The Modern Selling Podcast
How Little Changes To Your Sales Message Can Have Incredible Results, with Tim Riesterer, Episode #102
Feb 20, 2019 · 49 min
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It’s amazing but true - in 101 episodes of #SellingWithSocial I’ve published so far, I have not recorded one conversation focused on what goes into an effective sales message. It’s time to change that - and I can’t think of a better person to help me address the topic than Tim Riesterer.

Tim is the Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions, a company that makes it their business to study the facts behind sales messages. They do the work necessary to discover which turns of phrase and word choices are most effective - and they pass that information along to the sales community. This conversation follows right on the heels the Modern Marketing Engine podcast with CEO, Erik Peterson on customer conversations. Between the two of these podcasts… Well every sales and marketer should be able to crush sales messaging.

Join me for this enlightening conversation. I’m confident it will help you fine-tune your sales message to get better results.

This episode is brought to you by Zubtitle. Automatically add captions to any video in minutes. Don’t let your videos get passed over on social media. Visit https://zubtitle.com/vengreso to get started.

When Products And Services Look Alike, The Best Story Wins

Among the powerful points Tim makes during our conversation is this one: Data and facts don’t close deals as powerfully as stories. That may sound strange coming from a guy whose company digs into the data to find out makes for the most effective sales message. But when you consider that it’s their research that has shown them that stories are more effective, it makes perfect sense.

But Tim’s not saying any old story will work. It’s got to be one the buyer can picture as their own, one that demonstrates the risk they are taking by not making use of what you are offering. There is plenty of nuance to this kind of storytelling, so be sure you listen to hear every aspect of what Tim has to share.

For Existing Customers, Your Story Lives In The Current Status Quo

Tim has become known lately for pushing back against the popular “Challenger” approach to sales. Remember, his push-back is based on the data his company has researched. He says the idea of challenging the status quo works if you face a scenario where you’re trying to replace an incumbent approach. You’re trying to convince the buyer that what they are currently doing is untenable.

But if you ARE the status quo and you’re trying to get a buyer to renew, you should not challenge them to think entirely different than they are. Why? It decreases the likelihood of renewal because they will not assume your company is the only one that can help them make the change you are suggesting. They’ll begin investigating your competition rather than just accepting your proposed solution.

70% to 80% of the revenue that companies derive is from existing customers. Reinforcing the status quo is the most powerful way of getting renewals, price increases, and upgrades or upsells from them. The approach that wins should highlight what you’ve already done together and showcase the momentum they have gained using your solution.

HOW Salespeople Say Things Can Make All The Difference

Many times, salespeople are hired because they seem to be good at trafficking in words - which is the problem. They may be able to speak well but if they don’t know how to use words properly and effectively, they are not going to be very successful at sales.

All day long salespeople tend to talk about the gains, the upside, the positive reasons for using their solution. But the data shows that’s not the most effective approach. Why? Because unless your solution is the one the buyer is already using (the incumbent), YOUR SOLUTION is the risky bet in their minds. They need to be convinced you’re worth the risk - and it won’t happen by explaining all the positives of your solution.

The data shows that buyers are two to three times more likely to make a change if you position your offer in terms of what they will lose by CONTINUING as they are. You’re helping them see that what they are doing is the risky thing, a loss to be avoided.

When you do - you’ll increase the probability of them choosing your solution by 70%. That’s a small change in your sales message that makes a dramatic difference.

Increase A Buyer’s Propensity To Buy By Using The Word “You”

Often, salespeople feel it’s a humble and collaborative approach to tell their stories and give examples in a way that uses the word “we.” They believe that it communicates partnership and trust. But it doesn’t engage the buyer, it doesn’t help them envision what is going to happen for them by adopting your solution. In Tim’s words, “They become somewhat disembodied from the message - they don’t feel responsible for it.”

But now let’s make a shift…

When you use the word “you” in place of the word “we” in those very same sales conversations, the buyer takes greater ownership of what you’re saying. That simple change provokes their imagination - they can see themselves doing something about their problem and they get more involved. You can increase a buyer’s propensity to buy - all the way back to their feeling of how relevant your solution is, how important their need is, and how strongly they feel about addressing the issue - by simply using the word “you” instead of the word “we.”

Do you see how word choice can literally give double-digit advantage to your sales message? But you have to know the right words to use to make that the difference.

Listen to this great conversation with Tim Riesterer and get some of the free downloads Corporate Visions offers. Applying their research to your sales messages could dramatically impact your effectiveness in a rather short period of time.

This episode is brought to you by Zubtitle. Automatically add captions to any video in minutes. Don’t let your videos get passed over on social media. Visit https://zubtitle.com/vengreso to get started.

Outline of This Episode
  • [2:20] Who is Tim and why is he on this episode? What’s Corporate Visions about?
  • [6:12] So many bad pitches and messages: What should be done differently?
  • [16:01] Why “you” language is powerful and how it works
  • [20:20] Your “best friend” voice may be the best sales voice you have
  • [27:15] What the CV team has discovered that salespeople do right and wrong
  • [35:39] Coming down hard on the Challenger sales methodology
Resources Mentioned Connect with Mario!

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