In the world of sales, building strong relationships and effectively communicating your value is paramount. It's not just about having a great product or service; it's about understanding your audience, crafting a compelling story, and harnessing your own influence. Welcome to a journey where we explore the three vital components that can elevate your sales game to new heights: audience, story, and you. By diving deep into the intricacies of your audience, tailoring your story to captivate their hearts and minds, and leveraging your personal power, you'll discover the secret to unlocking sales equity and achieving remarkable results.
Picture this scenario: You find yourself sitting across a desk, engaging in a phone call, or even connecting virtually with someone. But have you ever taken a moment to truly understand who that person is? What drives them? What significance do they hold in the deal at hand and in your overall business relationship? The undeniable truth is that comprehending your audience is the key to constructing and conveying sales equity in a way that truly resonates.
Consider the formal and informal power dynamics at play. Identify the relevant executives and influencers who have a say in what you're selling. Some organizations are highly political, where talking to one person before another can cause tensions. Orchestrating your communication becomes an art form. Do you copy certain individuals on specific matters? How do you navigate those who want to control information? It's a complex task, but one that must be undertaken. Take the time to identify all the parties involved and think about how you can communicate effectively based on their preferences, not just your own.
When it comes to your audience, think in terms of "winning." How can you help them achieve both a business win and a personal win? To communicate your value effectively, you must understand what they are trying to achieve, their job, and what it takes for them to succeed. That's where the "outside/inside/who/how" framework comes in.
Consider the external factors affecting their company, such as competitors, buyers, suppliers, and potential threats. Then dive into the client's world—their internal dynamics. Are they in a numbers-driven or people-driven business? Is their organization characterized by repetitive tasks or variability? Understanding the buyer's specific role within their world allows you to comprehend their business win.
But don't stop there. What about their personal win? What motivates them as individuals? Think about achievement, affiliation, and power—these key drivers can shape their desires. Tailor your approach to their preferences and aspirations. Is hitting numbers their source of motivation? Are they driven by being part of a successful team or building their own influence? Aligning your strategy with their personal win amplifies your chances of success.
Let's embark on a captivating analogy that paints a vivid picture of your client's world. Imagine their world as a well-crafted symphony. In this symphony, their goals and metrics take center stage, akin to the conductor guiding the orchestra. Now, envision your offering as a perfectly harmonized musical note that blends seamlessly into the symphony. To capture their attention and secure their interest, you must create a connection that resonates deeply with their objectives. Just as a well-tuned note effortlessly complements the melody, the clearer and more direct your connection is, the greater the likelihood that they will embrace your proposition, harmonizing their goals with the transformative power of what you offer.
Remember, if the buyer already believed they needed what you're offering, they would have bought it already. Your task is to change their mind. This leads us to the second component of communicating sales equity: your story.
Think about all the audiences you need to influence and all the touchpoints that are going to happen behind the scenes, where a person in your client’s world tells another person in your client’s world something about your product or service, and you are not around to guide that discussion. Crafting an impactful story is not just about what you say directly to your audience; it's also about the narratives that unfold behind the scenes, where individuals in your client's world share their perspectives on your product or service without your guidance. Imagine the head of manufacturing discussing your offering with the CFO. What if you could shape that conversation, ensuring it aligns with the story you would tell if you were present? As Seth Godin aptly puts it, being remarkable means creating an experience that inspires others to make remarks about it. Are you able to create a story that lingers in their minds, prompting them to retell it just as you would intend?
Consider the example of the littering problem along Texas highways in the mid-1980s. The Texas Highway Commission faced the challenge of reaching the average Texas litterbug, an 18- to 34-year-old male who displayed a disregard for anti-litter campaigns featuring Woodsy the Owl or images of a weeping Native American chief. The key to their success was understanding their audience. They struck gold with a campaign featuring popular country singers and patriotic red, white, and blue trash cans emblazoned with the slogan, "Don't Mess with Texas." By tapping into the immense state pride of their target audience, littering rates dropped by a staggering 80% within two years.
As demonstrated in Texas, telling your story effectively requires taking your clients on both an emotional and logical journey. The sequence depends on the preferences of your audience. Some, particularly high achievers, prefer to hear the logic first, understanding the tangible benefits your product or service offers in terms of teamwork, chemistry, and overall improvement. On the other hand, the affiliators respond better to an emotional story that emphasizes the promotion of great teams who genuinely enjoy working together. By catering to their desires, you can truly captivate their attention and propel them toward achieving remarkable results, whether it's doubling their business in the next eighteen months or beyond.
This brings us to the final component of communicating sales equity: you. You hold the ultimate power to influence both the audience and the story itself. Your ability to understand your clients' needs, connect with their emotions, and present a compelling narrative sets the stage for success. Embrace this power and wield it wisely, transforming your interactions into transformative experiences that forge lasting relationships and remarkable outcomes.
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