98 Intentional Listening – Part 1

Intentional Listening – Part 1

Many salespeople mistakenly believe that listening is just waiting for their turn to talk.

Listening has now become a lost art.

 

Jim Tressel is a champion college football coach whose teams have won five national championships. Tressel now serves as the president of Youngstown State University, my alma mater.

I have had the good fortune to get to know Jim Tressel over the years. He is an incredible leader and serves as an ambassador for the community. He is also a phenomenal salesperson.

Tressel’s capacity for remembering people’s names is incredible. He has the ability to meet a person one time, conduct a short conversation, and then later recall the essence of that conversation. 

In doing research for my book, I asked Jim about his skill at remembering people’s names and recalling details about their lives. I asked him to describe what he would tell sales professionals who wanted to master this skill. Here is what he told me:

– “We are all selling. I sat in the living rooms of thousands of student athletes being recruited for our football team and getting to know their family. To win them over, it was critical to understood what was most important to them.

– Likewise, now when I accompany a future college student and their family on a tour of our campus, it is still critical to understand the student’s passions and what things are vital to them in attending college.”

“Intentional listening” is how Tressel learned to remember so many people and recall their personal circumstances. I was intrigued and needed to understand more about this…

I’m DJ Sebastian… and we’ll continue this discussion on what Jim Tressel taught me about Intentional Listening in the next flash briefing. 

97 Your Customer Buys on Emotion

Your Customer Buys on Emotion

Sales people often focus solely on applying tactics with the intent of “closing the deal” with their customer. But they often miss an  aspect that is important to advancing their sales opportunity. 

Realize that your customer buys on emotion and then justifies their decision with logic. So first you must establish an emotional connection with your customer through your communications. Deliver value to them so you become a proactive advisor. Leverage all the tools you have in your arsenal to build a strong relationship, one that is much more than merely based on a sales transaction. This includes articulating meaningful customer success testimonials, demonstrating how your solution will improve your customer’s operation and even making your sponsors heroes in their organization.

These actions will build your customer’s confidence in you, generate excitement in the potential personal and business-related benefits that are possible, and reduce the customer’s perceived risk in moving forward with you, your organization, and your solution. 

Once you build that emotional connection with your customer, you can use calculations to show the numbers that amplify your value proposition to help them envision the financial justification; then you can walk them through a roadmap with resources required, and tasks and milestones that will be achieved along the way;  

Finally, you want to summarize the benefits again to strengthen that emotional connection.  

These actions will go a long way toward helping your 

Setting the stage this way will help you advance your sales opportunity towards a WINNING deal

I’m DJ Sebastian… For more proven sales strategies that will help you sell more, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

96 Make It Multimedia

Make It Multimedia 

Are you making Your Communications Multimedia?

As you plan the content of your customer interaction, be sure to integrate multiple forms of media to deliver your message. 

These can include items such as:

Short videos – customer testimonials, demonstration videos, or videos you record yourself

Dashboards – that graphically describe what is possible with your solution… Show the results as key metrics, performance indicators, or a benefits summary 

Functional diagrams of photos – that depict the high-level “context” of your solution 

Roadmap diagrams – that depict the journey starting from where the customer is currently to the future state, along with the path on how you will help them along their journey

Whiteboard drawings – whether you are onsite in a meeting or remote in a web conference. Drawing on a physical or virtual whiteboard can be a great way to engage your customer and get them participating in your discussion

Infographics – these are visual images that combine charts and diagrams to represent different types of data that have a common theme. Using an Infographic can be a great way to turn a dry boring set of data or facts into a stunning set of graphics. Several tools are available to help you quickly create Infographics. 

Handouts (paper or electronic documents) – such as a writeup that is an executive summary of your main points. 

Why is Using Multiple forms of media important ???

It’s because the people in your audience have different primary learning modes… 

Many learn visually by seeing, 

others learn vocally (by hearing voice sounds)

and some learn through verbal and non-verbal means (like reading text). 

Structure your communications to leverage each of these learning modes to engage the highest percentage of your audience.

I’m DJ Sebastian… To SELL MORE, you need to become a Great Communicator. Find out more about my innovative online course at thetechseller.com

95 Show Your Value Proposition

Show Your Value Proposition 

Every customer communication should reference the business value that you, your company and your solution will deliver to your customer. It is important to clearly illustrate the significance of this business value. Don’t just assume that your customer will figure this out by themselves. 

Specify the business value your customer will realize (after you’ve determined what is possible) and put this in relatable terms. For example:

– Benefits that will increase revenue, net profit, and productivity.

– Benefits that raise the perception of the customer’s brand and market awareness. 

– Benefits that are possible because your solution enables other business processes or staff to work more efficiently and automating or reducing time performing key tasks. 

To help reinforce the customer’s reason for moving forward: 

1) First, Explain the Cost of Delay – Once you have calculated the value your solution will provide, You can break down the delay in terms of a day, a month, or a year. For example, “Every time the sun sets, you lose $3,000.”

2) Then, Explain the “Lost Opportunity Cost” – This is the  cost of doing nothing… The value they won’t realize, that they will LOSE, if they don’t proceed with the initiative. 

Help your customer visualize your value proposition by spelling out your value proposition graphically. Keep it simple. For your Value Projection, show the impact on value by drawing it on a chart. Describe the value using up arrows to denote increases (shown in green) and down arrows to denote decreases (shown in red). 

I’m DJ Sebastian… To SELL MORE, you need to become a Great Communicator. Find out more about my innovative online course at thetechseller.com

94 Customer Testimonials

Customer Testimonials 

Testimonials where your loyal customers speak in their own words about their success, gives you, your company, and your solutions tremendous credibility. Your prospective customers can visualize a successful result through testimonials and it will help you accelerate through your sales cycle. It can also reduce any perceived risk in doing business with your company. 

A video testimonial puts a real face on your mutual success and helps project confidence in you and your team. Don’t be shy about using video testimonials. They don’t have to be an exact fit to your prospective customer’s business. 

If a customer won’t agree to record a video testimonial to publicly go on record about their success, or if it’s not practical for them to do so, learn to tell their success story yourself, and then record your own videos to re-tell the story… you can make it anonymous, by leaving out the actual name of the customer. Just be sure your story is factual and can be proven later as needed. 

Your video only needs to be a couple of minutes long. The testimonial can begin by setting the stage about how the customer had an important business issue to solve, what problems the issue caused, and how you came to the rescue to help them attain substantial benefits. Be specific about the value your customer gained because you served as a partner to help them achieve the value. 

You might even consider recording your video in an area that is related to your story (like a warehouse, an auditorium, or an office setting). You can make it informal… set the backdrop in your own office, at an outdoor restaurant, at a train station, or even outdoors on a walking trail.   

In any case, you will find that these customer testimonials are as good as gold. 

I’m DJ Sebastian… To SELL MORE, you need to become a Great Communicator. Find out about my innovative online course at my website, thetechseller.com