Anne Miller — Words Matter Make What You Say Pay!
Presentation & Sales Specialist
Author | Speaker | Coach
Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!


Metaphor Minute: For The Price Of A Latte




July 30, 2009

This Issue: For The Price Of a Latte

Everyone wants to lower their energy costs and raise their comfort level within their homes, but they often experience sticker shock when they see the price of the investment they have to make, which can come to several thousand dollars to get those benefits. Regardless of industry, you likely face the same problem writing business: how to sell a high ticket item or service in a down economy?

Ken Yeager is Director of Sales for AFCFirst, a leader in Energy Loans that help homeowners finance the purchase of energy-saving home improvement equipment once the various oil and energy companies sell this equipment to their clients. The challenge is that the cost of the equipment is in the “Twilight Zone,” -- too much for a credit card, but not enough for a home equity loan—which can make it difficult for the energy company salespeople to close a sale.

So, Ken finds himself on the road giving presentations to these energy company sales staffs to help them facilitate that process. His challenge is to give them the tools and the language to make it easy for their customers to buy that equipment.

No surprise, he reaches for metaphors and analogies to achieve his goal.

First, he helps the salespeople make their customers comfortable with the notion of financing. He does this by referencing lots of acceptable purchase-by-financing examples that would be familiar to customers: cars, Nutri-system, Infomercials, Sears, and QVC.

Then, he helps the salespeople demonstrate how easy and affordable these loans can be. He acknowledges that the cost of a new boiler, for example, can initially feel like a ‘body blow to the wallet,’ “But,” he promises his energy client company sales staffs, “They can also, in fact, be something affordable.” He demonstrates how to make the ultimate purchase prices palatable to customers by breaking down the actual payments to other expenses equally familiar to customers. For example, “A $5000 investment works out to $80 a month – the cost of your cable system. On a daily basis, that is less than your Starbucks latte. For the price of their daily coffee, your customers can enjoy the cost savings and comforts of an energy efficient home.”

Ken’s metaphorical approach is very successful. By the end of his presentation, energy company salespeople are convinced A. that financing is a very attractive option to offer people, B. that everyone can afford these improvements, and C. that they want to recommend AFCFirst for financing. From Ken’s point of view: mission accomplished.

In Your World
In this economy people experience sticker shock for any high priced item or service. How are you positioning your fees, rates, or prices? What can you do metaphorically to demonstrate their affordability to clients and turn a “Too expensive” objection into a “Yes, I will buy” commitment?

See you next month. Remember to Make What You Say, Pay—with metaphors.
Anne Miller, "Metaphorian"

P.S. For more information on AFCFirst, go to

Good Advice from the Aptly Named “Nurturing Institute”
One of my favorite websites is because its title is the perfect metaphor for what it does: help clients nurture and grow their business through marketing. They have just published a very worthwhile white paper “6 Ways to Build Credibility,” which I highly recommend. Click here for this white paper.

Tell me about YOUR Metaphor Minute, a time you used a metaphor or an analogy to make your point, overcome an obstacle, close a sale, or wow an audience, and receive a signed copy of Metaphorically Selling. Simply call me at 212 876 1875 and tell me what you did or email me at

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"The Metaphor Minute" is a brief monthly note with examples from business, media, or politics that illustrate the power of metaphors and analogies to make a point, solve a problem, and get results. Use these stories to stimulate high pay-off metaphoric thinking in your business. © 2009. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2009, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"
©2018 Chiron Associates New York, NY 212-876-1875