How The Attention Barrier Is Costing You Appointments, And How to Fix It

This article was written by GaryK, on August 11, 2013

Portrait of businessman making face on glass wall

Are your sales where you want them to be?

Deep down you know that you’re selling something that will really help your prospects and their families if only they would give it a good look.

But for whatever reason you can’t seem to get them to slow down long enough to seriously consider it.

The Attention Barrier

I call this phenomenon the Attention Barrier – and it can wreak havoc on your as a salesperson.
If you’re experiencing this issue, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common sales barriers.

The reason you’re not grabbing the attention of your prospects probably isn’t that your offering isn’t valuable. It’s also not necessarily a commentary on your selling skills.
It’s much simpler than that. Let’s take a look at why we fail to clear the Attention Barrier.

We Live In A Noisy World

We live in an era in which information is much more plentiful and easily available than at any time in human history.

Access to more and better information opens up new opportunities to us, so we try to accomplish more with our new-found knowledge. The world is a busy place full of busy people. We work faster and we think faster. As a result, we make decisions and judgments faster.

Your prospects have more noise going on in their heads now than ever before. That means they will make the decision to either give you the time of day or blow you off faster than ever before, too.

Think about when you’re the one being sold to. Between in-person salespeople, phone calls, emails, and print ads – how do you determine which of those hundreds of offers you will bother to learn more about?


The Four Unasked Questions

You probably never consciously thought about it before, but when we are approached with a new offer, we all run through four simple evaluation questions:

  1. Who is this person and what do they want from me?
  2. If I do pay attention, what’s going to happen?
  3. What’s in it for me if I pay attention?
  4. How long is this going to take?

These are the four questions that your prospect will probably never ask you out loud – but if left unanswered, you’ll never get enough of their time to make the sale.

Before you have the opportunity to establish trust with a prospect – and before you have any hope at all of establishing credibility, you had better answer these four questions. Succeed in answering them, and you knock down the Attention Barrier. Fail and you’re finished before you start.

Here’s a simple but tool you can use to answer those four questions and move the sales process forward.

The MATT Statement
It’s actually pretty easy. You answer all four of those questions in the very beginning of your interaction using a very simple device called the MATT Statement.

To understand the MATT Statement, let’s look at those four questions again and dissect what they’re really about.

1: Who is this person and what do they want from me?
This is a trust and credibility question. “I don’t know you – what are you up to?” The main concern of this question is Motive.

2: If I do pay attention, what’s going to happen?
This is question about fear, time, and convenience. “If I do listen, do I have to go through a big hassle to complete the transaction? Are you going to bully me into buying? Do I have to provide personal information?” This is primarily a question regarding Agenda.

3: What’s in it for me if I pay attention?
Pretty simple one here. This question is about basic human nature. “What is the benefit to me?” is the main thought behind this question. In other words: Takeaway.

4: How long is this going to take?
In this crazy-busy, hectic world we all hate to give up our precious time unless we can see value in giving it up. We want to know on the front end of an interaction what the Timeline will be.

MATT Statement.

We’ve Written Your MATT Statement For You
At the very beginning of your interaction with a new prospect, you are going to craft a MATT Statement to answer all four of those unasked questions and destroy the Attention Barrier.

The good news is that as a SNL agent, you don’t even have to make up your own MATT Statement. Our endorsed appointment setting script has one built right in. I’m not going to reprint the entire script here, but let’s take a look at each component of a MATT Statement and see if we’ve got it covered.

What’s our MOTIVE for calling?
“We’re calling families in your area to let them know about a new service we offer called our Gift of Love program.”

What about the AGENDA? What will happen if they listen to us?
“I’m going to be in your neighborhood helping some other families record their information and I was just checking to see when would be a good time to sit down with you for a short visit?”

What’s the TAKEAWAY for them?
“It’s been our experience that by gathering this information in advance it really does save the family from making a lot of tough decisions later on.”

Finally, what’s our TIMELINE like for this call?
We cover the timeline right in the beginning of the call, by saying…
“My name is ___________ with XYZ Funeral Home. Can I take just a minute of your time? I’ll keep this brief.”

Put It to Use
By using the MATT Statement built into our appointment setting script, you have effectively taken much of the prospect’s perceived risk out of giving you the time of day.

Once you’ve achieved that, you have quieted the noise in their head and grabbed a little more of their attention. And when you have their attention, they can more clearly see how your offer can make their life better.

Give it a try. Use the endorsed appointment setting script provided by SNL, and see if your call to appointment setting ratio doesn’t increase. (Hint: it will.)

If you don’t have a current copy, contact the manager in your area and ask them get a copy to you ASAP.

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