The basis of this post, the backbone, as it were, is a simply tremendous post, written by Brian Clark, of Copyblogger.com fame.
The minute I read his post, I saw another post inside of it, a sales-related post, screaming at me to set it free.
Not that there was anything that his post was lacking, we just happen to be in different niches, blogwise…and brainwise. His is bigger and size matters
I asked to use it, he okayed it and it’s now set free.
Just in case you don’t understand, I’m going to copy a MAJOR portion of his content and adapt it to the sales and sales presentation arena.
His content, creatively adapted, majorly copied, starts now:
This Is How You Present Your Sales Case To A Prospect
When I was in sales school, one of my mentors—a no-nonsense Kentuckian with a Western Kentucky University pedigree—liked to say that those of us who actually became professional B2B salespeople would need to learn how to effectively communicate with “dumbasses and dimwits.”
That’s how he referred to purchasing agents.
Pretty brutal, I know. But his point was that despite all the high-level sales training being jammed into our heads, we’d still have to learn to translate complex features and benefits into a simple language that everyone could understand.
As I entered the world of B2B sales after I flunked out of sales school, I saw this first hand. The actual customer issues, sales theories, and sales territories involved were so ridiculously complex that we mainly tried to make our sales manager and our clients like us more than our coworkers and competition, in that order.
And you don’t win prospects to your side by talking over their heads or about things they don’t care about. You’ve likely seen this in action yourself.
How was it that Johnnie Cochran overcame an avalanche of evidence that suggested O.J. Simpson was guilty of murder? After goading the prosecution into the biggest of many mistakes (letting Simpson try on the shrunken bloody glove), Cochran gave the jury an easy-to-understand opportunity to let Simpson off:
“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
Now, the salesman’s duty to provide the best possible representation for his employer is one big reason why I don’t sell used cars. And maybe the benefits of your product or service are not as difficult to communicate as some nebulous CARFAX report.
But in an attention-starved world where everyone is constantly bombarded with competing information, your message must be designed to slip into the mind of your prospect as effortlessly as possible. In that regard, you might want to think like a trial attorney when “making your case” with your sales presentation.
Here are five ways that smart B2B salespeople are like smart trial lawyers:
1. Spot the Issues
The first year of law school is designed to change the way you think. It’s an exercise in training the mind to be able to spot the legal issues in any given fact pattern. B2B salespeople must do the same, but it’s called identifying compelling benefits and likely objections. The biggest way to fail with your sales presentations is to fail to understand the issues that matter to the prospective buyer, so start spotting the issues first, just like an attorney approaches a new case.
2. Use Short Words
A smart trial attorney knows that a short word is always better than a longer word with the same meaning, and smart B2B salespeople know the same. Short words are not only easy to understand, they also effortlessly pack more emotional power without giving the appearance that you’re “trying too hard” to persuade. Again, think Johnnie Cochran and Don King rolled into one human being…eeeewwww!
3. Use Common Expressions
Both attorneys and B2B salespeople must understand who they’re speaking to, and a big part of that understanding involves knowing and using the language the audience uses. Most people won’t be impressed with your unique vocabulary. They’ll be much more impressed that you’re “one of them.” Use the expressions, colloquialisms, and even slang that the people you’re trying to persuade use, and you’ll communicate more effectively.
4. Use Lyrical Language
You don’t have to resort to ridiculous rhymes like Johnnie Cochran, but language with rhythm and flow is pleasing and easy for the brain to digest. When choosing your words, be sensitive to opportunities for alliteration, repetition, and even subtle rhyming.
5. Paint the Right Picture
Great trial attorneys and B2B salespeople understand that words are simply symbols that trigger mental imagery, and that’s why the right words make all the difference. Make sure you’re not inadvertently painting a negative picture in the prospect’s mind with your metaphors and word choice, or you’ll see your argument fall apart fast.
Drag Out Your Inner Attorney
So that’s a crash course in how thinking like a trial attorney can help you become a force to be reckoned with in your industry. And you didn’t even have to suffer through law school or lawyer jokes to do it.
Again, MAJOR thanks to copyblogger for allowing us to adapt his work for our use.
Leave me a comment and then click thru to enjoy the original post…which happens to be even better than this clone.
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