The Big Idea
A lot of people consider selling a very difficult task. Unfortunately for them, selling is an activity that forms part of everyone’s daily routine. It occurs not only at work, but also when you are at home with your family, or when you are enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend.
Types of selling include debating with your friend on what type of movie to watch, convincing your boss to adapt to a different way of management, and getting that top client to buy your company’s products. You must remember that selling does not limit itself to cars, clothes or food.
In the book Metaphorically Selling, author Anne Miller explains that given time and the right method, anyone can learn how to sell, persuade and explain. By using simple metaphors and visually-enticing words, you can change your status from a poor loser to a topnotch scorer.
The Case for Metaphor
The Challenge: Getting Heard
You live in a world where people read newspapers and get bombarded by print advertisements every morning. You live in a world where large billboards fight for attention, and television commercials have become a way of life.
Since selling is an everyday occurrence, you must learn to accept that your udience has heard the very same pitch that you prepared countless times before. How then do you force a jaded audience to loosen their guard and listen to you?
First, you must learn to talk from your audience’s point of view. Get your listeners to understand what it is you’re selling by picking the right words. Speak their language and use words that they can relate to. Remember, you are not selling your product to yourself.
Second, don’t bombard your audience with too much information. Keep in mind that you are only given a short time to make a sales pitch. It would be a fatal mistake to overwhelm your audience with too many facts and figures.
Lastly, to do justice to your product without boring your audience, it would be most helpful and advantageous to use visual words. Arming your presentation with visual words enable you to explain fully what your product is about without spoiling your audience’s zeal.
What are Metaphors?
When you were a student, you were taught that a metaphor is a figure of speech. Your professor may have failed to tell you however; just how important a metaphor is when it comes to selling.
A metaphor is a way to communicate your message to any given audience in an
instant. You do this by using words that compare one thing to another. The brilliance of a metaphor is that you can easily come up with comparisons that are familiar to your audience. You can use metaphors that your audience can strongly associate with.
The best way to explain this further is to tell you what not to do. If you are speaking before a group of female activists, it is never a good idea to use metaphors extolling the triumph of men in sports.
When Do You Need Metaphors?
Without question, a metaphor is a powerful tool. In fact, metaphors will help you close a sale no matter what kind of audience you are interacting with. While you may not need to use metaphors all the time, be keen and alert when one is needed. You know you have to start firing a metaphor the moment your audience starts showing hostility. . .
This article is based on the following book:
Metaphorically Selling - A Book Summary
How to Use the Magic of Metaphors to Sell, Persuade & Explain Anything to Anyone
By Anne Miller
Chiron Associates, Inc. , New York 2004
By: Regine P. Azurin
Regine Azurin is the President of BusinessSummaries.com , a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
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