Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Blog Feed Post

What to Do When Your Prospects Don't Get It

Have you ever had prospects who truly did not understand the value of your product or service?

Have you ever had prospects who truly did not understand the value of your product or service? I know I have. It's tough to convince sellers to change what they're doing, when prevailing wisdom says they should just work harder & make more calls. 
6a00d8341da52a53ef0134874ace09970c-pi
That's why I want to introduce you to internationally-recognized speaker & seminar leader Anne Miller. She's the author of Make What You Say, Pay and Metaphorically Speaking.

I recently had the opportunity to interview her about strategies that sellers can use to open minds and close deals.

JILL KONRATH Why are you such an evangelist for the use of metaphors?

ANNE MILLER: I'm a cheerleader for metaphors because they are the best way to combat the barrage of information that comes at our clients every day.   People see about 3000 messages daily. They tune out more than they tune in, if no other reason than to survive!

As sales people, we want to be the ones that make it through their noise filters.  Metaphors and analogies do that because they register instantly and emotionally with the way we are wired. There are many descriptions of the September 2008 crash, but it was Warren Buffet who made the news when he called it an ”economic Pearl Harbor.”

Metaphors grab our attention and stick. The 21st century needs fresh ways to engage, to sell, to position products and services and to influence the outcomes of a meeting. Metaphors solve that problem.

JILL KONRATH: Who uses metaphors - besides my high school English teacher?

ANNE MILLER: That is the beauty of metaphors: EVERYONE does, only they are not aware of it.  Any time you say, “That is a train wreck waiting to happen. I don’t have the bandwidth to process that right now. The Goliath of the industry is X and I am David..” you are speaking metaphorically.

In business and the media, all your top CEOs and public figures use them.  Carol Bartz CEO at Yahoo! recently responded to a critic of her leadership to improve Yahoo!s stock by saying, “This isn’t a job where you come in and do fairy dust.  It takes time...”  thereby taking the steam out of that question.


JILL KONRATH: How does this need for metaphor apply to the web: blogging, social media, websites?

ANNE MILLER: It applies now more than ever, because metaphors help separate you from the masses. For example, there are 337,000 listings on Google for marketing – but there is only one firm called Marketing Sherpa. Guide, expertise, ability to conquer tough business terrains –all neatly tied up in a single metaphor.  Who wouldn’t want to check them out!

Metaphors can be used as Blog headlines, and as ways to get remembered when you are adding posts in your favorite social media.

JILL KONRATH: If metaphors are so powerful, why don’t sales people use them more often?

ANNE MILLER: Metaphors and analogies are something people learned in their English classes and associate with poetry.  What they don’t realize is that the technique of the poet is a power tool for selling as well.

JILL KONRATH: Can you use metaphors even if you were not a good English student?

ANNE MILLER: Absolutely! You do not need to create lines like “My love is like a red, red rose.” You just need to think in parallels. For example, if a prospect is already using a competitor and you are seeking a small project to show what you can do AND you know the person plays golf or tennis, you can win the day by saying,

“Mr. Prospect, you play tennis, so you know you can get around a weak back hand with a strong forehand, but when you add a strong back hand, your game improves immeasurably.

"That is what we are saying here. Your current supplier is your forehand. Keep them. Let us be your back hand, so that you can improve your performance in your market. Let us do a test for you.”

To someone who plays tennis, you have shifted  his view of the situation with an argument that is reasonable in HIS mind and you will more often than not get that test.”  The key is to create parallel images in your buyer’s mind, metaphors or analogies that he/she gets instantly.

JILL KONRATH: How can people strengthen their metaphor power?

ANNE MILLER: There are three ways. First, think “It’s just like...” Second, notice how frequently metaphors and analogies are used in the business press. Third, clip out ones that you like, save them, and use or adapt them to your needs.

For example, Warren Buffet’s “economic Pearl Harbor” can become a “systems Pearl Harbor” in a presentation to management to release funds for needed IT improvements.

A  metaphor or analogy is like oxygen.  You are not consciously aware of it, yet you use it everyday, all day.  Just as you need oxygen to live, you need imagery to survive in our information overloaded world.

JILL KONRATH: Thanks so much for taking the time today to share your insights on metaphors. Until I read your books, I had no idea just how powerful they can be.

And, to all of you who are reading this, I encourage you to check out Anne's books. They're excellent. Plus, she's a great trainer too. Here's a link to her website: www.annemiller.com

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. She loves to work on tough sales challenges, big issues and unsolvable problems. Her first book, Selling to Big Companies, was hailed as an "instant classic." Fortune selected it as a "must read" and it's been an Amazon Top 25 sales book for 4+ years. Her newest book, SNAP Selling, was just released to rave reviews. She also writes a popular blog and publishes a leading newsletter. As an in-demand speaker an annual sales meetings and conferences, Jill helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business. Her clients include IBM, Microsoft, Hilton, Accenture, 3M and Staples. Her expertise is frequently published in top business media such as ABC News, Success, Inc., WSJ Start-Up Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Business Journal, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Management.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...