Jul 13 2011

Twisted Meanings

The mouth says “Yes!”


 but the body says “No!”


What’s wrong with this picture?

You stand there, head down and tilted to the right, parentally staring over the tops of your glasses.

Your arms are folded defensively across your chest.

Your aggressive right-side shoulder is turned away and leans on the doorway or wall.

Your aggressive right-side foot is being held back by your receptive left-side foot which has it blocked or covered.

And you are telling your contentious investor or your irate customer that she is right, that you agree completely.

A mixed message? 


Great sales professionals know that when your job involves some form of persuasion (name just one that doesn’t!), you can’t learn too much about body language.


Because without some great theatrical dynamics in your DNA, or having taken some pantomimist course of study, people’s bodies speak truer than their mouths.

(Precisely why txtmsgs fail in every attempt to exercise persuasion.)


Without being able to see firsthand how the person or group you’re communicating with responds to greatly handicaps the persuader’s ability to gain acceptance. Remember that every successful decision to buy, or buy in, is one that’s emotionally-triggered–not logically reasoned.

Telephones are a step up from texting because careful listening allows us to “see” responses like a smile, a frown, anxiety, preoccupation, anger, but it’s true that there is nothin’ like the real thing, baby! Skype? Pretty close to in-person, though you’re not likely to ever know if the tie and jacket are just upper hosts to underwear and bare feet!

Studying up on observation skills is always a good thing, but don’t expect it to suddenly turn your tide. Careful listening and effective eye-contact (note the word “effective” means to eliminate staring, glaring, leering, and flirting) are equally important assessment tools. They give you the unspoken chance to make adjustments.

Great athletes will tell you that the ability to make adjustments –batter to pitcher, quarterback to hard-charging defenders, boxer to boxer, skier to slope conditions, golfer to wind, marathoner to temperature, etc.– is the difference-maker and deal-breaker when it comes to actual performance.                                                                                  

Still trying to think of a job that doesn’t involve some form of persuasion? There are none. And that should tell you something all by itself. The better you can be at quietly and unobtrusively “reading” and processing another’s body language (kinetics, if you prefer formality), the more effective you’ll be at growing your business.

When you note someone folding arms, crossing legs, sitting back, jiggling a foot, or steepling their fingertips, you must decide how to mentally/physically/emotionally step back from whatever you’re representing, long enough to prompt a change to more receptive posture before moving forward.

Thinking is one thing. Awareness is another. 

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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0911 

  Open minds open doors. 

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you.

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Aug 18 2010


Nine “Do Not” lessons


learned from 30+ years 


of sales-winning advertising


I know, accenting the negative isn’t always the best thing, but if you know what NOT to do, it’s a lot easier to figure out what you can and should do. I don’t pretend to know what you can and should do, but I sure can tell you what I’ve found out that doesn’t work (and throw in a few hints about stuff I know that works better!).

Here’s the scoop:

1. Do NOT advertise that you have integrity, or even about what wonderful integrity-inspiring things you or your business have done. When you conduct business at all levels with a high-trust approach and attitude, you will gain or boost a reputation for integrity that speaks for itself!

2. (…and this is really #1): Here is the single most difficult marketing, advertising, sales and PR challenge to face for all businesses everywhere (yes, you did indeed read that right: “all businesses everywhere”)– ready for this? — Do NOT promote how great you are to the rest of the world. Nobody cares. Well, maybe your mother cares, but nobody else does.

3. Do NOT get too cutesy. Readability must come before cleverness in font (lettering) use and treatments (Italics, boldfacing, spacing, underlining, shadowing, using a horseshoe for the letter “U” or crossed swords for “X” or an egg for “O”…etc.). And don’t trust a designer to worry about readability; most have no training or experience in how to design with and around text, especially branding lines.

4. Do NOT emphasize product and service features. Nobody buys features. People buy benefits. Make sure your marketing, advertising, sales, promotion and PR efforts focus on benefits — on answering the question, what’s in it for me?

5. Do NOT buy into fancy dog and pony presentations that stress how the work a creative service provider individual or organization or group or team can do for you will put you head and shoulders above the rest of your industry or profession. Get rid of creative service providers who seem more interested in winning awards for themselves than in making sales for you. Use performance incentives.

6. Do NOT ever accept a media rate that’s printed on a “rate card” or “rate sheet.” Think of it as the asking price for a house just put on the market this morning. Media people who aren’t willing to work with your budget aren’t worth your time and consideration. There are always other ways to market your business.

7. Do NOT try to hand-off advertising/marketing/PR responsibilities to someone who works with you because they articulate well or can write a mean email. And don’t try to do it yourself unless it’s what you specialize in. Remember that there are two success keys involved: writing skill and psychology expertise. Persuading customer and prospect brains is what it’s all about. 

8. Do NOT communicate too little or too much. Ask prospects and customers what they think the right amount of information is. Have someone who’s experienced at it run a focus group for you to get these answers, and to test alternative marketing approaches. 7 target market representatives for an hour works for this purpose. Give each a $20-$25 value reward for their participation.

9. Do NOT “settlefor ads, commercials, websites, landing pages, blogs, brochures, news releases, or social media executions or strategies that don’t feel right! If you don’t feel sure about something, remember it’s your business. Your gut instinct is your best decision maker.   


www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 
Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 14 2008

You’re still WHAT? You’re still SELLING?





     Thank you, Paul Simon.  Yes, I may be.  And, yes, you may be too.  But your music is still the best.  And so are my blog posts (for those of you who are reading this, who are marching, even lumbering, along the road to success) if you’re using the posts like pitstops to fill up with sales fuel. 

     Whaaa?  I’m not even a salesperson!  BRRRrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaat!  Wrong!  You ARE a salesperson, even if you’re a ballerina, even if you’re a roofer, even if you’re a brain surgeon, or candy apple maker, or homemaker, or rocket scientist, or truck driver, or school teacher, or priest, or (add your own titles here).  You’ve been selling since birth! 

     ALL OF US are actively engaged in selling and the sales process every waking moment of our lives.  Of course we are.  When we’re not trying to convince others to buy our products and services, we’re attempting to persuade them to buy into our ideas and beliefs and wishes. 

     And when we’re not doing any of the above (like when we’re vegging out in some yoga class or on a nature walk), don’t our minds slip into some self-talk?  Don’t we inevitably tell ourselves to do or feel or say something, or not do or feel or say something? 

     Aw, c’mon, Hal, that’s stretching it a bit don’t you think?  Aha!  And isn’t that little question a mini sales pitch all by itself?  (And that last question as well!)  Probably the longest we succeed at removing our minds from some sales process is when we’re watching some no-commercial-interruptions no-brainer movie, and even then our minds will go slip-slidin’ away (Thanks again, Paul!). 

     How long can you play with a baby or even a pet without thinking about something to buy or sell or convince someone of something related to the baby or pet?

     Here’s what’s important:

To recognize and accept that life is all about sales and that that’s okay! 

     On the opposite end, by the way, it’s estimated that each of us (in the U.S.) is exposed to close to 5,000 sales or advertising or promotional messages every single day.  That’s like a bombardment even if it’s only 2,500. 

     So, what this should tell you is that YOUR sales messages are very easily lost in the clutter, like a sling-shot pellet in the midst of thousands of major explosives (Yes, I too have been anxiously awaiting the 11/23 season preview of the all new “24” TV series, so yes, I am thinking more about edge-of-the-seat firepower than I might ordinarily). 

     Your sales message must stand out, with the right words, the right look, the right feel, the right impact, and the right back-up support (from servicing to warranties and beyond!).  

     And getting to that point requires strong product/service knowledge, strong market and competition knowledge, a burning positive attitude, a contagious sense of humor [See yesterday’s post -HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!- below!], the ability to find a need and fill it, outstanding listening skills, and a willingness (like batters and pitchers) to test and adjust and test and adjust and test and adjust.  Halalpiar    

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