Anne Miller writes "The Metaphor Minute," an excellent newsletter that helps salespeople use metaphors and language to their benefit. In a recent issue she shared the story of someone who was having a hard time getting his prospect to sign the papers. An initial agreement was reached, until he suddenly disappeared. So what did the salesperson do? He used metaphors, and some unusual gifts, to reach his prospect creatively. Read this and then throw a little creativity into your sales.
Tom Sant, founder of the proposal software firm The Sant Corporation, was in such a situation and finally hit upon the solution that got him that signed contract.
He sent not-so-subtle metaphoric hints in the form of various props. One day, his client received a small box of the goldfish snacks with this message: "You can catch more fish, if you put more hooks (proposals) in the water." Another day, the client received a glue pot and a pair of scissors with the message: "Cut and paste is for kids. Professionally prepared proposals are for adults." The client loved these creative messages, took the hints, and called Tom to say he got the point and was ready to sign the contract.
Lesson for All Metaphorians
"If in doubt about using a prop, test your idea on a couple of people first," says Miller. "You'll find that props appropriately used can be wonderful communication tools. They surprise, they amuse, they dramatize. At a time when buyers have lots of choices, they can distinguish both you and your message and get you the results you want."
Anne Miller is a popular sales and presentations expert and author of the book, Metaphorically Selling: How to Use the Magic of Metaphors to Sell, Persuade, & Explain Anything to Anyone. Her free newsletter is available at www.AnneMiller.com.