So what do you do for a living?
We’ve all heard it. The question. The simplest question that every one of us should be able to quickly, easily and succinctly answer. But how many times have you been asked and then recited back some long-winded, mumbo jumbo answer that really didn’t answer the question asked? And most certainly didn’t inspire the other person to want to learn more. Today, let’s fix that.
What is Clarity?
Clarity is the ability to craft memorable messages that are easy to pass along. Clarity not only generates business, but it makes it easier for others to generate business for you. Those Social Agents that I’m always talking about.
But clarity is hard. The old joke about not having time to write someone a short letter so you write them a long one is completely accurate. It’s far easier to be verbose than succinct. And to craft the perfect one or two line sentence that effectively sums up what you do for your customers is quite possibly the most difficult communications challenge you’ll ever face.
And that’s where Clarity Wins by Steve Woodruff comes in. Now to be totally transparent, Steve is a friend of mine but before that he was someone I looked up to as a thought-leader (he’d be so disturbed that I used that word to describe him) that could help me up my sales prospecting game. I was even an early adopter of Steve’s Clarity Therapy and found the half-day session worth way more than he charged me. So, yes this book is here partly because I know Steve but largely because the book has a bunch of smart things in it that can help you improve your sales prospecting. Today I’m going to highlight three of them.
Your Biggest Enemy in Sales Prospecting
Ask any sales person who their biggest competition is and almost universally they’ll name a competitor. But here’s the thing that Steve points out — accurately I might add — your biggest competition isn’t a product, brand, company or person. Nope.
Your biggest competition is noise.
Noise is the primary hurdle you must overcome. You’re always one click away from being ignored. You see, every one of your potential sales prospects is continually surrounded by a cacophony of unceasing voices, sights and sounds, most of which aren’t even from your competitors. And a lot of that noise is far more interesting than you. So to cut through it, you need a clearly compelling message.
Your battle isn’t against your competitor and their message. No, your battle is against the noise in an effort to earn the attention of your sales prospect.
Tell More Stories
I loved this quote from the book.
We are, as a species, addicted to the story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.
People aren’t hardwired to remember Power Points or Sales Pitches. They’re wired to remember stories. So to cut through the noise, gain attention and creates sales opportunities, your message needs to be clear, concise and memorable.
For instance, when I’m asked what do you do Tom? My response is, “we teach companies how to turn conversations into customers.”
Two things usually happen next. First, the person gives some kind of positive response either verbally or non-verbally that indicates they like the idea of turning conversations into customers. Second, not always but usually, they ask me to explain or how we do it, or something that invites me to expand on the statement.
And that’s where stories come into play.
I could begin a sales pitch or rattle off executional services we provide or something equally noisy and forgettable or I could tell a story. Which is what I do.
I tell the story of a time when one of our clients turned an ordinary conversation (often times on a social media platform) into a conversion. If you want to see one of my favorites, read this post on using Twitter to prospect for sales. The story starts mid-way down the post.
It takes me about 30 seconds to a minute to convey that verbally. But when I’m done, folks get what we do here at Converse Digital and they can immediately see how we may or may not be able to help them. And I’m done. I’ve clearly communicated what I do for a living in a compelling and memorable manner.
Using Your Superpower To Drive Sales Prospecting
At first the chapter on finding your superpower can come across as hokey… trite even. Something you’ve heard before a million times. But it’s actually Steve’s take and application of the concept is quite brilliant. You see, Steve argues that the core of clarity is communicating that superpower in a clear and concise manner.
He doesn’t position superpower as some new faddish sales & marketing paradigm. No, he sees it as a process of elimination. Define all the things you’re really good at and then ruthlessly subtract until you’re left with just one. That one thing that you most enjoy and your clients most reward. That’s your superpower and successful sales prospecting hinges on defining and then clearly communicating it to every person you engage with socially.
For us here at Converse Digital, that superpower is “conversations.” When we went through Steve’s Clarity Therapy, what we found was that our most interesting, impactful and most discussed projects all had one thing in common — they relied on and generated conversation between individuals. The results of those conversations where positive shifts in brand perception, increased willingness to purchase and influencer support to name a few.
And thus, when we’re evaluating new projects or clients, we look at the opportunity through a conversation lense. Can we help the client either create new conversations or better leverage existing ones to achieve their sales & marketing goals?
Why You Should Pick Up a Copy of Clarity Wins
Because I told you to. 😉
No, seriously, this is a book that more than delivers and at less than $5 for the Kindle version, I mean, it’s kind of a no brainer. Most business books (if you’re lucky) give you two or three good ideas. Steve’s going to give you far more than that for your money. So go give it a whirl and then stop back here or ping me on Twitter (@TomMartin) and let me know what you think of Clarity Wins.