Agile Computing Authors: LeanTaaS Blog, Kevin Jackson, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Larry Alton

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix 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. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...