I hope so–at least a little bit anyway.
I recently came across an HBR article which sums up nicely something most of us start to unconsciously do after we’ve presented enough times.
Most of us are taught by our early mentors or reps that you need to establish the pain points first before you start talking solution. I never really felt like it was well articulated exactly how to go about doing this. I think all of us have seen the “statistics” slides that come from marketing, or the scare tactic of showing the newspaper article of the company that suffered a horrible fate because they weren’t using your product.
My educated hunch is most prospects are well tuned and inclined to ignore such ploys.
When we start throwing around terminology like “uncomfortable” that implies an actual emotional reaction. How often in a sales presentation do you get a response that you consider an emotional reaction? I’m guessing not all that often. Let’s face it, that’s hard to do when a prospect is sitting through their 4th sales call that week.
“I HAVE TEN COMMANDMENTS. THE FIRST NINE ARE, THOU SHALT NOT BORE. THE TENTH IS, THOU SHALT HAVE RIGHT OF FINAL CUT.”
The simplest form to understand when trying to elicit and emotional response/connection is that your message has to do two things:
- Challenge a held perception
- Relate directly to something they care a lot about
And it really helps if you’re delivering your message in a direct, unapologetic, and non-boring way.
To be challenged is to be uncomfortable. You can illicit mild intellectual interest on any topic by challenging held beliefs. To get a visceral response, though, requires that the recipient care deeply about what is being challenged.
So along the lines of the article above, leverage your stories, but you better make sure the story is illustrating something that hits both those objectives. Keep refining until it does.