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Christopher’s Eight Second Rule for prospect calling success

Steadcross’ telephone marketing expert, Christopher Hall, shares his Eight Second Rule to engaging a prospect effectively on the phone. This is a similar idea to the well-known elevator pitch. You will relate to Chris’ story!


My role at Steadcross involves opening and developing new opportunities for our consultants to work. My work is predominately done via the phone and I wanted to talk to you about my experience in successfully progressing business to business calls and how you too can be just as effective.


Opening Lines

People buy people’ and so that first contact with a prospect has to be world class to grab their attention and make you stand out from the crowd.

Before you pick up the phone to make your call, I’d like to suggest you consider the following true story.


A few years ago, one of my sales colleagues, had some car problems, so I offered to give him a lift to work. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity to do a little role-playing, I suggested we go over some phone skills. I’ve had a long-standing, well-proven statistic that you have just eight seconds to grab a prospects attention whenever they pick up their phone. My colleague was a bit sceptical about my eight-second rule. He looked at me and said, “Eight seconds is too short. It’s hardly enough time to take a deep breath, let alone make a meaningful opening statement.”

We happened to be waiting at a red light when he said this. As the light turned green, I kept my foot on the brake and started counting: “One thousand one, one thousand two….” People behind started honking. By the time I got to “one thousand four,” he was begging me to go. By the time we hit the sixth second, the guy behind us was starting to get out of his car, and my esteemed colleague was locking the door and looking for a place to hide. When I finally hit eight, the road was a chorus of honking horns, “pointing fingers” and shouting mouths. I hit the accelerator.

Strangely he never asked me again on how much I thought impact eight seconds had (or for a lift mind you!)

Once you’ve got a prospect’s attention and engaging with them, you’ll need to construct an effective call with them. Chris explains more in his subsequent article “Opening Lines for Successful Prospecting Calls”