David Peterson's: Sales Article|
November 18, 2009
By David Peterson
Atlanta Sales and Consulting
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Paint the Picture
In the sales process you will eventually (hopefully) get to a point where you
are "pitching" your product or service to the prospect. Getting the prospect off
the fence and signing on the dotted line can be a challenge.
There is an advance selling method that can used to help the prospect SEE
themselves using your product. It is called Painting
the Picture. When you paint the picture the customer will envision
themselves with the product, however I call this an advance sales method because
your only tool is... your words.
How do you verbally convey in words the actions that will allow the prospect
to virtually use your product?
Some types of sales professions have it a little easier. As an example a car
salesman wants you to drive the car. If they can just get you in the car you
will see, feel and smell the experience. It is just fun to drive a new car, and
boy do you look good in it.
Department store salespeople have the same advantage. If they can get you to
try on the suit or dress then there is a pretty good chance you will buy it.
Rarely does someone buy a suite or a dress without trying it on.
But what about telesales or products that are so big or intangible that you
can't try them on or test drive them before you buy? You can't "try on" a
railcar, or a gas turbine. And in telesales you can't reach trough the phone and
hand your product to the prospect.
No problem - do it virtually. Paint the picture for the prospect.
Here's how to set it up. There are three perspectives when you speak or
write. You have 1st person (I/We), 2nd person (You), or 3rd person
Every salesperson has probably used the Feel, Felt, Found method of telling
their story. This is 1st or 3rd person describing a situation in person or face
to face. As an example:
"I feel that given the specifications we may not have exactly what is
required, but I have felt that in the past this has not really been and
issue, because I found that the specifications never match exactly what my
customer needs, and I am here to solve those needs."
Feel, felt, found are great statements but they don't get the customer
involved. They don't place the customer in the product. They place the caller in
the product or someone else (he/she/they) not the person that we want to use the
You have to practice using the perspective of 2nd person to place the
customer using your product. (Remember the 2nd person
perspective is You, not... I/we/she/he/they/it) Here is an example using
the same situation as above only this time it's being done over the phone:
"Jim you had these specifications written to ensure a smooth transition
to the new plant. I can do all of it except this one piece that you and I
can probably work around. Now imagine this, I will have you up and running
in your plant, where you and your employees are producing your exact product
within two weeks. Can you explain what happens if you are not up and running
with two weeks?"
The power in this advance selling method is the prospect gets to feel his
pain or enjoy his ride without actually using the product. By using the 2nd
person perspective the prospect is placed in the pitch. When you paint the
picture you allow the prospect to SEE what happens without them actually being
This takes practice. We don't typically speak or write in the 2nd person
perspective. I hope I have shown why it is important to do so whenever possible.
Always get your customer in the car whenever possible. If you can't physically
put them in then I suggest that you verbally paint the picture and virtually
place them in that car.
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