April 23, 2017
It can feel like an impenetrable barrier when selling your idea, product, or service.
Objections sound like:
- We don’t need it
- We’ve tried that before
- It’s too expensive
- I’ll have to think about it
- We’re too busy
Are you quick to convert these statements into personal rejections? Perhaps your ears are hearing “We don’t need you…” or “You’re too expensive…”
Objections are not rejections.
Hidden within an objection statement is a question of doubt. Let’s translate:
- We don’t need it = How will this help accomplish our goal?
- We’ve tried that before = What makes this different from past experiences?
- It’s too expensive = What value will I receive from my investment?
- I’ll have to think about it = Is this more complicated than its worth?
- We’re too busy = How will this improve our overcrowded schedule?
Objections express genuine concerns that need to be uncovered and addressed.
Instead of running from the objection, keep the conversation flowing. Ask clarifying questions. Seek understanding. Provide clarity.
The goal is to communicate the value of your idea, product, or service in terms that matter to your listener. If you haven’t done that, objections invite you to dig deeper and do better.
April 17, 2017
Open the last dozen emails you’ve written.
Chances are, the body of your message started with “I.”
It’s probably the most frequently used pronoun throughout the document (go ahead, count them…)
Why should they care about your idea, topic, or message?
If you want to capture someone’s attention… make it about them.
Tailor your message to hone in on an angle that affects them:
- What impact will it have on them?
- How will it make their world better?
- What problem will it solve for them?
Words matter: Less I and more them.
April 10, 2017
I received a special offer on vitamins for being a loyal customer.
In bold print it proclaimed, “12% off coupon.”
I loaded up my online shopping cart with excitement.
At checkout, only a tiny savings appeared. Huh?
That’s when I saw the fine print:
*12% off selected supplements.
The supplements they wanted to sell were not the ones I wanted to buy.
Their offer was not-so-special after all.
Surely the company’s marketing intention was not to leave a loyal customer feeling deflated and misguided. But that is exactly what they accomplished by putting the biggest detail in the smallest print.
Companies that offer restricted benefits attract customers who offer restricted loyalty…and restricted spending.
The one thing you can’t hide in fine print is that there is something to hide.
Make the offer bold.
Make the offer simple.
Make the offer valuable for your customer.
Don’t offer it at all.
Being misled is not a reward.
April 4, 2017
Common corporate rhetoric sounds like: “People are our most valuable asset.”
The problem is…people’s beliefs aren’t always backed up by their behaviors.
Have the courage to ask yourself if there is a disparity between what you say and what you do.
Not sure? Vet what you value with a 3-point check in:
- Where do I spend my time?
- Where do I spend my energy?
- Where do I spend my money?
The collective investment of time, energy, and money is the true indicator of what you value.
Evaluate your calendar, focus, and budget. What do they reveal about your priorities?
Engaging leaders put their philosophy to practice. They move beyond programmed sound bites and demonstrate, on a daily basis, that people are indeed their most valuable asset.
When is the last time you showed your team how valuable they are?
If you have to stop and think, it’s not too late to make them a priority today.
March 27, 2017
“I’m from Missouri. Show me.”
Growing up, that’s how my mom would reply to a questionable idea.
Hearing her words confused me since she was born and raised in New York City.
Until I finally caught on. My mom was really saying, “Prove it.”
People are skeptical of words. They want actions; not claims.
It takes no skill to declare: “do business with us, we’re different”
How is making an unsubstantiated claim different?
Want to make an impression?
Show beats tell.
Rather than saying you’re different; be different.
That’s what people are looking for.
That’s what gets attention.
Thanks for the advice Mom. As usual, you were right.
March 20, 2017
That’s how long someone has to capture our attention.
So why are we inundated with requests like:
- Follow me on Twitter
- Please like my Facebook page
- I would love for you to check out my new website
See the theme?
Me. My. I.
Everyone is so busy talking about themselves that they fail to stop and ask a crucial question: “What does my audience care about?”
It’s the misstep of promoting vanity over value.
Posting information about you provides no value to your reader.
People care about what’s interesting, inspiring, thought provoking, important, or helpful, to them.
Give them a reason to follow you on Twitter, like your Facebook page, or check out your new website.
It’s not about you…it’s always about them.
Drop the vanity and give your reader the value they deserve.
March 13, 2017
Seasoned travelers are selective about what items make it to their suitcase.
Effective communicators are as selective about what words make it to their vocabulary.
Here are 3 dead-weight words to leave behind:
- But: (The eraser) obliterates anything positive that comes before it. Case in point: “You’re a really nice person but we should break up.” Either say what comes before the b-word, or what comes after it. You can’t have it both ways.
- Just: (The reducer) minimizes whatever follows it. We all know, “I just need a moment of your time” or “Oh, I just threw dinner together…no trouble at all” shouldn’t be taken literally. Instead of downplaying your needs or accomplishments, state them plainly.
- Try: (The delayer) creates a diversion from the inevitable (sometimes awkward) truth. Let’s be real… “I’ll try to give you a call” is code for, “Don’t expect to hear from me.” Next time you say, “I’ll try…” compare it to your inner monologue. The disparity may be eye opening.
Words matter. Unpack the dead-weight that erases, reduces, and delays.
March 7, 2017
…and, those failures don’t have to define the truth about you.
Easy enough to believe when we feel confident. Difficult to embrace when we feel anxious and intimidated.
This concept comes to life when our clients invest in coaching to improve their presentation skills. Speaking in front of others has a way of magnifying self-criticism. It’s tempting to define ourselves through past experiences and fixate on the time when:
- our mind went blank in front of a group of executives
- we didn’t know how to respond to an audience question
- we felt inadequate in front of our listeners
As clients journey through our coaching, they begin to have new experiences and inevitably, they:
- discover, embrace, and utilize the unique strengths they possess
- acknowledge and accept their imperfections and become more authentic
- create and deliver a powerful message that moves their audience to action
Ultimately, there is a choice of what to carry forward: past failures or new discoveries.
We all wrestle with competing truths.
It’s time to view ourselves through a new lens, wiped clean of old worn-out failures.
Who we were, and who we could be are in fierce competition for our allegiance.
Which one will it be?
February 27, 2017
The pursuit of convenience gets in the way of our pursuit of happiness.
Convenience would like us to believe that life gets better when the things we care about are: Close. Fast. Easy.
The truth is… life gets good when the things we care about most inspire us to go farther, move slower, and work harder.
Pick your top three:
- Lasting partnerships
- Trusted friendships
- Personal growth
- Ideal health
- Inspiring work
- Memorable moments
- Financial wellbeing
- Emotional healing
- Family bonds
The people, experiences, and accomplishments that make life fulfilling are far from convenient. Our pursuit of happiness is inconvenient – and oh, so worth it.
Be honest about what you really value in this life…
Do they mean enough to you to be inconvenienced?
February 20, 2017
No one can give you a skill.
A hammer in your hand is only a tool.
Skill comes later. It’s earned.
The path from tool to skill is ugly. It involves mistakes, failure, pain, and self-doubt.
As you learn how to swing that hammer…it won’t be pretty.
Julia Cameron said it best in the Artist’s Way, “It’s impossible to get better and look good at the same time.”
Transforming a tool into a skill requires practice, coaching, humility… and time. Lots of time…
It’s worth it.
Finely tuned skills empower us to communicate more persuasively, lead more effectively, and serve more meaningfully.
Getting tools of the trade is easier than acquiring skills of the art.
That’s why tools are abundant and skills are rare.
What tool are you ready to develop into a skill this year?