Let me paint a picture for you. Run with me on this one, ok? Just play along.
I want you to imagine that you’re in the market to hire a new salesperson. You post a vacancy and two people turn up:
- Wears t-shirt and jeans to the interview.
- Has a pot belly.
- Reeks of cigarettes.
- Yellow teeth.
- Hasn’t used a comb since his hair started falling out.
- Isn’t exactly the most eloquent of types.
- Salary expectation: €7.00 per hour flat.
- Wears designer suit and tie, matching belt and shoes, classy cufflinks and an array of accessories displaying good taste and finesse.
- Walks and moves with grace and authority.
- Lean and evidently athletic.
- Firm handshake, confident smile and friendly sparkle in his eye.
- Fresh breath.
- Pearly white teeth.
- Very well-groomed from head to toe.
- Faint hint of cologne, not overpowering.
- Speaks with confidence and authority on every subject you discuss.
- Salary expectation: €40.00 per hour plus commission.
Well, I’ll agree that the difference in salary is remarkable. But consider the chances of success of one versus the other. Let’s give them a trial run by sending them to a client each.
Gordon turns up at the client’s office unannounced.
It turns out the client is out on business, so Gordon’s trip is wasted. He speaks with the client’s secretary and sets an appointment for the next day.
The next day, he turns up for the appointment, five minutes late. The client isn’t very pleased but plays the polite host.
Gordon’s opening statement is, “Yeah, so we’re selling this and I though you might be interested…”.
As the meeting drags on, it becomes more and more evident that Gordon is sorely unprepared. He knows very little about the product he’s trying to sell and sadly, even less about the client’s business, his needs, and how the product would help fulfill them.
The client grows impatient with Gordon and dismisses him with a casual, “I’ll get back to you”.
Of course, he never will.
Gordon has left a very lasting impression on the client. Regrettably, it is a very negative one, which will most likely be very hard to reverse.
Not only has he not brought in any money, he has actually left you in the red.
Alex calls the client and sets a meeting for three days from the date.
He spends those three days researching the client’s business and industry in minute detail. He draws up a detailed report of the client’s major needs, including a specific action plan of how the product will address those needs and dramatically improve the client’s business.
On the day of the meeting, he turns up at the client’s office ten minutes early and elegant as always. He greets the client with a firm handshake and a warm, sincere, “Pleased to meet you”.
As the meeting starts, Alex temporarily sets aside the product and focuses completely on the client’s business. He demonstrates remarkable insight into the industry and proves himself familiar and sensitive to the client’s challenges and needs.
Furthermore, he doesn’t fail to compliment the client about his strengths and successes.
Once he has built rapport with the client and demonstrated know-how and authority, he makes his first mention of the product.
He presents his customized report to the client and walks him through it, backing up his claims at every step with relevant research and data.
Through this solid build-up of tiny steps, Alex has completely won the client over, and he secures the sale as naturally as night follows day.
The end result doesn’t require further elaboration.
A pretty parable…
but what’s the point?
I guess the outcome was pretty predictable.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no doubt Gordon would eventually still manage to pull in a sale or two, IF he happened to meet someone who desperately needed what he was selling, ANDcouldn’t find it anywhere else. But you can rest assured his skills and presentation would have nothing to do with the sale.
On the other hand, Alex elevates the status and image of your company.
He charms his way into clients’ pockets and more than makes up for his sizable paycheck. He leaves nothing to chance, approaching every prospect with meticulous preparation and focused energy.
Sure, Alex costs six times as much as Gordon, plus a hefty commission.
But when you consider the significant returns, I think you’ll agree that he’s an investment seriously worth considering.
A twist of the tale
Now let me toss you a thought.
What if your salesperson isn’t a physical, human being? What happens when your salesperson takes the shape of words on a website, leaflet, billboard, or even a radio or television advert?
Here’s what gets me.
Most people wouldn’t think twice about picking smart, suave, eloquent Alex over half-baked, slouchy Gordon. And yet, when it comes to using words as their salesperson, they’ll call in Richard the IT guy and have him write down a couple of paragraphs, “cause you know, he’s from the UK, so his English is gonna be good”.
Of course, Richard is great at the tech stuff. But when it comes to sales, he’s as clueless as a camel roaming the Arctic Circle!
Having Richard the IT guy write your text, is like sending Gordon in for a sale. Of course, Richard doesn’t reek of cigarettes, but the results of his writing will be equally dismal and will have the same negative impact on your business.
If you want your text to be an effective salesperson, it must have the same characteristics as our star salesman Alex:
- Well-dressed and well-groomed i.e. free from spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Firm handshake, confident smile and friendly sparkle in his eye i.e. written in a style that is appealing.
- Speaks with confidence and authority i.e. equipped with arguments that are well-researched and designed to sell.
So at this point… here’s my shameless pitch
It’s time you stopped calling on Richard the IT guy for your text. Leave him be, he’s busy enough as it is.
Get in touch with me instead.
- You’re getting a focused, dedicated expert. I am a writer by profession… you know… as opposed to being an IT guy (nothing against them, really… just saying).
- Your text will take on the persona of the Star Salesperson your business needs. I have invested a ridiculous amount of time and money (and still do) into researching what makes words sell, and I spare no effort in using my knowledge to full effect.
- Your investment will keep on giving. I guarantee that once I put my expertise at your service, my work will pay for itself many times over.
If you understand exactly what I am talking about, if you can relate to it, and would like to discuss how we can work together, click here and use the form to leave me a private message.
I will be in touch shortly for a chat – no commitments, no strings attached.