What Can You Sell In 60 Seconds?

You see it all the time. The host of a TV show asks a “sales expert” to sell him a pen in 60 seconds of less.

Selling is not a parlor trick.

The first 60 seconds of any relationship are critical but not because you can put the ideal pen in the hands of a prospective client. That time is critical because that’s when you sell your most valuable product – yourself.

So how should you spend the first 60 seconds of any interaction?

Asking questions and finding out how you can help the person standing in front of you.

That’s when people learn if you are selfish or if you have an external orientation.

Think about the relationships in your life. Think back to how they started. Imagine walking up to someone at a cocktail party and saying:

“Hi. My name is Dave. I’m currently looking for a best friend. I like baseball, camping and working on cars. Would you like to go on a hike with me tomorrow? If the weather is nice we can go camping. Want to share a tent?”

You wouldn’t do that. If you did, people would run away from you as fast as they could. Now, if you approached, introduced yourself, paid a compliment, and asked a question, that would get things off to a good start.

Here’s an example:

Last month I was traveling for a week and I had to check a big bag. As I approached the First Class check-in counter I noticed the guest service agent had unique eye glass frames. They allowed her to express her originality even though she was wearing the mandated drab uniform.

“Hi. My name is Dave Lorenzo and I’m flying to New York, JFK.” I said as I handed her my identification. “I love your eye glasses. Those frames are fantastic.”

“Thank you.” She said.

“Do you have others you wear regularly or are those your favorite?” I replied.

She went on to tell me the story of how she picked out her eyeglass frames and why these were her favorite.

I told her the story of how I picked out my favorite frames. We laughed about how hard it was to get frames that made us feel good about wearing eye glasses.

We continued to chat for a few minutes as she checked my bag and then I said: “Can I ask you for a favor?”


“I have to send a couple of emails and I’d like to relax before my flight. Can you sell me a day pass to the Admirals Club?”

“I can’t sell you one, but…take this up to the desk and they will help you.”

She wrote a note to the agent at the desk and whatever she put in that note gave me access to the club immediately – at no charge.

Total time of the interaction – 3 minutes. Did I sell something in the first 60 seconds? You bet I did. I sold myself.

I started a relationship and I put the other person first before I asked for anything.

How Does This Apply To You?

So, you sell fractional jet ownership, or you sell medical devices, or you sell commercial property and you’re wondering how you can use this to your advantage.

The next time you start a conversation, ask the other person an appropriate question and be genuinely interested in the answer. That’s how you demonstrate an external orientation and that is the first step toward a productive relationship.