Who Would you Listen To?
Published on October 2, 2003
You have two sales reps calling on you one right after the other trying to sell you similar products or services. The first rep is very knowledgeable, but loses your attention as he gets bogged down in the features of his products. The other sales rep gets you involved by providing a stimulating environment that tugs at your emotional strings and moves you to action. Which sales person gets the deal? Okay, you guessed right. Now, what was most important in getting the deal, product knowledge or presentation skills?
It is true you would be far better off being a salesperson that has both product knowledge and presentation skills. It is also true that you can have all the product knowledge in the world, but if you can’t present it powerfully, you message will probably land on deaf ears.
It is your ability to present your facts in a concise and enjoyable manner that will determine how much people will hear and value our services and products.
Concise means getting to the point quickly and clearly; not rambling off on tangents that will create confusion and reduce the power of your message. In this context, we define enjoyable as being easy to listen to. Are you communicating with only dry facts that make no emotional connection, or are you using stories that capture the attention of people and strongly support your points?
When it comes to using stories, it is better not to use a story if it does not clearly support your ideas and customer issues. If you do use a story, it is best to cut out the extraneous information that is not relevant to the issue. Yet it is also more powerful to add color to a story that fully describes the situation so we can see a clear picture in our minds. Stories should only be used if they come from the heart. People can tell in a moment whether or not you are reading the story from a piece of paper or speaking from the heart. It is the latter version that will make the greatest impact on your customer.
Stories should also be customized for the listener. Telling a success story of a deal with a manufacturing company is not as powerful for a financial planner as telling a similar success story involving financial planners. Do you have success stories mapped out for all markets you serve?
Once you have the right story and can communicate it in a clear and concise manner, it is now up to your ability to deliver it with power. Stay tuned to next month’s E-Report for more tips on how to powerfully deliver your message.