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


Metaphor Minute: Jack Be Nimble. Jack Be Quick




March 29, 2011

Jack Be Nimble. Jack Be Quick...

Francine Smilen, longtime friend and colleague, is a true Metaphorian when she talks to clients. She sells a variety of leadership and professional development programs to buyers in companies that range from fashion to finance.

Like most sellers, one of the biggest challenges Francine faces is helping prospects really understand how her firm does what it does. Francine uses metaphors to ride right over that obstacle to close business quickly.

Says Francine, "It is hard for buyers of training to understand our unique business model. I represent fifteen different companies in the learning industry who provide programs and services -- from classic behavior modeling to fully customized programs and everything in between. Using metaphors solves that problem for me:

  • If I'm in financial services, I describe myself as a "financial advisor." My job is to meet with organizations to determine their learning needs over their organizational life cycle and to make the right recommendation to meet those needs from among the programs/services that we offer.

  • If I am in the fashion/retail industry, I describe our work as being "like a stylist"-- depending on the client need, we can offer everything from the plain white tee shirt to the high end custom couture gown.

  • In health care, I refer to myself as a (good) "primary care physician" who keeps the big picture and calls in the experts as needed....

These simple comparisons to jobs in their industry make it really easy for them to "get" what we do and paves the way to bigger and better business opportunities for me."

Jack Jumped Over the Candlestick
You can be as successful as Francine. Just think:

  1. What does my company do?
  2. What is this like in my listener's world?
  3. Then, create the connection between the two in your prospect's mind to create instant understanding.

Like anything else, the more you train yourself to think like this, the easier it becomes and the more success you'll enjoy. Try this on your very next call.

Make what you say pay — with metaphors.

Anne Miller

In Case You Missed It...
Beauty Incarnate - What a NY Times article on Elizabeth Taylor's death demonstrates about metaphoric positioning.


New book by branding expert Bill Schley: "The Micro-Script Rules." Filled with many examples, Bill's premise is that to be memorable, "5 words are better than 5000." My favorite part is his endorsement of metaphor as the ultimate way to communicate to someone. Check it out. It is short. It is insightful and It can help you figure out how to describe what you do in very few words to make an indelible mark on buyers.

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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 ©2011, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"

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