It is all in the details

When making a sales call or presentation, how do you respond when people ask you, how you do what you do, or how you help others”? Do you say something like:

We outperform the industry average, OR we average a 16.94% recovery rate and that out performs the industry    average as reported by the ACA by almost 70%.

Which response leaves you wanting to know more?

I am reading the book Made to Stick, by the Heath brothers, (I know a little late). I am struck by their conversation about detailed descriptions. They cite a study done at the University of Michigan in 1986 by Jonathan Shedler and Melvin Manis. They had subjects act as jurors. They reviewed a case presenting the mother as favorable or unfavorable as a mother and they were presented the case with just the facts and then one side with facts with the other including vivid (detailed) descriptions.  Whatever side was presented with the vivid descriptions was selected as the winner most often in the study.

What does that have to do with selling?

I have worked with a lot of sales executives over time. Some of them were meticulous and others flew by the seat of their pants. (I remember Dennis who flew to Twin Falls ID and came back with a deal for a service we did not even offer and he had an agreement written on a note pad)!

The winners, the professionals who win year in and year out over and over again are those that pay attention to the detail. They can tell you about the Business Office in Seattle that was staffed with Union employees who were afraid of outsourcing. They can also tell you how once the program was in place even the union staff was pleased with the results. They can provide the feel of fear and the politics surrounding the decision and the feelings of success resulting from the engagement.

When you are listening to two sales people and one is citing all the facts, technology and resources versus the one that can provide vivid detail on a successful engagement, which one are you likely to engage to help you.

The details matter.

What are the specifics that you want to share with your listeners today?

What stories can you share?

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