Walpole Partnership’s Guest Author Series – Post No. 7

 

Ever wondered what goes on inside the ‘Magic Circle’?

We love to bring different perspectives on how to engage with clients, and today it’s our pleasure to introduce Lee Warren, magician and sales guru, who offers us his advice on how to get a client’s attention. Disclaimer – No ladies were sawn in half in the production of this article…

How to be attractive in six letters – emotional persuasion in tech sales.

People in tech sales love facts, and data, and content. They adore describing processes and systems. The more detailed they are, the more they love them: ‘Our hypo-automative facilitated system is engineered to strategically position best outflows against demand…’

The trouble is. Facts don’t ‘sell’. They only tell.

My background is as a magician and mind-reader. One of the first things a magician learns, is that if you’re going to ‘sell’ a trick, you have to get people to care about what’s going on, before you start the trick.

Facts, content and data, on their own, tend to be unpersuasive. You can argue with facts. They’re easy to forget, and they’re often difficult to repeat to other people in a meaningful way.

So truly great salespeople in tech don’t just use facts, they also use emotional engagement with buyers. They ‘hook’ people’s interest – right from the start of their communication.

We live in a world where people don’t want to be ‘sold to’ any more. Our clients are busy, and already have too much to deal with. Selling to people by bombarding them with facts makes you the same as everyone else – forgettable, bland and self-interested. Our clients don’t want someone who will ‘sell’ at them. They want to deal with someone who understands their world, builds trust, and creates a relationship.

How to get emotional engagement

A handy acronym I use with all my clients is ‘HAM PIE’.

‘HAM’ stands for Hearts And Minds’ – if you want to be truly persuasive in sales, you have to get an emotional connection to your message early in the process.

‘Emotion’ here doesn’t mean hugging all your prospects, or bursting into tears! It means that when people hear you talk about your service or product, they’re thinking something like ‘This is interesting/relevant/a good use of my time/valuable/fun/provocative/different…’

This ‘hook’ is what makes it easier for people to listen to, and believe, your main pitch.

Many people start ‘selling’ too early, or they make the sale too much about themselves:

‘We were established in 1998’

‘We are the leading…’

‘Our unique service is…’

‘We’re amazing at…’

But no one is interested in you – they’re interested in themselves.

‘HAM’ reminds you – get the emotional connection first, then pitch.

Don’t talk about what matters to you – talk about what matters to the client or prospect. Don’t say what you want to say – say what they need to hear. Don’t just talk – ask questions, create a conversation.

For example, instead of saying ‘We were established in 1998’ you could try ‘We know from our briefing call that stability is very important to you. Well, we were established in 1998, which means that we’ve seen the highs and lows in this business…’

You need to have people ready to listen before you say anything they need to hear!

‘PIE’ stands for:

Pictures

Interest

Enthusiasm.

These three words are great tools for getting an emotional connection when you describe your service or product.

Pictures can be metaphors, stories, analogies, case studies, testimonials, easy comparisons, and so on. Most of us find visual images easy to understand, and easy to remember. It’s a strange quirk of the human mind – if we can understand and remember something easily, we tend to believe it more.

If you use ‘pictures’ in your sales, your messages will be simpler, more persuasive, more memorable and more believable. Even better – you become more referable and more competitor-proof.

‘We are the Netflix of finance software’ is more compelling than ‘We have a range of on-demand, self-selected options across a broad range of financial software applications….’

Interest should be obvious, but is so often forgotten. Your sale should centre on what is most interesting to your prospect – what matters most to them? The answer to this will rarely be your systems and processes. It will usually be the result of your systems and processes. Few people are interested in your ‘award-winning multi-phase implementation protocol.’ They are interested in ‘We can have this up and running in a fortnight, with no downtime.’ Your sales pitches should focus around answering the ‘what’s in this for me’ thought bubble most prospects have hanging over their heads!

Enthusiasm is a key word in sales – the first person to convince in any sale is you. You have to be enthusiastic about your own service or product if you want to persuade others.

One of the best ways to build enthusiasm for your sale is to focus the value of what you do, rather than how you do it.

When I coach clients on improving their sales pitches, I ask them to drill down to the real value of what they do. You can find an exercise for helping you do that here.

‘HAM PIE’ is not magic, but it does give you everything you need to know to be a more persuasive, emotionally connected salesperson. Give it a try in the real world, and good luck with your next sale!

Lee Warren has been a professional keynote business speaker since 2010, and has spoken in more than 20 countries around the globe for hundreds of world-class businesses. He uses his background in magic, theatre and business to create seminars and talks that are ‘business cabaret’. He is a member of the Magic Circle and was described by Prince William as ‘absolutely amazing’.

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