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TT#57 Master the Art of Selling Your Services: Models & Metaphors

May 23, 2023
Master the Art of Selling Your Services: Models & Metaphors

As a provider of professional services, you're a master of your craft.

This expertise is what makes you great at what you do, yet it could also be the very thing holding you back when it comes to selling your services.

Why? Because you've got the "curse of knowledge." You can't remember what it's like not to know the things you now understand so well.

We hear it all the time on sales calls clients ask us to review.

  • Using jargon people don’t understand.
  • Long-winded explanations of what you do.
  • Talking over people’s heads with technical details.

Or, more simply, talking more about how you get results than you do the results themselves.

Not only does this lose prospects, it complicates the decision by giving prospects more to “think about.”

If you want to simplify your message, ensure it resonates, and close more deals, these two things are your best friends: models and metaphors.

Models: A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Models are a visual representation of the transformation you help clients achieve. They provide a clear and concise way to communicate what you do and how you do it.

They work for 2 reasons:

  1. They force you to think about what you do differently. The exercise of creating a model requires thinking about your services from your client’s perspective. And that unlocks a lot of “ahas.”
  2. Sharing the model makes it click. When you present your model to prospects on sales calls, you’ll talk in simpler language and reinforce that language visually. That’s powerful.

If you’ve been on a sales call with us, this model may be familiar.

Topically we’ll pull up an iPad, share screen, and draw this out while explaining it based on what we’ve heard in the call.

And what we’re doing is walking you through the process of building a business with a picture.

  • Establish a clear vision with Vision Founder Fit
  • Positioning yourself on purpose with an intentional target market, messaging framework, and unique selling proposition.
  • Productizing your service with a “Godfather” offer that’s hard to refuse
  • Becoming a magnet for your target audience with a simple funnel and consistent traffic
  • Build a sales process that is based on authority, credibility, and trust

It’d be easy to get lost in all the steps. But when we present it visually and walk people through it, it clicks.

Metaphors: A Journey Through Simplicity

Metaphors are the perfect companions to models. hey simplify complicated ideas, making them relatable and memorable. If you were explaining what machine learning is, would you prefer:

A: Machine learning is a complex branch of artificial intelligence where algorithms learn from and make decisions based on data. These algorithms adjust their operations and improve their performance over time as they process more data, similar to human learning from experience.

B: Machine learning is like teaching a child to ride a bike — at first they stumble, but with practice (more data), they get better at balancing and pedaling on their own.

If you’re like most people, by the time you get to the end of A, you’re already thinking about what’s for dinner.

When we work with clients to help them create metaphors for sales, we identify the high level steps in their process and create a metaphor for each one.

For example, in our Vision Founder Fit process (above), we liken establishing Vision Founder Fit to setting the destination on Google Maps. Once you have it set, you can create a clear roadmap, optimize the route according to your preferences, and make course corrections when obstacles arise. Without it, you'll wander aimlessly.

Each step along the way has a corresponding metaphor to help make it easier to digest.

How To Get Started

If you're ready to bring models and metaphors into your sales process, your first step is to define the transformation clients seek when they engage with your services. Success hinges on being able to clarify a clear starting point, end point, and description of success. Without these, creating the tools to simplify your message will be tough.

After you’ve clarified the transformation, next break the process for helping clients achieve it down into high level steps. When you do this, think about it from their standpoint. What are the steps they go through to get the results they want. You can see how we did that in the model above.

Lastly, create a visual model to walk people through those steps and a metaphor for each one. As you present the model you can explain each step with a corresponding metaphor.

An imperfect, but simple message will always outperform a perfect but impossible to understand one.

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