Many experienced sales reps underplay the importance of a good introduction to the success of a sales call, feeling that it seems “too basic” to worry about. Even sales trainers can fall into the trap of skipping over an introduction because they have “more important” things to teach about, such as how to overcome objections or close the sale. At the end of the day, though, our clients or customers are people, and people want to buy from people they know and like. Take the time to let them know who you are, build some rapport and get the relationship off to a good start.

A lack of an effective introduction is one of my pet peeves. One technique I use is called PRIT (person, role, interest and time). Here is a link to a video from SalesFitness that demonstrates this technique.

I have seen it all. A rep who has talked to a prospect once on the phone may get to a face-to-face meeting and jump into the pitch without an introduction or a reminder of their past conversation. Even worse, I have had reps bring me on a call as their manager without an introduction, causing the prospective client to spend the first part of the meeting trying to figure out who I am and why I’m there.

Confusing the client right off the bat is not a good way to build rapport and can significantly reduce your ability to achieve sales results.

By Bill Young

Bill Young is cofounder and president of SkillFitness. He credits his involvement with the CrossFit workout program for inspiring many of the concepts regarding practice, motivation and rapid skill development that led to SkillFitness.

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