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Verbal Software

July 19, 2004
Filed under Uncategorized

Positioning is not about exaggeration or any type of misrepresentation, but about taking the opportunity to accentuate and leverage the positives in language that is clear and persuasive to the audience.

By Linda Richardson

We have identified Six Critical Skills™ as fundamental to sales excellence. The Six Critical Skills are Presence, Relating, Questioning, Listening, Positioning, and Checking. How well salespeople execute these fundamental skills is one of the major differentiations among the good, very good, and superb salespeople.
If asked which is the most important, many salespeople would say listening or questioning. Of course, these skills are critical, as are all of the Six Critical Skills.
Nevertheless, the one skill that I see the superb salespeople excel in is positioning. In light of my book title, Stop Telling, Start Selling, this may seem odd because positioning is the “telling” skill. But it is really a contradiction because positioning (vs. telling) is the end product of questioning and listening. Positioning is not possible without questioning, listening, and preparation.
When you position something, you customize how you describe it to incorporate your client’s needs. Your words shape the perception of the value you bring and help what you say resonate with the client. Positioning makes you more persuasive. Positioning is your verbal software and it is the opposite of generic.
Some people intuitively position. For example, when Donald Trump was asked by Matt Lauer on the Today Show if he were surprised that the first episode of his show The Apprentice attracted 20 million viewers, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied with Matt Lauer’s complimentary questions. He instinctively, without missing a beat, said how great it was to be the #1 show, and then added on that there were 20 million viewers. Positioning is not about exaggeration or any type of misrepresentation, but about taking the opportunity to accentuate and leverage the positives in language that is clear and persuasive to the audience.
Once you understand your client’s objectives and needs, rather than tell, position:
Acknowledge the client’s needs. Begin with the client’s needs, not “Our product/service …”
Shape the recommendation by adding structure. To ensure you (client need), “there are two (or three or four…) key ways … ”
Use tailored benefits, not just features.
Use your client’s language.
Be concise and clear.
Ask for feedback by checking. “How does that sound?”

By tailoring your message, you will be more persuasive. Torque up your listening, ask more
questions, and take notes. Incorporate your customer’s words, needs, and perspective into
what you say.
The best of the best salespeople do this all the time while they are positioning their organization, role, purpose, or preparation, to the questions they ask, to their solution (so it really is a solution and not a product pitch) throughout to the close.
Positioning is a skill every salesperson can master. Many people feel working on the Six Critical Skills is too basic. But, in fact, it is in flawless execution of the basics that makes for excellence.
Positioning is the art of selling. It is the finesse. The rule of thumb is a salesperson should position everything he or she says!

VERBAL SOFTWARE

Positioning is not about exaggeration or any type of misrepresentation, but about taking the opportunity to accentuate and leverage the positives in language that is clear and persuasive to the audience.

By Linda Richardson

We have identified Six Critical Skills™ as fundamental to sales excellence. The Six Critical Skills are Presence, Relating, Questioning, Listening, Positioning, and Checking. How well salespeople execute these fundamental skills is one of the major differentiations among the good, very good, and superb salespeople.
If asked which is the most important, many salespeople would say listening or questioning. Of course, these skills are critical, as are all of the Six Critical Skills.
Nevertheless, the one skill that I see the superb salespeople excel in is positioning. In light of my book title, Stop Telling, Start Selling, this may seem odd because positioning is the “telling” skill. But it is really a contradiction because positioning (vs. telling) is the end product of questioning and listening. Positioning is not possible without questioning, listening, and preparation.
When you position something, you customize how you describe it to incorporate your client’s needs. Your words shape the perception of the value you bring and help what you say resonate with the client. Positioning makes you more persuasive. Positioning is your verbal software and it is the opposite of generic.
Some people intuitively position. For example, when Donald Trump was asked by Matt Lauer on the Today Show if he were surprised that the first episode of his show The Apprentice attracted 20 million viewers, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied with Matt Lauer’s complimentary questions. He instinctively, without missing a beat, said how great it was to be the #1 show, and then added on that there were 20 million viewers. Positioning is not about exaggeration or any type of misrepresentation, but about taking the opportunity to accentuate and leverage the positives in language that is clear and persuasive to the audience.
Once you understand your client’s objectives and needs, rather than tell, position:
Acknowledge the client’s needs. Begin with the client’s needs, not “Our product/service …”
Shape the recommendation by adding structure. To ensure you (client need), “there are two (or three or four…) key ways … ”
Use tailored benefits, not just features.
Use your client’s language.
Be concise and clear.
Ask for feedback by checking. “How does that sound?”

By tailoring your message, you will be more persuasive. Torque up your listening, ask more
questions, and take notes. Incorporate your customer’s words, needs, and perspective into
what you say.
The best of the best salespeople do this all the time while they are positioning their organization, role, purpose, or preparation, to the questions they ask, to their solution (so it really is a solution and not a product pitch) throughout to the close.
Positioning is a skill every salesperson can master. Many people feel working on the Six Critical Skills is too basic. But, in fact, it is in flawless execution of the basics that makes for excellence.
Positioning is the art of selling. It is the finesse. The rule of thumb is a salesperson should position everything he or she says!

Positioning is not about exaggeration or any type of misrepresentation, but about taking the opportunity to accentuate and leverage the positives in language that is clear and persuasive to the audience.

By Linda Richardson

We have identified Six Critical Skills™ as fundamental to sales excellence. The Six Critical Skills are Presence, Relating, Questioning, Listening, Positioning, and Checking. How well salespeople execute these fundamental skills is one of the major differentiations among the good, very good, and superb salespeople.
If asked which is the most important, many salespeople would say listening or questioning. Of course, these skills are critical, as are all of the Six Critical Skills.
Nevertheless, the one skill that I see the superb salespeople excel in is positioning. In light of my book title, Stop Telling, Start Selling, this may seem odd because positioning is the “telling” skill. But it is really a contradiction because positioning (vs. telling) is the end product of questioning and listening. Positioning is not possible without questioning, listening, and preparation.
When you position something, you customize how you describe it to incorporate your client’s needs. Your words shape the perception of the value you bring and help what you say resonate with the client. Positioning makes you more persuasive. Positioning is your verbal software and it is the opposite of generic.
Some people intuitively position. For example, when Donald Trump was asked by Matt Lauer on the Today Show if he were surprised that the first episode of his show The Apprentice attracted 20 million viewers, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied with Matt Lauer’s complimentary questions. He instinctively, without missing a beat, said how great it was to be the #1 show, and then added on that there were 20 million viewers. Positioning is not about exaggeration or any type of misrepresentation, but about taking the opportunity to accentuate and leverage the positives in language that is clear and persuasive to the audience.
Once you understand your client’s objectives and needs, rather than tell, position:
Acknowledge the client’s needs. Begin with the client’s needs, not “Our product/service …”
Shape the recommendation by adding structure. To ensure you (client need), “there are two (or three or four…) key ways … ”
Use tailored benefits, not just features.
Use your client’s language.
Be concise and clear.
Ask for feedback by checking. “How does that sound?”

By tailoring your message, you will be more persuasive. Torque up your listening, ask more
questions, and take notes. Incorporate your customer’s words, needs, and perspective into
what you say.
The best of the best salespeople do this all the time while they are positioning their organization, role, purpose, or preparation, to the questions they ask, to their solution (so it really is a solution and not a product pitch) throughout to the close.
Positioning is a skill every salesperson can master. Many people feel working on the Six Critical Skills is too basic. But, in fact, it is in flawless execution of the basics that makes for excellence.
Positioning is the art of selling. It is the finesse. The rule of thumb is a salesperson should position everything he or she says!

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