Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

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. 
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.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.