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Sales Tip: Use Analogies to Make Your Point

A simple and powerful tool to help prospects understand your message is an analogy. Yesterday a client sales rep was in a competitive situation, searching for a new way to help a prospect understand his company’s level of expertise. The rep was trying to win the business away from the incumbent competitor who markets many more products and services and is not looked at with the same expertise as my client. Although sales analogies can be tricky, this set and setting presented a unique opportunity.

Success in sales is founded in good communication. The definition I like to use for communication is, “message sent = message received”.

My client specializes in business telephone systems, installation and service and has been doing so for 30 years. The prospect is a floor covering specialist and well known for their expertise. Both the prospect and my client are experts in their field and keep their product and service offerings narrow. To complete the analogy pieces we needed a business to compare our competition to.  We selected a large home improvement retailer.

Once you identify a good comparison, present it in the form of a tasteful and powerful analogy. Here is an example that acknowledges the prospects strength, does not knock the competition and is bold.

“Mr. Prospect, we feel very confident in saying we offer the best product, service and quality in the area. We respect our competitor and they have a good offering. The differences in our companies are very similar to the differences between you and The ABC Home Improvement Center (HIC). HIC sells flooring like you, but based on the diversity of their offerings they cannot dedicate the time and focus required to be the experts you are in your field. There is nothing wrong with HIC, they are just a different way to buy and sell flooring. If you want to work with a company that is like you, an expert, I believe we are the right choice.”

Just because you believe you are the best, does not mean the prospect believes it. One of your jobs as sales people is to “communicate” effectively. Analogies are one tool to help others understand what you understand.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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