Anne Miller gave a workshop yesterday about how to build engagement by using visual comparisons that help people relate easily to the value your products and solutions deliver. More importantly, using words effectively not only gets you into a conversation, but makes that exchange memorable. Through both written communications and verbal conversations.
Those of you who know Anne - and you should - know she's the Mistress of Metaphors. And, before you groan about grammar, stay with me. A metaphor is simply a comparison that enables people to visualize what you're telling them. Think of them as the silver bullets of understanding.
For example: Joe is a pig.
Yes, the eloquent Anne actually said that. But, it gives you an instant picture of Joe. In fact, if you had an extra ticket for the opera, you'd immediately know that Joe is not the one you want to invite to go with you.
For a business application of metaphors, let's say you're talking to an IT systems admin. If you say, "Managing complex computing environments is like running a continuous fire drill." They'd know you understand what they're likely dealing with.
Plus, that metaphor captures the emotional component of their experience. It includes the stress and risk that IT system admins deal with every day.
For some reason, B2B marketing and salespeople seem to rely on logical facts and statistics to help them make their point. Problem is that those are hard to personalize. They don't apply to people directly, but in an aggregate form. Facts and statistics are like the 30,000 foot view. You need to meet them on the ground and metaphors can help you get there.
Anne refers to the two sides of the brain as Joe Friday and Robin Williams. I'll leave it to your brilliance to determine which is logical and which is emotional. But the point Anne makes is that selling effectively requires showing not telling.
For those of you who'd like to learn more about metaphors and the power they wield in creating conversations, building relevance and personalizing your communications - written or verbal - check out Anne's book, Metaphorically Selling. You can also visit her website. Oh, and sign up for her newsletter. I get a new idea every month.
Anne's wisdom will help you make sure they GET it.Link to original post