It’s not what you want to say… it’s what the listener needs to hear

Nice Award!

He was very proud of his award. You have to admit it was big and shiney. It had pride of place in his company’s reception. And he wanted it to have pride of place in his radio commercials too. Now it was our job to talk him out of it. Why? Because that award means absolutely nothing to his customers.

You might have a nice bit of engraved glass that says, “The UK’s Most Innovative Small Business, Teapots and Jugs Sector, 2011”, but what does that mean to someone buying clothes pegs from you? Now tell me that you’ve developed a little stainless steel jug that doesn’t spill when you pour milk into your coffee and I’d be interested! But an award? So what!!

Many clients want to boast about their business, they may have awards and done things as a company that they are very proud of. But you have to step outside for a moment and think about what it actually means for the customer. Why should they care?

What the customer needs to hear is how the product or service will change their life or experience for the better. If you’re a restaurant owner who is constantly cleaning table linen because customers spill milk on them… would you be interested in that little milk jug?

How does a good car sales person sell you a vehicle? First they think about the customer, they take a brief! They find out about their life, their needs… and then they show them the vehicle that will fulfill their wants. It’s no good trying to sell a two seat sports car to a guy with a family of 6 and a caravan! It’s not about what the sales person’s needs… (hitting his target, getting rid of that two seater that’s been in the showroom for 2 years) it’s about the customer and selling what answers his or her problems. Can you get all your family in your current car? How well does it tow your caravan? Well this is the car that will do what you need it to do! Do they care that the sales person was Sales Person of the Month 6 months in a row? Not likely!

Think about the customer. And apply the Alvin Eicoff formula: Set Forth the Problem, explain the solution, demonstrate how your product and service best provides the solution. Not what you WANT to say! What the listener needs to hear.

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