Don’t be the Hero!

Do you sell something? A product or service? Do you seem to be battling uphill trying to convince your customer? The problem could be that you are trying to be the source of wisdom…the magic-bringer…the savior, so to speak. You are trying to be the hero who has saved the day by providing the product. Big mistake! Your customer doesn’t care the slightest about stroking your ego! They couldn’t give a hoot about making sure that your self–esteem is healthy or that their friends know about you, the awesome, world-famous product-bringer. What they do care about is their own social station, how their own friends see them and how many pats on the back they can give themselves for being smart enough to buy your product!
Whether you are having a sales conversation, giving a product presentation or pitching your business, if you set yourself up as the hero in the story, you will ultimately lose a huge percentage of your potential sales greatness. Why? Because the customer needs to be the hero. Your focus needs to shift. The buying decision is an emotional one. When your buyer sees themselves as having saved the day with your purchase, their most intimate selves will rejoice in their vision and savviness! At that moment, their attitude will shift from speculation to intruige. Their constructive questions will far outweigh their objections. The front lines just broke. The battle has turned and it is very likely that the day is yours!
This morning, I sold the Xbox One on national television. Of course, I peppered in cool features and details about what the Xbox could do, but the first thing out of my mouth had nothing to do with its technology or features. The first thing I said was:

“The Xbox One will bring family game night back to your house. It will create spectacular fun for the people playing and the people watching. It is time to get the family together again to laugh.”

Do you see the focus of this message? I could have led with Microsoft’s use of light photons to read the nuances of your body movements and how it translates them to console operation. I could have started with all the multimedia options and voice recognition capabilities. I did mention those things, certainly, but not before the headline. Not before telling the customer that she would be the hero of her household if she were the one to deliver the news that an Xbox was on its way to them…that she would be the one to receive the backslaps and accolades as their family joyfully looked forward to evenings together in front of the Xbox. The customer was my hero. Your customer should be as well.
You have not changed your product. It has all the same features and capabilities. You are just covering a different angle of what it provides…the angle that triggers self-importance in your customer. In Dale Carnegie’s infamous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” he spends hundreds of pages delivering this exact message in dozens of behavior-changing suggestions. Make the person you are speaking to feel like the smartest person in the room. Cater to their innate need for self-importance and you have won a new friend, or in this case, a new customer.
Analyze the focus of your sales message. It could be that you are just a hair off-target. Changing this one nuance could make all the difference!

by: Cory Bergeron
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