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The Attention Deficit Marketplace – the facts!

Kevin Kelly
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Do you have a challenge making your message stick? Well, you are not alone!
Over the next few short articles; I will share information on the market in which we are operating and strategies to transcend the communication clutter, and dramatically improve sales figures.

To begin …the facts!

The average attention span of a human being was 12 seconds in 2000 – it is now believed to be about 8 seconds. (Sources: The US National Center for Biotechnoology Information/Microsoft.)
The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds.
If you are under any illusions about how accurate this information is – take time out watching any group of people interacting. You will notice that dialogues have been replaced by monologues, and conversations by presentations.

And in fairness, it is easy to be distracted in a world where information is abundant but our bandwidth to process it ….our supply of attention is in short supply.
Think about it 100,500 words daily…..you start a task and are interrupted every three minutes five seconds according to Gloria Mark of the University of California; and it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds exactly to refocus afterwards.

And it isn’t just the Millenials who are distracted – a common myth….one study from IBM found that 65% of 55-64 year olds text, surf and watch TV simultaneously!

So how do we make our message stick?

Three quick tips…..

1. Know your why? If you are not convinced about your role and where you are at or you don’t have a big enough ‘why’….no-one else will either a) want to hear your pitch or b) most certainly believe it!
2. #Whatsyourstory – stories have the ability to bypass a persons conscious filtering system and deliver your message with impact.Now imagine your story has been crafted by all your team so they have ownership. Next step is to tell the world with everyone on point.
3. There is only one hero in the pitch and the story…..and it isn’t you. If your pitch focuses on where the customer is at, their current pain points and how someone just like them solved their challenges working with you; you will have impact. Or if you decide to invoke the best possible strategy of just listening and identifying their problems and then offering solution based on what you heard – your message will stick.

Finally, as a speaker I have always argued where you begin your presentation with “I spoke to a group of your colleagues and this is what they highlighted as the challenges in the organisation” will always have big impact.
But even more significantly as a Sales professional when you go into a pitch and your focus is on listening and paying full authentic attention; you will always win the deal. Why? Because the customer’s physiology and their reactions determine your pitch not your prepared sales script. The old stereotype of the great salesperson being the loudest in the room is well and truly obsolete.

In our next blog, we will explore more closely the art of storytelling.

2 Comments

  • Excellent points Kevin, attention is the currency that makes the difference today. It’s very much like as a teacher, if your students haven’t had enough sleep or anything to eat for some time then they may be physically present but not much will happen. Being a great listener combined with authenticity and empathy cannot be over emphasized.

  • J. Brendan O'Reilly says:

    Of course you know I’m on your side as I passionately believe in face-to-face selling as being the panacea for embedding sales messages. Knowledge of the product or service that you are selling, knowledge of your customer or client, a strong presentation, a professional delivery and the talent, training and skill to close the sale – remain the essence of good salesmanship. Unfortunately companies think that by buying a market-niche that they can rely on emailing, telesales and advertising. Now, more than ever, do you need to break the attention deficit syndrome. Face-to-face selling does this.

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