The words matter

Many companies are trying to move into a less transactional sales environment.  The latest fad where everyone calls themselves “solution providers” is part of that. We know that being transactional can take down you the commoditization road.  Companies are trying to avoid the situation where your unique features and services are lost in discussions focused on price.  But is your strategy to become less transactional being contradicted by the words you use? I worked for a sales organization that used the term “deal” all the time. We were working on “deals”, big deals, small deals, closing deals etc. The word “deal” is very transactional, “I got a good deal at… Read More

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The less than helpful metaphor: The sales doctor and customer patient.

Pain points, a lot of salespeople (and sales training) use this metaphor. The metaphor assumes your potential customer is in pain, has some urgent problem that needs solving. And that you are the “doctor” who can help them.  The problem with this metaphor is that it is not true, it doesn’t really apply. It’s pretty rare that a potential customer is in an urgent situation (is in “pain”).  I just worked on an emergency equipment replacement project that took a year to conclude.  They were not in pain, but they realized they were going to face some big problems in the future if they didn’t replace the piece of equipment… Read More

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Can you give me one good reason?

I was in Malaysia and Singapore this month to give some mini-workshops on sales presentations. During one of the sessions I asked my audience, who was very engaged, to “Give me one good reason” to buy their product.  Most of the attendees struggled to come up with an answer.  I thought it may be an ESL (English as a second language) issue since things get lost in translation, but even the English speaking members were not having an easy time. I used this “one good reason” exercise when I was discussing the need for a concise, clear message in sales presentations. I thought it would be a good place to start,… Read More

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