There’s a famous dialogue in sales about two account executives discussing the plight of the market over cocktails. One account executive complains, “I can lead the horses to water, but I can’t always make ’em drink.” The cohort responds, “Make ’em drink? Making folks drink is not your job. Your job is to make them thirsty.”
Our brains are naturally curious and thirst for new information. When information creates intrigue or shows us how to be better, we are hooked. Creating thirst is about enticing people to want to know more about how your products and services will make get them closer to their ideal outcome or desire.
There are two fundamental ways to incite thirst in your sales conversations. First, you trigger your customers’ brains to have a sensory reaction, to experience a feeling. Second, you help your customer visualize who they have the potential to become should they partner with you. Your offering is then what takes them from a mediocre or downright painful here to a fabulous there.
In order to create that fabulous there, your prospect’s brain craves new information and solutions wrapped up in an emotionally enticing package. Yes, there are millions and billions and trillions of pieces of information [offerings] out there, but it is just information with an emotional bow. Using this metaphor for brain input and stimulation, every salesperson, whether corporate or entrepreneur, needs to ask themselves, “What emotions and solutions am I selling, and how might I best package them together to create thirst?”
Your product or service needs to create enough thirst to get your prospects to buy. You create this thirst by triggering your prospects’ brains with very specific emotions followed by solution-oriented hooks. But it’s the emotion that serves as the bait.
Think about this: Nike does not sell us athletic attire, it sells endurance and the feelings of victory for overcoming our fears and fulfilling our destinies to perform. Bit exaggerated? Perhaps, but its commercials create an emotional, physiological response in your brain and body that says, “I’m thirsty for that.”
There are four techniques you can use to incite thirst for your offerings:
No. 1 — Sensory associations, especially visual
From collateral, to website, to proposals and wardrobe, what are you strategically communicating through the mind’s eye of your customer? Do your business cards, brochures, email signatures, Instagram posts and thank you notes trigger the brain with unique and creative visuals? Or unfortunately and more commonly, your prospect’s brain might be skimming over all of your materials and thinking, ho hum, nothing new or interesting here. Yawn. The brain is “thirsty” for new, novel, unique, and innovative information and stimuli to consume. Satisfy its thirst by being visually different.
No. 2 — Repetitive yeses
Repetition is paramount for building up to that final “Yes” in the sales process. Mini-yeses (mini-closes) throughout your sales cycle help that final “Yes” to be a no brainer. Your customers make new decisions based on new information. An effective sales process demands that you incorporate mini-closes as soon as you have established value, but before you share all the information. Each time you provide a new nugget, a new gem, a new point of value about your product, you have the right to confirm this worth that you just added. It’s the difference between saying, “Hey, Mr. Buyer, our product is amazing and here’s why…” versus “Hey, Mr. Buyer, our product solves X, is that a need for you?” And you keep sprinkling these mini-yes questions throughout each conversation in your sales cycle. “Hey, Mr. Buyer, do you see our product as an effective solution for you?” “Hey, Mr. Buyer, are you excited to see the results?” When your prospect keeps saying that mini-yes anywhere through the sales process, it builds connections throughout his or her brain so that when you ask for the signed contract, you also get a “Yes.”
Customers want to relate. They want to feel as if the product or service you sell them is inherently accurate in reflecting who they want to be in the world.
No. 3 — Outstanding or different qualities
The brain triggers on the new, the novel, and the unusual. What is your unique selling proposition? And if you answer service, think again. You must specifically define your unique, yet phenomenal quirks. You must remove yourself from all the noise so you can stand above the fray and be seen. What makes your product or service [your information] fresh and different? How can you package it with a bow no one else is using or has ever even tried to tie before?
No. 4 — Intense associations
Customers want to relate. They want to feel as if the product or service you sell them is inherently accurate in reflecting who they want to be in the world. We purchase products and services to be the person or company we thirst for. People do not buy products and services to say, “This will help sustain my mediocrity.” People buy products and services because they feel a need to be more creative, higher performers, better producers, etc. Herein lies the gem: Your product or service must transport people to where they want to be, not keep them where they are.
When you create enough thirst for your product, you will have lots and lots of customers who will ask you to start pouring. And that is a profitable result worth toasting to.
AmyK Hutchens is an International Award Winning Speaker, Biz Strategist and Cool Aunt. With an Amazon best-selling book and a globally popular online leadership and communication program, she’s still keeping it real. To learn more about AmyK, visit www.amyk.com.