The Critical First Minute

Establishing Credibility

Maximizing Attention and Message Retention

People make up their mind about you within 10 seconds after they've met you.  When you're presenting, you have about one minute to establish your credibility, or it's all over.

93% of how people learn is through visual and audio stimulation, so how you first appear and sound is very important in establishing your initial credibility.  Are you confident and self-assured?  Do you speak loudly and with passion?  Are you eloquent, or do "umm"s and "and"s give away that you're unprepared?  Do you have any annoying habits?  Are your hands expressive or do they get in the way?  Do you command expertise in the subject area?  Does the customer feel you empathize with them, that you've lived their problems, that you genuinely want to help, and that you can help in providing real solutions?  You want to ooooze credibility.

If 93% of your message is conveyed visually and audibly, then the remaining 7% is based on what you actually say.  To improve the retention of your message, reinforce them with meaningful examples, antedotes, and reference stories that convey the value of your solution.  To maximize attention, ask questions directly related to the customer's problems and situation, use a highly visual presentation that’s not too glitzy, and make effective use of flow-breakers ("wake 'em ups") such as handouts, white boarding, cartoons, videos, and demos.

Remember, you get one chance to make a good first impression.

This has been Phil Janus of salesengineering.com "Going For The Close".

Good Selling everyone.