How could learning landforms be so hard? A peninsula has water on three sides. An island water all around it. A plateau? Well, that's a flat piece of terrain that is high in elevation. And that's where my second-grade son started to glaze over like a Krispy Kreme Donut.
Terrain? Elevation? What the heck was that? Then his grandpa looked at him and said, "Just think of a plate. It's flat and sits high up on a table." The light bulb went off.
Grandpa had boiled down the technical jargon to something my son could understand. Its no coincidence that grandpa also sold quite a lot of motor oil, which you can read here.
Among other things, he had to boil down the jargon of oil to simple terms. Are you boiling down the jargon and selling like a second grader, or are you glazing over your audience?
Say you were selling donuts to someone who had never heard of them. Would you describe the process of making them like this: its a pastry that consists of flour,baking soda,nutmeg,salt,eggs,some sugar,unsalted butter that you melt,milk,and some vanilla. You mix all that up while you are heading oil to no more than 375 degrees, because you want to fry them but not to much...
Or would you say: look, I don't know exactly how they make the batter or the glaze. But what I do know is that they are so good, people will line up to get a hot one. It's like nothing you have ever had, fried warm, sweet, all at the same time. You'll love them.
Which pitch would make you buy? The second one of course. Then why do so many salespeople drop into technical sales speak like the first pitch? Why do they "show up and throw up?" I think it's first a crutch and second because most salespeople show up ill prepared. They are still in the mindset of "activity leads to sales" and forget that quality is just as or more important than quantity.
Aside from that, there's only so much a prospect, or anyone can process. Cognitive overload is very real, so your pitch needs to be boiled down to he most basic compelling components. Kind of like we explained plateau to my son.
Are adults no smarter than second graders? Of course not! Our brains can handle far more, but that's the problem. We are so overloaded with info, that when there's too much hitting us the old noggin goes into hibernate as if coming off a donut fueled sugar high.
What is the easiest and most compelling way you can explain what you sell to a particular prospect? What will stick in their mind? What is the big problem you will solve for them? What is the least you can say to make them drool?
Doing this takes hard work learning about your prospect. It takes great questioning prior to your meeting. And it takes showing up with specific solutions that are easy to understand.
It also takes tossing your product knowledge crutch aside and boiling down your message down to something a second grader or overwhelmed adult can remember.
A general manager once told me that when it came to video editing equipment which can be very complex all he wanted to know was, "will my staff like it. Will it break if someone spills a Coke in it and does it come in red." That way, he could get is busy mind around it and make a decision.
Break down your product so a second grader can understand it, and you will be on your way to more sales. Now go get some donuts. You deserve one!