I was reminded in the book by Michael LeBoeuf, Ph.D.; “How to Win Customers & Keep Them For Life.” of a management course that I took many years ago and a fable with a very important lesson for all of us.
The fable was; ‘The Snake and Fisherman.’ There existed this old fisherman that would go out every day by himself in his small boat. One day, he looked over the side and spotted a snake swimming by with a frog in its mouth. Feeling sorry for the frog, he bent over and removed it from the snake’s mouth and set it free. However, he then started to feel bad for the snake as it would now grow hungry. He looked around his small boat but had no food. All he had was a bottle of brandy. He opened the bottle and gave the snake three shots. The snake happily swam away and everything was good. About an hour later the fisherman heard this insisting banging on his boat and when he peered over the side, there was the snake, but this time it had two frogs in its mouth.
You have an incredible product/service. You have a phenomenal presentation showing the features and benefits of your product/service. However, you are not making any headway. Why?
Is this scenario familiar to anyone? Let’s take a closer look at this often occurring situation.
What we must all accept, is that consumers today are aware and educated about our products/services even before they meet us. Therefore, if you are still highlighting the features of your product/service, you are putting your audience to sleep as they in all likelihood know as much, if not more, than you may. Do not sell on features. If you do have to mention features, keep it to a minimum. When you have a good feel for the minimum, cut it in half.
‘Another day of monotony Has gotten me to the point, I’m like a snail I’ve got to formulate a plot ‘fore I end up in jail or shot Success is my only (explicit) option, failure’s not.’ ~ Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’
Is success really the only option?
Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
We give failure way too much power and credit. Once we fail at something we take it personally and it makes our self-esteem drop like a lead balloon. How are you defining failure? Merriam-Webster says that it is a ‘lack of success or falling short.’ However, it does not say that it is fatal and permanent. Therefore, why are you taking it as it is so?
“Hi. My name is Brian and I am a ‘yesaholic.” “Hi, Brian.”
What is a ‘yesaholic?’
These are the people that cannot say ‘no’ even though they know they should and continue to say ‘yes’ to any request and task asked of them. This is something that has become rampant in the business world. The reasons that I get from my clients is that if they do not say ‘yes’ they may lose an opportunity, they may lose a client and therefore business among a long list of other reasons including; disappointing others, making others angry and portraying that they are incapable or do not care about their careers.
Recently, I was asked if I would shadow an individual while making calls and report back to the Sales Manager as to how our program could make them more productive. This was an unusual request, as I do the shadowing after the program for a day to make sure implementation of the program has happened. However, I knew the manager quite well and, therefore, agreed.
We did not even make the first call as the challenges were immediately evident.
I had a very good friend recently tell me about an experience which made them rather uncomfortable and suspicious. It seems they were asking a certain individual about their business and what it entailed and all they got back were cryptic answers without revealing what and more importantly, why they should get together to discuss the opportunities. After persistent asking, it finally came out. It was a multi-level marketing business.