“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic
that likes to make easy things difficult.”
Did you ever meet a person that attempts to tell you about what they’re doing, or what they’re selling, but after a few minutes you’re more confused than when they began their explanation?
In sales or leadership, presenting your products, services or business in a clear and concise manner is vital to your success.
My friend, Gary, and I were recently comparing notes about a mutual friend. She had called each of us, separately, hyping us about her new business model. As we discussed our individual conversations with her we came to the same conclusion, after her ten-minute dissertation to each of us, neither of us had any idea how her business model actually worked!
This person I’m referring to is far from a poor communicator, she’s actually quite talented, but it was apparent to both of us that she seemed overly impressed with the intricate details of her complex business strategies and she wanted Gary and I to be equally as impressed with those gory details. She wanted us to become involved with her business, however, how could we if we didn’t understand it. Getting people to respond favorably to your message or offer doesn’t happen until they first UNDERSTAND your offer.
If we’re explaining or presenting a product or concept that is complex in some ways, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. The worst part about getting lost with your message is that you also lose the trust of the person you’re trying to communicate with.
If somebody doesn’t understand your message, they generally don’t trust it. That makes them uncomfortable, which means they aren’t going to buy from you or follow you.
I will tell you who doesn’t get lost in the weeds with their messaging—Warren Buffett. He explains what he’s doing and how his business works with remarkable ease and clarity.
He describes what he’s doing so that ANYONE can understand it. Buffett’s brilliance is his ability to explain the financial mechanisms of a massive conglomerate in language that real people use.
I challenge anyone to read the Berkshire Hathaway annual report or listen to Mr. Buffett speak and come away confused. The reverse would probably be true. You will come away thinking, “This guy knows what he’s doing and knows how to help average people understand it.”
As a result, you trust him and his message…and he doesn’t even have to ASK YOU to trust him…you just do!
If you are a salesperson or leader, your level of success and income will be a direct result of how CLEARLY you deliver your message—how understandable you make it.
Here are 4 methods you can utilize immediately to say it more CLEARLY:
- Make a LIST of your company’s TOP 5 – 7 VALUE PROPOSITIONS
These are the reasons that prospects will buy your products, or join your organization.
Examples: “Our products help business owners save time.”
“Our organization offers salespeople unlimited income.”
List out on paper as many of the primary triggers or value propositions as you can. I want you to be able to identify why people do business with you—what motivates them to say, “YES”.
- EXPAND these Value Propositions into conversational SOUND BITES
Take each of your value propositions and expand them into clear and understandable sound bites. Feel free to EDIT them several times. Find the best words. DRAFT them and then CRAFT them. Fashion these sound bites into prompts that can clearly and succinctly convey your value proposition to your target prospect.
Examples: “I’d like to connect with you for a few minutes. One of our unique communication platforms reduces administrative workload for our clients, this technology takes the work off their desk. I don’t want you to miss this idea. Are mornings or afternoons better for you?”
“One of the primary reasons people are attracted to our organization is because they have the opportunity to choose the level of income they will earn. The can design their own career path and income stream with no ceiling. I’m curious, what are your income goals currently?”
Draft out your top value propositions. Make them short, crisp and CLEAR. Get them to where they look really good on paper and then try to end them with an open-ended question to create conversational engagement.
- READ your perfected SOUND BITE out loud
I know this is going to sound weird, but do this. Shut your office door and read what you wrote out loud. When you do this you may sometimes find that your words don’t sound good or even very clear. You may also notice that they don’t flow well out of your mouth. I want you to HEAR your own words—your value propositions, sound bites and explanations as your prospect would hear them. In most cases, after saying them out loud you will edit them a bit more.
Ask, are they CLEAR? If I were on the other end would I easily understand the value of the offer? Do I sound conversational? Keep editing and crafting until your descriptions and explanations sound and feel awesome as they come out of your mouth.
- ROLE-PLAY and seek FEEDBACK
Okay…now it’s time for batting practice. I want you to find a peer or a significant other and I want you to use your crafted sound bites with them. Ask them to assess how CLEAR and SUCCINCT your word text is. I want you to prompt them to ask you logical follow up questions so you can get used to pivoting off of them. Also, get them to try to throw you off track.
Commit to doing a TON of role-playing so that you can easily explain what you do and why it is of value to anyone you meet on the street, regardless of their age or educational background. Make sure that you can explain what you do as well as Warren Buffett can explain his business.
Dumb it down if you have to.
Mr. Buffett tells us that our natural tendency is to make things more difficult. Let’s strive to say it in a more CLEAR fashion—so clear that anyone can understand what we are saying.
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com