May 11, 2016
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Sometimes things arrive in
your business life that are perfect just the way they are: A client agrees to do
business with you on your first call; a project gets completed just the way you
wanted; a demo gets done flawlessly. That serendipity happened to me when I was
planning this month’s newsletter and this unsolicited email arrived from Mike
Volpano, Company Trainer at www.ratewatch.com
See how you might use his metaphors in your world.
We communicated last year about enlightening our sales and renewal staff
here, to the power of metaphor in sales. I shared with you, that we experienced
double and triple digit sales gains in several areas, due in large part to
incorporating the use of metaphors in their sales presentations.
I would again like to share a couple of metaphors, inspired by you, of course,
that were particularly effective in training our sales staff to reflect on their
own sales skills.
I began a training session by asking each of them to share an example of a sale
that they were unable to close. Following that, I asked them what they thought
the reason for that was. The answers included: pricing, timing, competition, a
changing market, etc.
I then asked them:
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror, just to see what you
— Of course you have – everyone has.
What do you do if you see something out of place?
— Try to improve it, right?
I pointed out that, we usually don’t do that, when it comes to looking
at and evaluating our skills and abilities. Instead, as psychology
research points out, we all have a cognitive bias to overestimate our
own qualities and abilities. Meaning, most of us think we’re better than
we actually are. We’re not being honest with ourselves, and because of
that, we don’t do things that could actually help us improve and achieve
I then handed each of them a wrapped ‘gift’ and asked them to open it.
You guessed it, it was a hand-held mirror.
I further explained: This is when we need to take a long hard to look at
ourselves, in the mirror, to see what is out of place. E.g. I failed to
build value, I missed a key point, I didn’t listen, I was too forceful,
I was so focused on my presentation and/or my product’s features, that I
totally ignored the prospect and her needs….etc.
The point was well taken, because at our next meeting, they shared
several examples of what was ‘out of place’ and how they improved it.
I finished with this metaphor. Get back into the game. We must look
honestly at ourselves and pinpoint areas where we need to increase our
knowledge base and advance our skill set. It’s a fact, that our market
is not the same as it was last year…or the year before that…or the year
before that….It is constantly changing. The status quo can’t be relied
on to achieve at the same levels we did in the past. Just as football
players have to change to longer spikes to dig in, when the playing
surface changes, we need to change some of our equipment (sales skills)
to ‘dig in’ when our playing field changes.
Move away from your comfort zone and into the end zone. Today, we must
continually run new routes to win a sale; plan, practice, set and
achieve personal goals, build relationships, evaluate our results, learn
what works and what doesn’t. In short, use all of the ‘equipment’
available to us, in our locker, to help us perform at our very best –
and win. Be assured, a commitment to this approach is the fastest route
to sales success. It’s a commitment that requires a concentrated effort.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. Your knowledge and
insight is inspiring . . . and priceless!
Create Your Own Mirror
Thank you, Mike. Getting people to consider changing and improving is
never easy. Mike’s creative mirror metaphor and the follow-up sports
analogy creatively and effectively achieved his goals. What simple prop
or item can you use to metaphorically to promote the change you want to see?
Make What You Say Pay! — with Metaphors
Great use of another common item, in this case,
ice cream, to make a point,indeed, a very complicated point. “Unusual
Flavor of G.O.P. Race Illustrates a Paradox.”
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