175 Why We Need Some Showmanship In Sales
Manage episode 356182674 series 2553835
Tricky area in sales, showmanship. The word has a certain odor about it that reeks of fake, duplicity, con game, spruker, carnival barker, etc. Yet, like storytelling, this is an important part of the sales professional’s repertoire. Clients are card carrying members of the Great Guild Of Skeptics. They are highly doubtful about salespeople’s claims. We need to bring some powerful persuasion techniques to the fore.
Just making a statement is not going to do it. Having a need and doing something about it, are not the same thing for buyers. Clients have to be convinced and how do we convince them? We might offer a trial or a demonstration. We might marshal testimonials from satisfied buyers. We might provide data from independent studies, that back up our claims and assertions. All good stuff, but how do we make sure we can break through the wall of disinterest, doubt and distraction. This is where showmanship comes in.
This means using our communication skills to highlight the key points that will persuade the buyer, that what we are offering will help them and is in their best interests. What we say has to be true, but we don’t need to say it in a flat, lifeless, mundane or boring way.
When we offer to sell something, it has a cost associated with it. There is a difference between cost and price though, which may not be apparent to the buyer. They use the terms interchangeably. We as sales professionals should never use either word if possible. We should be talking about the investment.
If you buy something today with a cheaper price, how do you judge the value when you have to keep replacing it, because of some fault or defect?
Showmanship would involve using persuasive word pictures to draw out the scene of the client becoming frustrated when the cheaper model broke down, destroying the moment at hand or the lost opportunity it should have provided. It would include talking about having to lug the item back to where it was purchased and then wasting valuable time hanging around to get served.
Maybe describing the annoyance of having to line up to take a number or sit on a hard, uncomfortable bench or getting tired legs, because you have to stand. It would mean describing the opportunity cost of how that irreplaceable time was being spent on a totally unnecessary, useless task, at the expense of higher priority, more valuable items. We should be raising pertinent questions about how costly their time and focus are and mention the complete irritation of the interruption to their day.
Showmanship may involve the use of mathematics to reduce a cost down to a comparison where the purchase amount isn’t that substantial, when amortised over time. The price consideration is in the now, but the cost can be strung out across years. This makes the additional cost of our widget seem reasonable and more convincing as a wise decision. Clients can understand investing for the future, but we have to use the right word pictures to draw that out, so that it is pertinent and relevant to the buyer.
Our story must help the buyer to see the full ramifications of the decisions they are going to take, both positive and negative. Use very emotive language to drive home the cost of no action. The tone is subdued but still powerful. We need to be looking for ways in which we can contrast the plus of using our solution, against the minus of doing nothing or using our competitor’s solution.
Think about what you sell and what are some ways you can illustrate to the buyer that there are opportunity costs to not buying from you and buying now. Look for powerful word pictures to draw this out for the buyer. This is showmanship and we must become masters of communicating value to the client.