With customers?

About twenty years ago I had a friend who wanted to take my place in the House of Representatives.  My advice was to try to convince as many potential opponents not to run as he could.  It would be a lot cheaper and easier to win by keeping them off the ballot.  But when filing day came he had three opponents and came to see me depressed.

He was going to have to go campaign!  Well, of course…who get’s to win without putting in a little work?  The good news I told him was that by talking to voters he would learn what they really cared about.  Instead of making a bunch of assumptions he would really know.  And he would learn to speak to them in a way that mattered to them.

See, really good politicians tell people what they want to hear.

So, do good salespeople!

Good sales people speak in a language that is meaningful to the prospect not to them.  They talk about issues the prospect thinks is important not what the sales person wants to talk about.  This seems obvious but apparently it’s not.

Sally Hogshead in her book “How to Fascinate” says “Great advertising isn’t what companies want to say, it’s about what the market wants to hear.”  This is the same point.  Most insurance agencies, and most insurance agents, in my experience speak a language which is meaningless, and power less, to their prospective customers.  That is one of the reasons people see insurance, and insurance agents as commodities.

What if we got rid of all the jargon that gets in our way.  What if we asked people what they care about, or worry about, and then sold them that.  Disguised as insurance?

My friend learned to understand how someone felt about a political issue by how they talked about it.  By the words they used.  He learned what the things his constituents cared about, and what they didn’t, and learned to speak to them about the things they wanted to hear about.  He got elected in a landslide!  More importantly he was re elected that way several times.  Because he listened first, then focused on what people told him they wanted solutions to.

If you talk to prospective customers about what they care about, in their language, you can’t help but be fascinating.  And you won’t be a commodity.  Any you’ll win!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *