Good Morning Directors,
I had a very fun theater moment yesterday (drop call). The rep was awesome – he got the “If I can, will you” commitment out of the customer and when he called, he knew exactly how much had to be discounted. He told me he had prepped the customer that this final “discount” might not be doable. “Ah”, I said, “so let’s make you work for it!” I asked a half a dozen probing questions that helped him to solidify his deal, and finally “gave in” and told him yes. He was AWESOME, the way he played along and continued to build value and commitment.
So all that got me to thinking about the theater in our profession. Because my greatest claim to fame didn't take place on the athletic field but in the house of a customer that WAS NOT going to buy, I realized a different analogy for selling is theater.
First, selling isn't supposed to be about winners and losers—not when referring to us and our customers. However, that's often the approach that sports metaphors portray. Selling is a game, and we must defeat our opponent or work harder to attain OUR goal. In reality, selling should be more of a creative collaboration, not a competition. We develop a buying vision that connects with our customers story, we identify known and unknown needs, and we work together to resolve them. Seriously, doesn't that sound more like a Broadway musical than a football game?
In other words, the most powerful way to engage someone to produce a change in behavior relies on visual and emotional communications instead of practical, logical arguments. The approach is about changing hearts, not smashing heads. Significant brain research also shows that most decisions are emotional and irrational as opposed to rational choices. Arguably, that, too, is the sweet spot of theater.
So again, I argue that selling is more closely akin to the big musical number we see in every stage show, than a flea flicker. A show integrates multiple characters with differing viewpoints and desires, often on two sides of a conflict, into one well-choreographed mash-up of singing and dancing. It starts off a little disjointed and contentious, but by the end; it has built to a crescendo of synchronized leg kicks and soaring harmonies. By the end, everyone is taking a joint bow to a standing ovation.
We are like the director who has to bring together the dialogue, blocking (stage movement, not football), singing, choreography, and music, along with the set, props, and special effects to create a seamless, powerful story that connects with the audience, or, in this case, the customers.
Now, there’s a metaphor for selling!
Floors By Tomorrow
Auth Rep of Empire Today
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