must repeat themselves. It’s important to have a sales pitch that hooks in the listener and gets them actively paying attention to the conversation. This is perfectly demonstrated by letting the customer handle the product they are interested in buying.

  105. Grabbing someone’s attention is not only the first thing that a seller should try and do with their consumers, but it’s also a fundamental part of just communicating in general with other human beings. Distracted, uninterested people will not have what you have to say or what you have to show them stick in their heads enough for them to be able to remember what you said or did ten seconds later. Being able to grab someone’s attention and then hold that attention is a skill that when put to use in sales can result in a very successful business venture.

  106. Attention is the main objective in this article and in a sales pitch. A sales pitch is actually very similar to writing articles. In order to grab the readers attention you need to have a good, attention grabbing headline that will engage the reader and make them want to open a page and read on with the topic. The same is true for a sales pitch, you have to have an eye opening, attention grabbing opening statement or action that will keep the decision maker engaged until the very end of the pitch and hopefully through the sale. It is much easier said than done, but it is what separates the good salesmen from the mediocre ones and what separates big commission checks from small ones.

  107. When trying to get someone to buy something it is crucial to have their attention. Having their attention not only gets them thinking about the product, but it also gives you the ability to persuade them to buy the product. Once you have the attention of the customer, you have to use whatever time you have with them wisely so that the interaction can end in a sale. Without the attention of the customer there will undoubtedly not be sale. That is why it is so important to have little attention grabbing actions that ultimately gets the full attention of the customer.

  108. Katarina Percopo

    This was a great article! Attention is absolutely the key in making a sale to the buyer. If you do not have the attention of the possible buyer than there is no way you are going to get them to buy the product or service you are trying to sell. Another important aspect of getting the sale complete is knowing what the buyer wants and is looking for. This would also help in getting their attention if you already know what they are somewhat interested about. Having an interesting pitch to pitch to the buyer will help grab their attention rather than just pitching something boring and basic.

  109. This article explained the importance of attention in a sales pitch. I agree and also believe attention is important in all aspects of life. In a sales pitch you have 5-10 seconds to grab the buyers attention with something that seems worthwhile. I feel anything past those few moments then you have lost the buyers mind and he will not end up buying whatever you are selling. In order to grab attention you have draw someone in with an opening line that sticks and creates urgency. If you know what the buyer could use and say that quickly then you instantly catch their attention. Getting someone engaged as a salesman is something you work on and perfect overtime I believe.

  110. This article showed how important a first impression is. In a sales pitch specifically, it is important to get the listeners attention. A few, summers ago I worked doing sales pitches for television. I learned you could grab the listener’s attention by making a simple wave hand gesture. Once you attract them to engage in conversation, you only have a few seconds until they stop listening. This is why you must have your sales pitch now and talk like you really know what you are doing. Sales is not for everyone and a manger must use the write workers that will be able to better convince listeners.

  111. As the article stated, the first step in the sales process is attracting the buyers attention. Much like tossing the product at the customer, once they are engaged with you, the seller has the opportunity to further the relationship and make a probably sell. In order to engage with the buyer you have to attract them by being creative, unique and personable. If the seller can do this the buyer will be more inclined to listen to what is being said and buy the product. Persistency is also an important aspect of sales and must be utilized in order to become a better salesperson.

  112. I find it very interesting to see how someone can have a method of easily catching the attention of a possible buyer, I’d believe there must be some kind of method of getting the customer to buy a product. The first step in the sales process is the fact that the sales person has to know every single details about the product he is trying to sale to consumer. A sales person who seem confused about the product his company is selling gives to consumer a bad image of the company. It is not the job of the consumer to know everything about the product He wants to buy because he might have found out about it through an advertisement on TV or another source that did not give him enough details. Every company has to make sure that people they hire for sales know everything about their product.

  113. This story is a great example of how important it is to truly capture the consumer’s attention in order to make that sale. The initial attention grabber is important but holding the customer’s attention is the real key. In this day and age people are constantly getting sales pitched to through out their day. “Sales representatives as Account Managers are the best communicators: they accomplish organization goals with the active support of their company’s customers. They get attention.” Once you have the consumer’s attention a line of communication will open that will allow you to sell them your product. Grabbing the consumer’s attention and opening the line of communication will in turn create desire for your product and will lead to the consumer taking action.

  114. What i found interesting about the article is that, no sale can be done without an attention. Attention grabber is very important to book a sale. I worked for PNC bank as a personal banker, and booking a sale was part of the job in order to meet the goals. I struggled when i first started, but after a few days i found out that, in order to book a sale, the customer must first be interested in the product. So i started sympathizing with my clients to figure out their needs, and then created an urgency of those needs to grab their attentions toward the product s. With that method, i was able to book a lot of sales.

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