Not sure about how to give credit for this post, but I was reading my most recent “Costco Connection” magazine and read a book review that I found interesting as, although not related to on-line interaction, it covers that awkward moment when you want to actually tell your client what you do. I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “elevator pitch” as it describes the time you have to sum up your story as if on an elevator ride. It becomes a one- or two-line statement of what you and your business offer!
I don’t have a name for the writer of the piece, but it is discussing a new book by Steve Yastrow (steveyastrow.com) which offers a different perspective to the standard elevator pitch. The book is called Ditch The Pitch: The Art Of Improvised Persuasion and I’ve listed the points made in the article below as written by the original author.
Think Output Before Input
The best improvisers are the best listeners. Observe the information available to you before you determine your response ans use it to help you have a fresh, persuasive conversation.
Pay close attention to what your customer says and does. Customer’s words and actions reveal what they are thinking and what they care about and this can be your guide to creating a spontaneous conversation that matters to your customer
(DT Aside – remember we have two ears and one mouth so use the ears twice as much as the mouth for best effect!)
Size Up The Scene
Understand the context of the situation as well as who is involved. Ask yourself who is participating in the scene and uncover motivations and characteristics including your own.
Creates A Series Of Yeses
Persuasion depends on how well you and your customer are moving in sync. Each time someone says no, the conversation loses momentum. Be careful before making a statement that you are confident that it won’t put your customer into a defensive mode. Don’t describe a solution too early. Your primary job in a persuasive conversation is not to advise the customer, but to move the relationship forward. Only prescribe solutions when your client is ready to hear them. Avoid yes-no answers. Phrase your questions, when possible, as a choice between yeses, i.e. “Which of these two options sounds better to you?”
Explore And Heighten
Creativity and idea generation are iterative processes where you improve an idea each time you play with it. A collaborative, persuasive conversation works the same way. Explore ideas with your customers; you will inevitably heighten those ideas.
Focus the conversation on your customer, who cares more about his story than yours. You will have a better chance of engaging if you focus on his story rather than your own.
Finally, don’t rush the story! No matter how compelling your story is, you need the patience to wait to communicate certain ideas to your customer until he or she is ready to hear them.
I think we can all learn from these points, even in a on-line situation as we have to listen to our customers otherwise we will end up going in the wrong direction and they ill end up buying product from someone else.
If you want to read more then click below for your own copy of the book.
If you do read the book, let me know what you think in the comments box below