Anecdotes, Stories and Metaphors

Have you ever given a presentation, excited, engaged and in the moment? And then the time comes when you pause to catch your breath and like the good Master Seller ask if they have any questions? And then you look up and all you hear is the sound of crickets as your audience naps the afternoon away?

You could have a long list of features and benefits that far out weigh anything your competition can offer. But there are limits to what words can say, and you can rarely fully describe to complete precision what you’re selling with dry lists and specifications.  But a quick anecdote, a little story, an example that draws upon a metaphor or common experience can make all the difference. 

In the hubbub world of today, prospects quickly tire and get glassy-eyed.  A great tactic is to frame a benefit in a real-life story.   Start with “Have you ever been in the situation where …….”   And the story ends with some frustration of life.  You then proceed “Consider instead this ending…..” explaining  how your solution makes everything right in the end.  

Listen to what people say. Describe what you do with their stories. Make sure they fully believe you, and if they choose wisely,  they will live happily ever after. 


Focus On The Hard

Question Mark

There are many tasks in sales and some you naturally attract you; organizing your desk, preparing your script, going on cold calls, tidying your contact data or schedule . These things are all well and good UNLESS you’re doing them to avoid real work. Ask yourself “What do you dread doing?” Ask yourself , what are the things you find hard to do and then consider that maybe, just maybe that’s where you’re failure lives?

Take a moment and look inward. Do you have any suppressed self-destructive traits or childhood hang-ups that are roadblocks to promoting your dream? Are you putting yourself out of business?  Today, focus on one thing you avoid. Put it on the top of your to do list. Do it right now!

See the world as it is
Focus on the hard
until the hard becomes easy.

Exercise of Ownership Language

Question MarkGetting a prospect to generate ownership language is crucial for advancing the sale. Again consider the question “What would you do if…” and let’s see how you can apply this question in real life.

List three benefits that differentiate your product or service from you competition or the status quo. For each of these benefits create one or more “What would you do if” questions. During a sales call, the moment will arrive and you will have the opportunity to ask them if they can see the benefits of a part of your solution, e.g. “Can you see how this is faster?”. When they say “yes”, you will ask  “What would you do if you had more time?”  Patiently wait for their answer until they start describing what their future would look like if they had your solution.

The Master Seller is infinitely patient, asking questions, allowing the sale to precede at its own pace.

Looking Good

Question MarkYesterday spoke about how “looking good” is a barrier to picking up the phone and potentially embarrassing yourself in front of a stranger. This fear focuses your energy, not toward the task at hand, but at the self’s fear of humiliation.

Put yourself in a prospects shoes. How do you treat sales people when they call you? Are you patient, curt, distracted or sometime curious about what they say? Might not it be that these are the same possible outcomes  could happen when you’re the caller? And with these outcomes do any of them have anything to do with embarrassing the seller? From the prospects point of view, the seller is an after thought. And in the case of your prospects, so are you. So why be embarrassed! 

Make a list of possible outcomes that might occur when cold calling.  Spend  a day marking off which outcome happened at each of your sales calls.  At the end of the day tally them up and awake to what in reality happens. Note how predictable the cold calls become and how any “yes”  or “no” needn’t  raise or lower   the value your self esteem.  Often the greatest barrier to success is yourself. 

The Master Seller revels in  meeting strangers and the opportunities it may bring. 

Cold Call Questions

Question MarkYesterday posting spoke about the fear of cold calling.

Sales cannot be won without leads. And often times its the seller who must cold call prospects to hunt for leads.  Yet it’s the fear  of rejection that slows or stops  sellers from success.  Awareness of this fear is the start of realizing that fear as no more than morning fog  to be cleared as the sun rises.

Review yesterdays teaching and ask  yourself:

Do you have a prepared list of prospects to meet or call each day?
Do you have a prepared greeting that explains your visit unapologetically with confidence?
Are you prepared for rejection and ready to accept it willingly?

Unless you answer yes to all of these, both your  overt concern for success combined with the fear of failure will debilitate your ability to cold call successfully.  For those questions you answered no, plan a way to answer the questions yes, and approach tomorrow with the new found confidence of a Master Seller.

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