The Difference Between What You Say and What Your Client or Customer Hears

The Difference Between What You Say and What Your Client or Customer Hears

languageHow many times a month does your spouse misinterpret what you said? How many situations have you been in when somebody says something and you know good and well that they meant something else entirely?

The power of words has become so overlooked that what we are saying or meaning to say is being translated in completely different ways. I will give you an example:

Which of the following do you think is the more effective way of stating these ideas?

Long-term strategy or Recovery strategy?

Knowledgeable or Experienced

Straightforward fees or Transparent fees ?

Here’s what my research has shown to be more appealing to the customer/client.

Long-term strategy or Recovery strategy ?

– Long-term strategy

Knowledgeable or Experienced

– Experienced

Straightforward fees or Transparent fees ?

– Straightforward fees

In the end, choosing our words wisely can influence a client/customer to buy or to leave empty-handed….Choose your words wisely, young Jedis.

Best regards,


Quit swimming in the abyss…Know your competition

compHave you ever gone car shopping with no idea what kind of car/truck you want to buy? If you have, it is a very long frustrating process where you usually end up with something you don’t want.

When you go into a sales meeting, have you taken the time to know who you’re selling against, what the customers concern is, and what you’re going to position your company offering as?

Jim Cramer of Mad Money on CNBC always says before buying a stock, do your homework. It is no different when selling a product or service to a prospect. Know who you’re selling to, what their pain points are and who you’re selling against. Knowing these items will get you a leg up over your competition. Remember nobody likes to do homework, but those who do usually ace the test.


Know Your Competition


Recently we had to write a business plan for a plumbing company. It has got me thinking about who this plumbing company will be competing against for more business. That made me think and ask myself the question, “Who am I competing against and what do I know about them? “

What to do to stay competitive?  Within your specific market:

  • Find out who else sells what you do to the same client base.
  •  Know who they are, not just their names but what they offer, and who their clients are.

Ask yourself:  What would Nick Saban do to prepare for his next game?

He, along with all successful coaches, spends hours upon hours researching opponents’ statistics, watching their game footage and figuring out exactly what their biggest weaknesses are.   From that information, he formulates his game day plan.

  • Take 15 minutes each day this week, look up who your competition is, read their websites, find out who their clients are and start finding ways to sell against them.

The more you know about your competitors, the more ammunition you have to win against them.  The more we know about their clients, the more we can sell against our competitors’ weaknesses.


Community = Business

tagIn today’s world, marketing and growing your business is very different than in the past. Today, we have the opportunity to add value to millions of people for pennies on the dollar.

Instead of marketing effectively, we tell all about ourselves. We project what our company sells, how we are the best…me, me, me, me! In today’s marketplace, consumers can find “you” all over the place. Consider instead, of marketing how you can add value.

Share ideas on how to better do what it is you do. If you’re a home store, give your audience tips on decorating, kid proofing their homes or DIY projects. After you have given value three or four times, share what you do and how you add VALUE.

By adding value, you will add to your community. Build the relationships within your community and you will grow your business.

Let’s stop being self-centered and FOCUS on the customer.


How do you take down an oak tree?

How do you take down an oak tree?   


You hit it in the same spot day after day.   Getting the next sale is the same thing.   You can have to consistently do the same thing over and over again, even when it feels like you are making no headway toward the tree toppling over.

Do you feel like you have read every book ever written on sales?  You will read many different approaches but generally, there are a couple of KEY things that you will read in every book, article or sky writing about sales that are the same. The reason that those couple of principles are static through everything you see and read is because it is the proven recipe that means success. The other pieces are just the fluff that different authors add to make themselves seem new or special. It comes down to these two fundamentals:

  • Get to know your prospect.
  • Follow-UpEveryone says do this but few ever really do.

Building a sales system that gets new business is double faceted. There are two separate parts but both are integral. One is not good without the other. The other is a waste of time without the first one. If you will approach sales with a keen awareness of BOTH prongs of sales, you will see your business grow.   It is a fact. The tree will come down.   With patience and tenacity, you can sell more.

If you go to the gym every day and exercise but eat fast food and sweets every moment you are away from the gym, you will not get healthier. It takes both pieces of the health equation to reach success. You need exercise and healthy eating. This is not an “or” situation. Sales is not an “or” mission either.

Get to know your prospect. Before you even cold call, do some research, know something about their business. If you are lucky enough to get a face-to-face meeting scheduled with a prospect, do your homework prior to sitting down. Use social media as a research tool. Look your prospect up on Facebook and LinkedIn.   Knowing that the person you are meeting with just celebrated their 10th anniversary with the company they work for can open up a fantastic conversation. To anyone who would say looking up people on social media is “stalking”, I argue that anything that anyone posts on a public media profile is meant for the world to know and see. Use the information that is out there to open up personal conversations.

While you are talking with your prospect, really get to know them. Particularly, try to find out what is causing stress to this person.   Your greatest value-add is going to be if you can do anything to alleviate or minimize that stress. In this chaotic world, the common thread among everyone is their desire for happiness.   People don’t necessarily tell themselves, “I want this salesman to make me happier in my life”, but it is human nature to long to feel better. When someone hears of something that can make them feel better and make their life easier, they will go toward it naturally. It is instinct.

If you are able to sell a product at such a good price that the prospect is going to have more money, that is great. But if you can position that idea with them after knowing what their stressors are, you then make a new level of contact with this person. You can increase the value of even money with the fringe benefit of less worry.

Example: During your initial sales intro meeting, you realize that one of the biggest things that stresses your prospect is making payroll every week.   Cash flow is a huge problem and you can tell that he/she worries often that there will be enough money to pay the employees. If you can position your product as being great quality and a better price while also reminding of the net benefit: Saving money (by buying your product), cash flow improves and makes payroll every week less of a burden. Less of a burden equates to personal happiness for your prospect.

Certainly getting to know your clients for the ability to sell to them more efficiently is important but I will also tell you to get to know your prospects or clients just for the benefit of getting to know another person on this earth.   I am the happiest when I can meet someone new everyday. God created us as social beings and He means for us to socialize together.   There is a huge net benefit in this deal for you. Relationships make us better.   Make more relationships. More friendships. This is a bonus value-add for you. You will be happier.

The second facet of effective selling is FOLLOW-UP. It gets left out of the equation most often.   The most impressive thing you can do for a prospect is show him you are willing to take your time to follow up with him. Impress him/her with your attention to details and with your desire to work for or with them.  Let them know you are patient and you are willing to do whatever it takes to earn their business.

The biggest inhibitor that keeps this second, required step from happening lies totally within ourselves.   It is the self-fear of rejection.   You don’t want to be told, “No.”. You don’t want to actually have to hear the person say, “I went with someone else.” because internally you translate that to them saying, “You were not good enough for me. Someone else was better than you.” This fear has to be dealt with by you alone.   You have to make the decision whether you are willing to give up the chance to succeed for some temporary feelings of failure.

I can tell you that the ones who have succeeded the most have made the most attempts. They have failed more possibly but they had to keep going.   Being told, “No.” does not define you. Quitting after being told, “No.” definitely defines you.

Thinking back to our oak tree that needs to come down, will it come down with one swing of the ax? No. Four? Not likely. Ten? Possibly. It takes as many as it takes but it will come down as long as you are swinging the ax.

Take this challenge:

Select 10-20 of your last prospect appointments that you have not closed and build a follow up system where you touch base with them via multiple methods 2-3 times per week.   Keep this system going for 12 months. I anticipate some significant results. Keep swinging.