Have you ever been stopped dead in your tracks by a prospect demanding to know what experience or clients you have in their industry? And you don't have any? Yikes!
Here's an effective "analogy" comeback courtesy of sales and presentations consultant Anne Miller. Anne specializes in teaching sales presentations. See how she cleverly uses her prospect in the analogy to illustrate her point:
"Years ago, I used an analogy to compete for, and win, the Presentation Skills training business of a leading ad agency in New York," explains Anne. "I was up against every major firm and consultant in the city, including one who specialized in presentations work with agencies."
"When confronted with the fact that I had no ad agency in my client base, I responded, 'That is correct. However, you just won the DHL (the overnight courier) account. How much overnight courier experience did you need to have the right to do their advertising? Let me suggest, none. You would learn the dynamics of their business the way you have of all your other accounts in the insurance and beer industries. DHL just had to be sure you were the best ad agency for them. Isn't that right?'"
"True," replied the Executive Vice President.
"'The same is true with me,' I continued. 'I will quickly learn the dynamics of your ad agency the way I have learned the dynamics of my other clients in the aerospace, investment banking, and consulting worlds. You just need to be sure I know everything about presenting. And I do.' (The last three words were said staring into her eyes)."
"As the truth of what I said dawned on her, all the EVP could manage to say was, 'Oh.' I won the business and went on to earn many thousands of dollars from them over the next several years -- all because of this carefully thought out analogy to their business."
The next time you're scheduled to pitch a prospect whose industry is outside your realm of experience, prepare an "analogy" comeback to have in your back pocket. You'll be more confident and prepared just in case.
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