Back and forth we went over several emails. Trying to persuade a customer, I touted the power of sales bullets. He lives and dies by the dreaded “corporate” bullet. You know what a corporate bullet is, right? One of those drab compilations of words that sucks the life out of you. A great sales bullet knocks you off your seat, spills your coffee on your lap while you yell: “Holy shit. I need this.”
He wouldn’t budge. I even slipped in a few of the awesome tools I write about. He remained unconvinced. I checked off all the boxes yet I was getting nowhere.
Why Was I Failing?
When you’re emotionally involved in an exchange, it’s easy to ignore your own rules. That’s exactly what I did. I kept trying to convince him. I preach that you can’t convince anyone of anything. You can only show them a path to come to a conclusion on their own. I realized I was a hypocrite. I failed to follow my own advice.
After spending an hour beating myself up I regained my composure. If I was advising someone else how to move forward, what advice would I give?
Then it came to me, as it should have before the whole exchange began. I had ignored the most effective sales strategy ever devised. A strategy that I preach, completely slipped my mind because I was too involved. The strategy can be summed up in just one word.
OK, that’s really two words. I get it. So, instead of coming up with another argument, proof or some other technique, I responded like this
“Here is the power of a bullet:”
“How to vanquish dark circles from under your eyes without creams, potions or doctor visits”
It’s an example I use in my bullet writing guide. Then I closed with:
“If you can guess the answer, then you’re right. Bullets really have no power”
I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist. He came back with a few crazy answers. Then I responded
”Studies show eight hours of sleep a night reduce dark circles”
The Big Mistake I Avoided
I thought about including some snappy closing line to really drive home the point. Then I remembered my own rule. Lead them down a path to conclude on their own. The demonstration was already there. Either he saw the power or he didn’t. I left it up to him to draw his own conclusion.
He responded with an expletive. That demonstration served as proof to him that there are no boring products and no boring facts. All facts, no matter how boring, contain a seed of life waiting to burst onto the scene. My demonstration proved that. He sold himself. The element of surprise had done its job. How will all this play out? We shall see.
It reminds me that sometimes our biggest impediment to winning a lead, sale or even an argument is ourselves. It helps to step outside yourself and look the situation as an observer. What would you advise someone else to do in the same situation? If I did that from the beginning I wouldn’t have felt like such a hypocrite.