Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
No one listens to long, drawn out sales pitches, yet so many salespeople still use this odious practice (You’ve probably hung up on a telemarketer before he could come up for air within the last week, right?). Don’t be part of this problem! Break off your monologuing by learning the One-Paragraph Rule.
Steve writes about the rule in this week’s newsletter, It’s time for a break (The one-paragraph rule).
We can all thank Steve’s brother for developing the One-Paragraph Rule – Thanks, Phil! And, more importantly, we can all use it to improve our sales conversations.
Read now: It’s time for a break (The one-paragraph rule)
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Yes, tear up your elevator pitch. Tear it into little pieces. Want to know what to do with the little pieces? Read today’s newsletter, Tear up your elevator pitch.
Sunday, February 21st, 2010
Sales and marketing are not about telling stories. Sales and marketing are about helping your customer create a story, in his mind, in which you figure as a prominent, clear, vibrant character. If your customer tells himself a meaningful, motivating story that includes you, he will be much more likely to get more involved with you, and take actions that improve your business results.
Stop telling stories about yourself. Instead, figure out how to make yourself part of your customer’s story.
Sunday, May 17th, 2009
I often ask audience members to describe what genuine dialogue feels like. Here’s some of what I hear:
“Give and take.”
“Paying attention to what each other says.”
“Learning from each other.”
… and many more like that.
Genuine dialogue is a necessary component of a relationship-building encounter. (Check out my free ebook, Encounters, for more information on relationship-building encounters.) But, so many of our conversations aren’t true dialogue. They are either monologue or monologue disguised as dialogue.
Try this: (I’ve been doing it, and it’s been very interesting.) Pay attention to every conversation you are in, noting where it falls on a continuum from monologue to genuine dialogue. If a conversation falls short of genuine dialogue, ask yourself, “Why?” Did the other person talk without really listening to you? Did you not exactly answer what the other person said, but force-fit your answer into a topic area that you wanted to insert into the conversation? Were you really talking to each other, or, were you each really just talking to yourselves?
Pay attention. Share your observations in comments here. How many of your conversations each day are genuine dialogue? What conditions or situations make genuine dialogue easier, and which make it harder? How are outcomes influenced by the presence, or lack thereof, of genuine dialogue? How does dialogue contribute to relationship-building encounters?
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Don’t you just hate it when people take 723% longer to say something in a meeting than is necessary? They start their update with a rambling description of the main idea, throw in sub-points, try to weave in tangents but only create verbal knots, repeat themselves, repeat themselves again, lead up to a seeming denouement, repeat themselves again, stall with a verbal ellipsis, repeat one of the points yet another time, resist the final puncutation, add in another thought, finally dribbling off as everyone in the room catches themselves daydreaming about what must have entered their BlackBerry’s during this screed.
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
One of the most important components of a relationship-building encounter is conversation, based on genuine dialogue. As Martin Buber wrote in his 1930 essay, Dialogue, what often passes for conversation is nothing more than “monologue disguised as dialogue.”
Conversation, and the difference between monologue and dialogue, has recently been a frequent topic of discussion with my clients and workshop participants. This opportunity to spend so much time conversing about conversation has clarified things for me, and here’s what I think:
In genuine dialogue, neither person is hiding an inner monologue. You are not talking to yourself in the background. You are talking with each other, and only with each other.
It’s not that you can’t be thinking while you are talking. Of course you are. But are your thoughts directed into the conversation, or are they part of a competing, plotting, inner monologue? Does the other person have a second voice in his head, hidden from you yet obscuring the true meaning of what you hear him say?
This is the intersection between being fully present and conversation. If you are talking to yourself, you can’t be in true dialogue with another person.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2008
“We’re attacking the target market with a rifle shot approach.”
“We’re in a fierce battle with the competition to capture market share.”
“We’ve scheduled a volley of advertising for the fall.”
I’ve actually heard people say these things. What is this, marketing, or West Point?
Why are we targeting customers? Are we trying to shoot them?
I’ll bet many of these companies claim to have a focus on “relationship marketing.” (Which usually means their IT department manages CRM software and they use it to “target” offers to certain customers)
These are marketing words I avoid:
These are marketing words I love:
Throwing information at customers is a very ineffective method of communication. If I want to persuade you of something, would I have much luck if I tried to “capture” you or “target” you?
Relationships require dialogue. Monologue can cripple relationships in their tracks.
Marketing is not hypnosis. Is it not something you do to your customers. It is something you do with them.
Monday, February 18th, 2008
The concept of the “elevator pitch” has become popular in recent years. An elevator pitch is what you would say if you were lucky enough to find yourself in an elevator for 30 seconds with the CEO of a prospective client company.
The biggest problem with an elevator pitch is that you may actually tell it to someone.
Why do I say this?
The Next 30 Seconds
I am much less interested in the 30 seconds you are in an elevator with a CEO than I am interested in the next 30 seconds, after you say goodbye in the building’s lobby. What happens during this subsequent 30 seconds? Is the CEO totally mesmerized by his encounter with you, unable to stop thinking about this incredible person he just met, or does he grab his cell phone and make a call, as the memory of you quickly fades away?
Monologue vs. Dialogue
If you want to create a memorable encounter with someone, don’t expect a 30-second monologue to do the trick, no matter how well it is crafted. You will have much better success if you focus, instead, on creating a 30-second dialogue.
The worst thing we all learned about marketing that it is mostly based on one-way communication … “getting the word out,” “telling your story,” “making your pitch,” “cutting through the clutter,” and, my personal (un)favorite, “capturing eyeballs.”
Humans don’t connect with monologues the way they connect with dialogues in which they are engaged. If you want to communicate with someone, don’t talk at them. Talk with them.