Got a minute? In Matt Hession's experience, just about everyone does. And besides, once people saw Hession take off his watch, they couldn't wait to take in his 60-second sales pitch. "They thought it was fascinating," says the former president of Key Medical Supply. "They would say to themselves, 'Hey, the entertainment just walked in."
Hession could see that pharmacists were "busy, busy people," with doctors and patients always phoning and customers perpetually lined up for prescriptions. He concluded that to interest them in a partnership aimed at selling or leasing medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and oxygen concentrators, he'd need a catchy sales presentation that took up little of their time but still laid to rest their biggest fears.
"If I walked in looking like a salesman," says Hession, "the pharmacist wouldn't want to buy anything or talk to me. I nullified that feeling right off the bat. The pharmacist would think, 'it's only a minute, and it doesn't cost anything.' I wasn't threatening anymore."
Customers smiled; they wanted to hear what Hession had to say. He took off his watch to show that he was serious and told them when the minute was up, because he wanted them to know that he meant what he said. Pharmacists were impressed that he managed to pull it off.
When Hession called the next week, he simply said, "This is Matt. I did the one-minute presentation. Have you had a chance to read over the contract I left with you?" They always remembered him. In one year, Key Medical, located in Thibodaux, La., blanketed the state, signed on 200 pharmacists, and recorded sales of $3 million.