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


Metaphor Minute: Rowing To Victory




May 22, 2012

Rowing To Victory

If ever there was a more tired claim in selling than "We partner with our clients," I would like to hear it. First of all, what would you be if you weren’t "partnering" with clients to solve their problems? Second, "partner," "partnering," and "partnership" are such overused phrases that they have about as much impact on buyers as listening to elevator music So, how do you make the partnership idea really come alive for a client?

Patrick Thornton, Sales Representative for, does it with a simple metaphor. offers a comprehensive suite of media logistics services that makes the many aspects of buying digital media easy to manage. The company operates in a really complex space and buyers often have a tough time not only distinguishing the value of one service from another, but also understanding what it is that these companies actually offer in the first place.

Says Patrick, "When it comes to explaining how we partner with clients, I like to say, that and its clients are like rowers on a boat. When rowers have aligned motion and are moving fast, it leads to great velocity. Centro works to constantly align with our clients' goals. Our cutting edge technology and expertise in the digital space also generates communication speed with clients, so Centro helps you work faster and do more with your day."

"This simple image gives buyers a vivid impression of how partnering with us truly helps them achieve their goals."

Time for a Metaphor-Makeover?

Look at your proposals. Look at your PowerPoints. Replay what you typically say on sales calls. What phrases do you (and others) repeatedly use that need to be visually refreshed for greater selling impact? Ones that come immediately to my mind are: Turn-key, full-service, #1, best in class, bible of the industry. Adding imagery to these commonly used claims will help increase your business tomorrow.

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone.

Make what you say pay — with metaphors.
Anne Miller

P.S. Send me your metaphor makeovers and I will include them in the next Metaphor Minute

Metaphors in the News:
"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg certainly had a great week. His company went public on Friday, he became the world’s 29th richest man, and he got married on Sunday. Love and money, all in 72 hours. Not bad. Facebook stock only rose 23 cents on its first day and the media reacted, some positively, some negatively, and all metaphorically.

"Hordes of everyday New Yorkers played the fool yesterday to Wall Street fat cats and Facebook insiders, who used a bloated stock price to milk them of billions of dollars during an overhyped IPO." The New York Post

"Thus, there was no transfer of wealth to those in the financial services industry. This wouldn't have been the case had the $34 offering price not been raised days before the offering. So my take is that this new $104 billion stock was a smashing success. Great job Mark Zuckerberg! You created a world phenomenon and limited Wall Street to a fair gain, which is relatively rare. That deserves a nice honeymoon in my book."

Speaking of Social Media
"Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how.
When it’s finally done, there is surprise it’s not better." Avinash Kaushik, Google

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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 or Make What You Say Pay!. Simply call me at 212 876 1875 and tell me what you did or email me at

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Links I Like:

Great Resources:

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Timely Topics:

Turn Info Into Stories That Sell"

"Negotiate Like the Big Boys"

"Notable & Quotable:
How to sell creatively"

"How to Shorten Sales Cycles"

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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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