Hello again Marvelous People!
Imagine that you are hearing, “Up, Up & Away” by the 5th Dimension right now.
The year was 1968. And “Up, Up & Away” was the song of the year. Jimmy Webb wrote the song, but did you know that one of the producers was none other than Johnny Rivers?
“Up, Up & Away” in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon!
That's a great segue to today's message which has to do with focusing on the “Desire” step utilized in your selling presentations and your sales talks.
It was 1968. I was six years old. Never had I ever flown in an airplane, much less a hot air balloon. (Google Albuquerque International Balloon Festival for a once in a lifetime bucket list experience) This hit song would just take me on a journey of imagination. It evoked feelings and emotions inside me, similar to just now whenever I heard it again. It’s making my hair stand up on my arms.
Well Marvin, ‘how does this relate to your teachings today on the Desire Step’ you might ask?
“What in the world does this have to do with my sales process?”
You see there's five steps in the sale and after exchanging initial pleasantries, the steps are:
*Gaining a person's attention
*Asking sincere authentic interest bearing questions
*Approaching the conviction step with confidence and caution( because you don't wanna be all “Commission breath” on an individual with your features, advantages and benefits) if they're not ready to hear them.
Doing all of these steps correctly - in the correct sequence – will guarantee you a higher sales conversion rate.
That's what is taught in our sales course, “Come Hell or High Selling for Insurance Selling Positions”.
The proper chronology. The proper steps in sales and the importance of “story”.
If you haven't spent enough time working on your story telling and story selling skills, seek out Joseph Campbell’s diagram of “The Hero’ Journey”. There are no Hollywood movies that stray from the elements in this diagram.
When I think of the song “Up, Up and Away”, it not only brings me back to 1968. But more specifically it brings me back to my grandmothers breezeway, which is nothing more than a big large concrete slab that connected the garage to the main home. We called it a breezeway because a breeze would occasionally pass through there and in those hot, humid, sticky, South Louisiana summer months you surely do appreciate a nice breeze. I vividly can remember sitting there, or laying there. I can feel the cool concrete now. No shoes, probably no shirt. My grandmother, “Doosie”- with little education spoke fluent Cajun French as her primary language . She was a full blooded Cajun woman & never saw herself as an expert storyteller. But she was.
With 50+ plus grandchildren & great grandkid, of course I was her favorite. Or so I THOUGHT. But you see I've talked to my other cousins and they stated, “no no Marvin you weren't her favorite because you see she would tell her stories to all of us. She would give all of us that personal attention.” She would just captivate our imagination. And the vivid details were many. She was painting us word pictures not ever knowing what word pictures were. Probably 'cause she needed a break since we were so active. Then when we were good, she would take out that big old wooden handmade bucket, a box of Morton’s Salt & we poured that Morton salt around the internal container housing the milk, cream, sugar & vanilla extract and make homemade vanilla ice cream. The only thing that I've even remotely tasted that comes close to our “Breezeway Ice Cream” is Bluebell homemade vanilla. If you have something else that comes close to that taste, please reach out and tell me. Would love to give your suggestion a try.
Doosie would give us these stories. Just like her parents did with her. In those days, writing was not really a huge priority for the family. Farming, putting food on the table and making your way through the Depression was really the priority.
Now I want to stop and step back out of the story and have you think about what was just said to you in this writing. I attempted to appeal to your five senses. The “taste” of the homemade ice cream. The “feeling” of the cool, refreshing concrete. Could you perhaps “see”, a grandmother seated, telling stories with grandchildren all at her feet? Also, might you “see” a little boy with no shoes & no shirt. Hot and sweaty. It wouldn’t take too much of your imagination to “smell” that little boy & that he needed that bath come sundown. Could you “see” those grandchildren all wanting their turn to churn the ice cream handle?
Ok, you get the point.
What I'm trying to convey to you is that if you truly desire to CONNECT with your listener, we must tell stories. Stories that have specific incidences. Stories that include references to the 5 senses. Facts & statistics are important, but facts & stats do not convey & connect like a well-crafted story.
I encourage you to feel great about telling your “story”. Don’t forget that you can tell the same story 100 different ways. And you can modify the details of your main story as well. But when you tell that story it has to provoke an emotion. When creating this piece, I did not read any notes. I just relived the experience! The song took me back there to my grandmother's breezeway. Imagine if you close your eyes and you thought of granny on the Beverly Hillbillies. Essentially that same diminutive statue of a person was my grandmother. Imagine a kind-hearted, loving, devout woman. Never heard her use a really bad curse word. :>) A person that would take the time to make all of us grandchildren feel like we were the special one.
In your presentations, are you making your customers feel like they are the special one?
Or, are you hurrying through because you’re preoccupied with the end result?
Practice and construct precise, time-sensitive, relevant stories for the listener.
If you wish to ask me additional questions about our:
*upcoming Come Hell or High Sales course
*having me work with you or your people in a group coaching or workshop setting
*having me as your Keynote Speaker for your next Regional Meeting or Convention
simply reach out to the contact information provided.
You’ll be glad you did.
I highly value your feedback. I read all my emails.
Peace, love & Gumbo!
Marvin LeBlanc, LUTCF ®, CNP ®
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