Back in February of this year, I was introduced to Paul Russell via a mutual friend who said, “You two need to know one another.” Paul has built a very successful company, ej4, that provides digital training solutions to very large corporations such as Pepsi, Dr Pepper Snapple and Anheuser-Busch. Ostensibly, our mutual contact thought ej4 could benefit from the inclusion of networking-related content from Coffee Lunch Coffee.
Paul and I met – we had 30 minutes scheduled at a great local coffee joint across from his office. Our interaction was highly energized and fast paced. At about minute 25, Paul said, “Well, great, I’d like to hire you.” The look of surprise and confusion on my face was obvious… I had no idea what he was talking about since that was not the tone or nature of our discussion. He went on, “I need you as a coach. A book coach!” Essentially, he had had five false starts on outlining a brilliant set of tools that he affectionately refers to as the “STUN Toolkit.” He wanted someone to hold him accountable for finally getting the book written and published. I wasn’t convinced either of us was entirely up to the task, but we dove in, headlong and set out a purpose, a process and a structure for the book. Our work together began March 1st and by June 30th, Paul turned in to me the final chapter. An intensive period of editing and copy-editing ensued, coupled with design, photography and illustration work. On November 1st, I’m so proud to share, we published STUN! Selling. I’m about as proud of this book as I am of my own!
Based on more than 30 years of sales experience, in STUN! Selling, Paul shares his approach to successfully closing customers. STUN is an acronym that stands for “Satisfy Their Unmet Need;” he contends that by satisfying your customers’ unmet needs and adopting STUN as your sales process, you’ll turn tough customers into easier customers, close faster, stop customer nibbling, overcome the price objection and much more. You – and your customers – will be STUNned!
In the book, Paul handily outlines his 15 tools for sales success – I myself have adopted many of them and fully believe in their usefulness and relevance in business and in life. Here’s one example that has particular applicability to my own topic of effective networking: Speaking “Customer.”
Speaking “Customer” refers to this: People are more receptive to sellers who “speak their language” by referring to terms and conditions of the sale using vocabulary familiar and customary to them. Don’t talk your talk; talk their talk. Customers appreciate sellers who speak their language. These customers will tell sellers about their problems, what they need, what makes them happy and what is really important to them. Conversely, they get snippy with salespeople who don’t speak their language – in fact, these customers turn up their noses at ignorant sellers, often steering them wrong and treating them as if they are not worthy of the customer’s time.
So, learn to speak your customer’s language. When in France, speak French. If you don’t know French, take someone with you who does. When in the world of insurance, speak insurance. When in the world of banking, speak banking. When in the world of motor oil, speak motor oil. If you don’t speak insurance, banking or motor oil, find someone who does speak that language to go with you and let them take the lead.
By showing your customer – or contact or other colleague – that you are like them, that you understand them, that you want to help satisfy their unmet need, you are more likely to win their trust and, ultimately, their business. So, go on… get out there and STUN!