For most of 2017 those of us in the US have been inundated with political news. That means lots of talking points (or spin) and of course talking points and selling go hand and hand, right?
While catching up with the latest news during the Thanksgiving break, I heard talking points from both sides of the political spectrum. I was very disturbed with the lack of facts in those talking points. First we'll discuss the lack of facts and then we'll discuss how to make sure your talking points hit home with your prospects.
Last week the political topic was tax reform and hosts and their guests were obsessed with making the other side not only wrong, but depending on who was speaking, making sure we knew that those on the other side of the aisle are very bad people.
The Republicans bragged about the great tax cut for all Americans and how tax savings for companies will create jobs and economic growth. Well, it is a cut but not that big, and not for all Americans. My companies will get tax breaks but they won't be significant enough to pay another 6-figure salary. I will pay even more in personal income tax, not less.
The Democrats say that the middle class will pay more, corporations will be the big winners and that tax reform is nothing but a tax break for the rich because of the repeal of the estate tax. Well, big corporations will win but when big companies win we all win. A CEO's job is to use profits to grow the company and that means jobs and expansions. As for the death tax, that money was already taxed, probably at one of the highest rates, so that tax was completely unfair in the first place.
Who's right? It doesn't matter. It's worth saying again. It doesn't matter who is right.
The takeaway is that even one false argument discredits the entire argument. When the Democrats say it's a tax break for the rich, who already pay 70% of the taxes, that is an out and out lie. When Republicans say it's a huge tax break for the middle class, who live pay check to pay check, that is an out and out lie.
It only takes one lie for people to stop listening to the bullshit.
When Trump tweets something that is untrue, instead of being guilty of being incorrect on that one issue, it makes him a liar for all time. When Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi make stuff up, like, "This bill will kill millions of Americans" in response to the proposed healthcare bill they disagree with, that makes them liars. Not just about this one thing, but for all time. What's interesting to me is that Trump supporters seem to know but don't really care when he lies while those aligned with Schumer and Pelosi seem to believe their lies. Politics is all about whose lies attract the most support.
That brings us back to selling.
Not only must your prospects believe you and trust you for all time, but they must also give you their money and money changes everything. They want value and if they believe you less than they believe your competitor - whether or not that's fair - your competitor will win.
Make these five changes in order to build trust and credibility:
Talking points - Eliminate your talking points! Prospects recognize talking points as the hard sell so you are better to allow them to make up their own talking points about you, your company and your products and services. Read this for much more on why you shouldn't use talking points.
Facts - You can't be mostly true. Selling with integrity requires you to always be truthful. Read this for the one exception to being honest.
Testimonials - Your prospects will view your customers as authentic and believable because they already gave you their money and their story will be trusted. Leverage your customers to talk about your honesty and integrity. Isn't that what prospects want from a reference? "Did Dave do what he said he would do?" "Were the results what you expected?" "How was Dave with your sales leaders and salespeople?" "Did they find him helpful?" "Would you use Dave again?" Read this article for more on giving references.
Resistance - the single most important thing you can do when selling is to be aware of and ready to lower your prospect's resistance. Period. Nothing else matters if your prospect's resistance is high. Read this article on how to manage and lower resistance.
Selling - Stop selling! Begin to have meaningful conversations that get your prospects to share their compelling reason to buy and buy from you. Read this article for more on how to be more effective with your consultative approach to sales.
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