How To Get People To Pay Attention To You

Getting and maintaining a consumers’ or sales prospects’ attention. It’s the single hardest and most important step in any sales process. So how, in a digitally centric, content overload world do you actually do it? 

Getting A Sales Prospect’s Attention

People will take interesting calls.

– David Droga

This was a quote from David Droga‘s talk at the Ad Age Small Agency Conference I attended recently. I couldn’t type it into my phone fast enough. So simple. But so true. 

Now it probably helps that David’s a pretty interesting guy. But set that aside for a moment because his use of “interesting” wasn’t tied to the person making the call. 

No. In this case, interesting referred to the content of the call. What was in it for the recipient? Why should they return your message or take your call or stay on a call for more than five minutes? 

This is probably the single biggest sales prospecting mistake you see salespeople making every day. Don’t believe me? Go open your LinkedIn inbox, your email inbox or just listen to the first five voicemails on your phone. 

Are any of the pitches even remotely interesting? Do any of them even appear to come from a person who has taken the time to learn anything about you? 

You know what qualifies as interesting to most people? Themselves. I don’t mean that in a jerk way. I mean it in a people are super friggin busy and if they’re going to steal time away from a current objective or duty and give that time and attention to you, well there better be a really interesting, impactful (on their life) reason to do so. 

So rule #1 of your sales prospecting, make it interesting. 

Getting A Consumer’s Attention

Attention spans are not decreasing. We’re just too skippable.

– Jim Kukral

Isn’t that an amazing way to put it? I think I actually jumped up and down when I read that over at the {grow} blog. It’s just so perfect because it places the onus on the creator vs consumer of content. 

And that’s the part everyone’s missing. How many times have you heard someone reference that study that says the human attention is now less than that of a goldfish? I mean seriously. I throw up a little in my mouth every single time I hear that phrase uttered from a conference keynote or breakout stage. I’ve had to start traveling with antacids just to make it through most conferences. But I digress. 

Content creators and marketers and even salespeople all love that little goldfish story because it places the blame on the consumer or sales prospect.

It couldn’t possibly be my fault that no one is paying attention to me. 

That’s what we all want to believe. But according to the awesome Mr. Kukral, it’s 100% our fault. We’re not getting attention because we don’t deserve it. And for so many folks he’s right.

They create half-assed content designed to win a Google Search or help their SERP or newsjack the latest stupid “the sky is falling” or “social platform/technology is dead” missive from [insert thought leader name here] du jour. 

But what they’re not doing is creating CRAP: Concise, Relevant, And Persuasive content designed to truly help a self-educating buyer complete their education and decide to buy what you’re selling. 

And again, because most folks really don’t have an overabundance of time, they choose to skip vs consume non-CRAPpy content. 

So rule #2 of your sales prospecting… go create some CRAP. 

Trade Information For Interest (Attention)

Believe it or not, it’s actually that simple. BUT you have to respect the opportunity you’re given. Just the other day I was working with a client on sales and presentation decks. We came to a slide and I asked what the purpose of the slide was in this presentation. 

He said, “it’s a filler slide.”

There’s no such thing as a filler slide.

– Tom Martin

If someone is going to give you or your brand the privilege of their undivided attention, you owe it to them to respect that gift and deliver on it. Nobody has time for filler. 

Outside of an actual sale, your sales prospects’ and consumers’ attention is the most valuable thing they can offer you. So when you get it, don’t squander it. Don’t mail it in. Think long and hard about what they need and then deliver it. 

Want Some of Our CRAP?

We’ve created a 14-Day Sales Prospecting program… yes, a single piece of CRAP emailed directly to you for 14 straight days. No charge. Our pleasure. 

And as one happy camper put it… 

I just learned more in 14 days then I’ve learned in 14 years of sitting through company sales training classes. Thanks!

Interested? You’re just a quick form fill away from learning how to #SellGreatly. 

The Invisible Sale

Stop losing leads and sales to digitally savvy competitors. Take the first step in building your own Painless Prospecting platform that drives leads while you sleep.

  • Research shows that today's “self-educated buyers” are more than halfway through the buying decision process before they even contact you.
  • Discover Ppropinquity - the science of relationship formation
  • Learn how to create a Behavioral Email effort to make every sales call count
  • Social Selling Explained: tips, tricks and strategies for prospecting directly via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Learn how to Rightsize your marketing content: saving money by matching production quality to your specific marketing and sales needs
  • Learn from the Pros: suggestions for choosing devices, apps, software, and accessories for quickly creating high-quality DIY content
  • Real-life B2B and B2C case studies showing how others have applied Tom's techniques

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About Tom Martin

Tom is 25+ year veteran of the sales & marketing industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and showing companies how to Sell Greatly, and turn conversations into customers. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital sales & marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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