How to Capture Your Prospect’s Attention in 3 Sentences


You have about 15 seconds to capture your prospects’ attention, whether they are listening to your “elevator pitch” or reading your short letter or email. The following three-sentence formula is both time-efficient and effective in making the most of that first, precious quarter-minute.


First, you need what I call the “Big Dog” sentence.

“In the last three years or so, we’ve helped 8 hospitals within a dozen miles of yours reduce their utility bills, with an average savings of more than 15%.”

Note that the sentence is numerically specific on several levels:  the time period, the number of successful reference cases, their proximity to your prospect’s facility, and the average savings percentage you’ve actually witnessed.   Note also that the numbers are softened by the addition of “or so” and “a dozen miles,” which makes them sound more credible.  The savings percentage is also low enough to be believable.

“It occurred to me as I was driving by your facility last night that your patient room lighting is the same technology we removed from five of those hospitals, at an average lighting energy savings of more than 20%.”

This second sentence conveys an honest sense of “forehead slapping” surprise that your prospect’s facility is nothing less than the “Before” photo of your other projects, and that if they’d let you work your magic for them, they could quickly become the “After” photo you’ve delivered for others!

“If you’d be interested in exploring how we might extend the success we’ve had with those other hospitals to your facility, I’d be open to a discussion.”

Note the soft sell. It starts by reiterating the impact of the first sentence – you need only extend your previous successes to deliver genuine value to your current prospect. And using terms like “exploring” and “open to a discussion” emphasizes the fact that you’re not looking to give a sales pitch. Rather, it will be a peer-to-peer sharing of ideas. All insight and discovery, no pressure.

This three-sentence opener is extraordinarily effective. However, to use it effectively, you need three things. 

First, you need to take the time to gather the data points that make the first sentence pop.

Second, you need to focus on finding prospects that could easily become clones of those prior successes. 

Finally, you need to focus on creating value, rather than selling.  One of the best ways to drive demand for your energy solutions is to hold out examples of prior successes that your prospects will be anxious to replicate in their own facilities.

Learn how to sell in a recession!

Read more blogs on Sales Tips, Prospecting

Posted by Mark Jewell

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