In the film “Margin call”, actor Jeremy Irons calling an emergency meeting of his top staff and the young whizz kids that discovered that something was very wrong in the evaluation of their bank’s assets, asks to be spoken to as if he was a child, or better yet, as a Golden Retriever.
I loved that part. And it is a lesson for all those salespeople who want to make it big out there talking to the big chiefs.
Big chiefs want it to hear it simple. Not that they cannot manage the complexities of their trade, but they want it simple because it forces the ones giving them the info to think through what they want to say and see the idea more clearly than when swamped into technical jargon and overformulated rethoric.
For me, the clearer the language, the clearer the idea and the clearer the sales speech. There will be ample time to go through the details later. When you want to make it an impact, the point is to make what you can offer your customer crystal clear and self explanatory.
In our trade, there’s nothing complicated really: we sell air nozzles that are coupled to open pipes blowing compressed air. The nozzles just orient the flow where you need it with the adequate force. Instead of wasting air by blowing all around, you blow air where you need it. Less air means less energy costs and less noise.
How much exactly are those savings? What noise abattment are we talking about? At what strength and in what pattern will the air coming out of the nozzles impact the required area? And what are the advantages of using our own metal or hi-tech plastics products instead of the gloomy cheap plastic ones available in every industry supply catalogue out there? Well we can expand our sales speech for that.
So in conclusion, as Jeremy Irons said to his junior team, I would say that salespeople should approach their customers for the first time as if they were Golden Retrievers. No offense: Golden Retrievers are quite bright.