Friday, September 18, 2009

Do you KNOW you have flowless sales-speak?

Speaking to clients about your offerings is perhaps the most important thing you do. Even if your work is amazing, fabulous, drop-dead astounding, without the keys to those initial conversations, your abilities will remain a well-kept (and likely under-paid) secret.

I realize lots of people say things like, "I never sell! I just refuse." Whatever word works for you is fine. And the reality is if you are not working for someone else and are not professionally unemployed, you talk to prospective clients. So I still want you to considert, "What is flawless sales-speak?" The more if it you've got, the better your life. The less of it you know and can use, the harder business--and life!--is for you.

First, it’s important to know what doesn’t make your conversations with a potential client effective. Being flawless during these conversations is not

  1. Having your “pitch” so down cold that you just slide right through it with never a stutter or a flutter. That’s not good sales-speak, that’s Leisure Larry used-car sales slimy-ness!
  2. Tossing around the amazing numbers proving the value of what you’re offering
  3. Trotting out testimonial after testimonial—most people just start to wonder if any of the super-cool, ├╝ber-successful people actually exist.
  4. Sharing your vision for the world, your company, their company, their life or any other such nonsense.
  5. Your expanded vocabulary, razor-sharp wit or quick repartee.

Flawless sales-speak is talking like your customers do. Specifically, talking about another person’s needs in the same frame as happy customers talk about the results they got. This is the verbal version of those diet-aid before and after pictures. Flawless sales-speak is making it your objective to talk to people who have the same “before” pain as your best, favorite customers and believing for them that you can teach, create, give them the pleasure words that are the “after” image.

If you want to have flawless sales-speak, the best way to do this is actually speak less and listen more. No matter how excited you get about how you can help this person, how great it will be to work together, or any other thing. Listen for those before words that tell you this person is a perfect match for what you do the best. Then briefly describe what after feels like and watch what happens.

Wishing you Success & Heart through Flawless Sales-Speak,

Heidi Sue Roth

P.S. Have some extra fun--try it for a non-business conversation when opinions or agreement matters. You may just discover the short-path to verbal harmony!

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