When people read the newspaper, it is very rare they read every line of every article. There are just too many articles and too little time! In reality, people only have enough time to scan the paper, reading only the articles where the headline has caught their interest.

Similarly, it is rare for prospects to meet with every sales representative who calls. There are just far too many sales representatives and too little time! In reality, prospects will only invest their valuable time to meet those sales representatives whose headline of their prospecting approach has caught their interest.

When a prospect tells you, “I am not interested”, what they really are telling you is that you were not interesting enough! Simply put, your headline must answer the question “What’s in it for me?” If you only state what product or service you sell, you will not answer this question. However, if you also say why your product should be purchased or the benefits of it, you will.

For example, “My name is Sam Sales Rep, and I sell advertising for the Daily Press” is not a headline that would generate much interest. In fact, you lost this opportunity by the time you said, “I sell…”! A better headline that generates interest would be “My name is Sam Sales Rep with the Daily Press. We have been able to help many businesses like yours acquire new customers and increase sales through the effective use of print advertising.” What business owner is not interested in finding new customers and increasing sales? Now you have my attention!

Businesses exist to make a profit. Once they make a profit, they want to make more. The only way to do that is to either increase revenues or decrease expenses. Any headline that references this is sure to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” and will generate interest.

Ask your sales manager and other sales representatives within your company for their ideas on what headlines have worked for them. However, if anyone tells you, “Hi, how are you today” is their best headline, walk away! You are the victim of the latest office practical joke! You can also review your company’s advertising and brochures to see what headlines your marketing department believes are effective. For more ideas, pay close attention to what advertisements and headlines grab your interest.

The best headlines evolve over time as experience teaches what works best. Monitor your successes and adjust as necessary. An effective headline can take some time to create, but it is time well invested.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns,

B2B Sales Connections


Author's Bio: 

Susan A. Enns is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections, the specialized job board, free resume listing service, and sales training website for business to business sales professionals. She has a proven track record of success, with over 22 years of direct sales, management and executive level business to business experience. Her accomplishments include being the top sales rep in Canada, managing the top sales branch, and achieving outstanding sales growth in a national channel sales organization. She has written the downloadable e-courses “Action Plan For Sales Success” and “Action Plan For Sales Management Success”, created numerous automated sales tools, and she writes and edits the company’s newsletter, AIM HIGHER.

Participating on the Leadership Executive of the Sales Professionals of Ottawa since 2008, she is currently the association's Vice President. For more information, please visit www.b2bsalesconnections.com.