How can mentioning a Ferrari expand your sales opportunity? By using it to make a point of reference/connection.
So often in trying to communicate our ideas, our value and our ‘goods’, the other party does not ‘get’ what we are explaining. That’s why metaphors are such a powerful way to help make a point. A colleague of mine, Anne Miller, helps all of us understand how to use metaphors in our sales conversations. The message in Anne’s newsletter today is a timeless reminder of the power of metaphors.
What’s a Ferrari For
How many of your clients buy the full range of your services or products? Probably fewer than you would like. It is very frustrating to be aware of what clients could be getting in value if only they would invest more with you, not to mention how much better it would be for your bottom-line.
That was Kelsey’s situation. Kelsey works for a leading high profile financial services firm. He deals at very senior levels in Fortune 500 companies. He is a seasoned expert at what he does, enjoys his work, and has excellent personal relationships with his clients. But, it bugs him that they pay premium prices and some of them don’t do more business with the firm.
One day, in conversation about doing more business with his firm, he became so frustrated with the client that he said, “Look, Joe, you’re paying for a Ferrari in our service and all you do is use it to drive to the grocery store. That’s not what a Ferrari is for!”
To his surprise, the client actually stopped to consider what that really meant and then began a conversation to explore broader ways to use the “Ferrari” services Kelsey’s firm offers.
When we are frustrated or angry, we sometimes swear, but where swearing is not appropriate, we usually reach for a metaphor to express our feelings or point of view (Angry Mom to teens: “What do you think I am–your maid?” Driver stuck in traffic to friend on cell: “I’m sitting in a damn parking lot!”) Get frustrated enough about a situation and the apt metaphor might appear that you can use when you are face to face with the client.
Can you use a version of Kelsey’s metaphor with your clients who are not taking full advantage of your premium services?
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If you haven’t signed up for Anne’s newsletter, I suggest you do! Personally, I LOVE the great reminders and information on metaphors that she shares.
©2010, Anne Miller, author, “Metaphorically Selling,” firstname.lastname@example.org