I’d left my house early that morning, a little sleepy, on my way to a meeting in Boston, listening to my car radio, checking out the weather (nice day ahead) and traffic conditions (already challenging). There was an eye-blink of silence, then…a youngish woman’s voice:
“The specialists at Mass Eye and Ear did wonders for our daughter’s recurring ear infections…. They also gave her back ballet lessons on Tuesday night and a pink tutu she never wants to take off.”
Oh, my! I gasped a little as I replayed her words. For parents of younger children who have suffered or who are suffering through ear infections, it was brilliant. Brilliant!
Something to move away from: Ear pain and tears. Something to move forward to: ballet tutus and smiles.
Often, in sales, we think about ‘making the pain go away.” Our client is having a problem. We position our benefits – we make the pain go away. Sales 101. That’s “the specialists did wonders for our daughter’s recurring ear infections.” OK, that’s good, that’s what doctors are supposed to do. We want the pain to stop.
But then…. Sales 201 – Paint an inviting vision of the future, something to move toward – “They also gave her back ballet lessons on Tuesday night and a pink tutu she never wants to take off.” Oh, my goodness, who would NOT want that?
In Sales 201, our job is to understand our clients’ needs, wants, and desires BEYOND their immediate irritations and articulate what a change (buying our services) could REALLY mean. Make it personal – A vision of bounding in slow motion through a grassy meadow, the sun on our faces, our arms outstretched. Or, a pink tutu she never wants to take off. It’s not just about solving the problem; it’s about THAT –the rapturous future.
Example – “If you use our bill-pay software, the hassle of printing checks, stuffing envelopes, licking stamps, and trekking to the post office goes away.” Yeah, sure, that’s what I’d expect. That’s sales 101.
“You’ll also be able to make your favorite early tee-time on Saturday mornings.” NOW we’re cookin’!
Nick Miller trains banks and bankers to attract and expand relationships with business clients. More profitable relationships, faster. He is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.
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