MONDAY, 11:16 a.m.
Have you ever talked to prospects and sensed they were bored or (worse yet)
not even listening? Frustrating, isnt it?
My experience is, if you want to capture your prospects attention, youll need to tell a story. Most stories instantly grab peoples interest. Maybe it has to do with how we are wired, or the soap-opera gene within us, or the fact that humans have an intense interest in what happens to others (hence the eternal fascination with gossip). I dont know why it is, but stories stop most prospects in their tracks.
Here are a few beginnings of stories to give you some ideas of how you might grab your prospects interest.
My secretary always hated her job and me. Then one day she showed up with a new car. I didnt think she earned enough to afford a car like that! Well, two months later she took her two weeks of paid vacationand extended her vacation with an extra two weeks, without pay. By then I was wondering, how could she afford to do all this?
It got worse. Soon she demanded a two-day work week, or else she would resign. What was going on? And then I found out that
Did you ever check out your social security benefits? Well, I did last week. It was shocking. My monthly retirement benefits will cover only half my mortgage. I thought, Hey, I guess I can live in half of my house and rent the other half to strangers. But whatll I do for food? I didnt realize I was working fifty weeks out of the year to qualify for starvation!
After I found out the sad truth about my situation, I asked my next-door neighbor how his retirement was coming along. He said, No problem. I have a secret. He then continued to explain
This was so embarrassing: I didnt even recognize my own mother! Im afraid Im going to be the joke of our family reunions. It happened like this. Im walking behind this lady. I have no idea she could be my motherI mean, this lady is only half my mothers size. Well, then I really embarrass myself
I used to warehouse my babies in childcare while I commuted to an underpaying job. Then one morning, while stuck in traffic, I said to myself, This is crazy! That night I called up my good friend Mary. Instead of picking up a paycheck, she gets a bonus check in the mailbox once a month, and I wanted to know how. Mary told me
Once youve attracted your prospects interest with your opening story, youll be more relaxed and your prospects will actually be open to hearing your presentation.
Next week Im heading to Europe for five weeks of fun and business-building. Ill be in Nice, Monaco, St. Tropez for a week; then Venice and Bari, Italy, followed by a week in the Greek Islands; then zipping off to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and finally Scandinavia. With all the different languages and cultures, getting my messages across during my meetings could be challenging. Luckily Ive spent years practicing the skill of telling stories!
ART JONAK is a Networking University faculty
member, a successful network marketing
leader and widely respected trainer.