Want Prospects To Speak With You? Create “Why Change” Dialogue!


“…As the opening act, if you will, I’m here to talk about creating and delivering great messaging and content through these digital applications. In other words, if your content and messaging sucks, all these great tools can really do is speed up the SUCKING!”Tim Riesterer

And thus began Digital Sales Camp…with a bang!

The first, and arguably my favourite, session was a 24 minute talk by Tim Riesterer, the Chief Strategy Officer of Corporate Visions.

For those of you who don’t know him well, Tim is a seasoned sales professional with more than 20 years experience in Marketing and Sales. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter here.

Tim gets straight to the heart of the matter by explaining how messaging today is focused on why the customer should pick you, and why you are better suited to serve his needs as compared to your competitors. But the real question the messaging needs to answer is why should they change? Why should they do anything different from what they’ve already been doing?

You need to be that company with that messaging.

As per research, 74% of a survey responders said they’d give their business to companies who create a buying vision for them. The companies that disrupted their status quo. The ones who could create the “Why Change” dialogue.

Tim explained how the messaging is different in the “why change” dialogue, as compared to “why us, and not them” dialogue. If you don’t do that, you and your competitors will both be attacking the same question, and the customer doesn’t realize your uniqueness. The prospects see very little difference between your content and your competitor’s’ content, and become indecisive. Because, honestly, your portfolios aren’t that different.

He advised on how when companies try to focus on value-add services, customer sees as choice overload or complexity, and works against you. Which brings us back to creating the “Why Change” dialogue.

You can do that by introducing the topic of unconsidered needs. Where the consumer undervalues an issue, and its impact on their business. Make them into your unknown strengths! Introduce that unconsidered need into the conversation, not just respond to queries. Tip the scales in your favour by as much as 50%. Give them value beyond what they told you. Become a trusted advisor!

“Tell them something they don’t know. Don’t tell them what they’ve already told you. Don’t be a tape recorder!”

Present them with the risks they’re facing, by instilling fear. Tim quoted a powerful research that said people are 2-3 times more likely to make a choice in order to avoid a loss, than acquire a gain. This is called loss-aversion, and prompts decision making out of fear of losing their current status quo. Use it to get them to listen to you!

In fact, Tim found that when people hear about a risk, an unconsidered need, and then hear about a resolution to it, there was a 12% improvement in impact, as compared to just presenting them with the risk, or just presenting them with resolution.

Why? Tim explains how if the customer sees a problem with their current status quo, they will look for alternatives. If you don’t present them with the alternative (resolution), they will not see a new safe place to go, just euphemistically duck for cover. So risk + resolution is the more powerful messaging.

In a nutshell, Tim advised on:

  1. Basing your message on prospects’ unconsidered needs, instead of on their known challenges.
  2. Leading with insights to create the urgency to change, instead of leading off with discovery.
  3. Creating risk around your prospect’s status quo situation and link it to your new safe scenario, instead creating passing excitement that isn’t actionable.

I think this was a really relevant conversation, which happened at the right time. What did you think of the session?

FYI, if you loved it as much as I did, you might like to know that Tim is also the co-author of Customer Message Management: Increasing Marketing’s Impact on Selling(Thomson/AMA), Conversations that Win the Complex Sale: Using Power Messaging to Create More Opportunities, Differentiate Your Solution, and Close More Deals (McGraw Hill) and The Three Value Conversations: How to Create, Elevate, and Capture Customer Value at Every Stage of the Long-Lead Sale(McGraw Hill). Just in case you want to read more on him.

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