What moves people to action?
In sales, it’s very easy to slide into the habit of using scripted phrases. As a sales professional, you know the big human drivers: making or saving money, saving time, better health and better relationships. And sex. I think somebody somewhere discovered that sex sells.
Knowing these motivators has led to a lot of lazy communication. Everyone and his dog describes this or that feature as ‘saving money’ or ‘improving health’.
You might be working your buns off prospecting and thinking: I’m using all these power words, why are their eyes glazing over? It’s because these phrases are so generic and over-used that they’ve become ineffective.
This was the case with one of my clients. He‘s communicating that his software platform reduces inefficiencies and errors, increases productivity and saves money. But he’s having a hard time closing.
That’s because all these phrases sound like platitudes that his competitors would use as well. So what’s the better way?
Use evocative language. ‘Kitchen-table’ language. You’ve got to get your prospects out of their heads and into their gut.
Start off with your declaration: xx feature saves you money, but then then get down into the bog with them. Use your conversation to walk around in the mucky, messy frustrating situation they’re stuck in. Make it real. Make them see just how intolerable the problem has become.
Ask them a question or two: ‘What don’t you like about your current situation?’ and ‘What’s not working?’ But don’t stop there. Oftentimes, people are so used to coping with a crappy, old system that we don’t even see all the ways we’ve been using metaphorical duct tape to hold things together. Help them connect the dots.
Example: All this manual entry is time-consuming. It’s hard to find things when we need inventory.
Instead of just saying ‘our system eliminates manual entry’, go for the jugular:
Right now your staff is entering information by hand, sometimes two or three times over, when they could be selling more product. That’s costing you triple the hourly wage it should. Literally money down the drain. All that time spent hunting in the warehouse for inventory is money down the drain. When you can’t find what you know should be there, you lose the sale. You order product you don’t need yet. Money lost. And on and on…
This is kitchen-table language. There is nothing abstract about it. It’s real in their world. Suddenly, it’s crystal clear that not investing in your inventory software platform is a serious liability.
When you hear your prospect react with a groan or a snort, you know you’ve moved them out of their head and into their gut. You have their undivided attention and they are hungry for a solution.
From here, make a clear connection between their three biggest money (or health or relationship) liabilities, and how your product or service solves each one. You’ll close a lot more business with a lot less effort.