The one sentence summary
To sell effectively, you need emotion, your best points first and last, plenty of contrast, strong visuals, simplicity, proof, and to make it personal.
- There are lots of ways to increase the chances of someone buying what you have to sell. Your pitch must have a Point of View, including:
Grabber: grab attention immediately with something unexpected
Pain: show the prospect something that threatens the business
Impact: identify the closeness and urgency of the problem
Contrast: present a new way to look at the problem
Proof: demonstrate how your proposal will work
- Grabbers that work well are: What if you…? questions, number guessing games, customer stories (with contrast) and 3D props.
- Provocation-based selling delivers bad news and then fixes it.
- You can identify your Value Wedge by drawing a Venn diagram of you, the prospect and the competition. The bit in the middle is value parity – it doesn’t get you anywhere.
- The bit between you and the prospect is a wedge that needs 3 components:
- It must be important to the prospect
- It must be defensible against your competitor
- It must be unique to you.
- The Message Pyramid has three parts, working up from the base:
- What the product or service Is: features and functions
- What it Does: message and uniqueness
- What it Means: the value it creates or provides
- The authors call these points Power positions.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Using diagrams in this way creates Big Pictures. It’s the best way to simplify a complex message and make abstract ideas concrete.
- Deals aren’t just a case of winning and losing. On average you might win around 35% of prospects, competitors may get 25%, but on 40% there’s no decision at all.
- Most salespeople are taught We phrasing. We could do this…etc. You phrasing works better because it transfers ownership to the listener.
- Research shows that people remember 70% of the words at the beginning of a presentation, 20% in the middle, and 100% at the end. Pace your pitch accordingly. You need some emotion, with your best points first and last, contrast, strong visuals, simplicity, proof, and to make it personal.
WHAT YOIU HAVE TO WATCH
- This is a classic American sales book. UK readers can take it with a pinch of salt.
- The title doesn’t really need the ‘complex’ bit. The techniques could apply to any sale.