Ditch the Pitch – Video Resources
Every customer interaction is an opportunity for you to practice ditching the pitch. I encourage you to watch these Ditch the Pitch videos to prepare for your conversations with customers. Focus on practice, not perfection, and you will see your abilities as a persuader improve steadily.
Habit #1: Think Input Before Output
In customer conversations, let everything you say or do be informed by what you hear and observe.
Practice: Say less to notice more
Whenever you’re talking, you can’t be listening to your customer. Experiment with talking less, and be aware of the extra things you notice while you’re listening.
Practice: Be alert
During a customer conversation, be alert and present in the moment so that you can notice every cue your customer gives you.
Practice: Turn down your analytic brain
Practice the art of non-judgment. Don’t rate or judge either yourself or your customer during the conversation; it will distract you from listening.
Habit #2: Size Up The Scene
As you listen and observe, take stock of your customer’s character and situation to understand what this particular customer’s reasons for saying “yes” might be.
Practice: Understand the context of your conversation
During a customer conversation, pay attention to your customer’s situation and the issues they are facing.
Practice: Know who you are with
During a customer conversation, focus on how much you can learn about who your customer is and pay attention to the qualities that makes this customer unique.
Practice: Listen for the game
When you’re talking with a customer, be aware of the emerging dynamic, tone and mood of the conversation, understanding what type of conversation will best engage your customer. Adapt your approach to the conversation accordingly.
Habit #3: Create a Series of “Yeses”
A conversation only moves forward if both parties continually agree to let it move forward. At its core, a conversation is a series of “yeses.”
Practice: Work with what you are given
You can’t anticipate how a customer conversation will unfold. When unexpected situations happen in a customer conversation, don’t resist them.
Practice: Say “yes, and…”
In customer conversations, practice saying “yes, and…” to affirm what your customer says, using “and” as a way to move the conversation forward.
Practice: Ensure your customer keeps saying yes
Practice ways to encourage your customer to say “yes” to you by avoiding situations where they can say “no.”
Habit #4: Explore and Heighten
As you engage your customer, look for ways to take your conversation to a higher level. Explore what your customer really cares about and then heighten by discussing why these things are important.
Practice: Get rid of your but
Practice not using the word “but” in any of your customer conversations. Instead, try replacing it with “and” or a pause.
Practice: Find your customer’s path
In your customer conversations, don’t force your customer to discuss issues based on a pre-determined agenda. Pursue the path that best suits your customer at that moment.
Practice: Make accidents work
When unexpected “accidents” happen in conversations, practice using these situations as a chance to elevate the conversation to a higher level.
Habit #5: Focus the Conversation on Your Customer
Resist the temptation to talk too much about your company or your products. Instead, have a conversation that is mostly about your customer.
Practice: Obey the one-paragraph rule
In customer conversations, don’t talk more than one paragraph’s worth of information at a time. Notice what your customer says or does when you leave this break.
Practice: Make 95% of the conversation about your customer
Focus virtually all of the subject matter of customer conversations on the customer. Be frugal with the 5% allocated to talking about your products or services.
Practice: Weave your stories together
Weave threads of the your story into your conversation while still keeping the focus of the conversation on your customer.
Habit #6: Don’t Rush the Story
Your customer won’t be ready to hear your ideas as fast as you come up with them. Let the story emerge through your conversation, at a pace your customer can accept.
Practice: Leave things in your pocket
Your goal is not to tell your customer everything; it is to advance your relationship. Only include pieces of information that are critical to persuading your customer.
Practice: Don’t load the slingshot
Avoid bombarding your customer with too much information at one time. Bring information into a customer conversation at a measured, intentional pace.
Practice: Create callbacks
To develop a sense of continuity and personalization, remember things your customer says or does and bring those issues back into the same or subsequent conversations.