5 Min Read | Feb 3, 2021

As Maya Angelou suggests, people remember how you made them feel over the content of what you said. They remember what you believe in over what you do or sell. And they remember the story or narrative of a past engagement over the differentiators or outcomes you’ve helped your clients achieve. Let’s leverage this knowledge to better connect with our customers and help them to connect with our product.

Discovery Call Goal: Clients Feel Seen & Heard

Potential customers care about two things: do you understand them and can you help them. Discovery calls help customers to answer these questions. This is where we get to learn about what really matters to our customer:

what their values are,

what their pains are, 

their motivations, 

their goals. 

Often,  salespeople’s goal in this call is to qualify their customer; fulfilling their own agenda over the customer’s agenda. The discovery call sets the tone for the entire relationship and it is your chance to build trust. The information uncovered will help to position your products and services around the customer’s specific needs, create relevant urgency, and anchor their motivations to the close. Making this subtle shift in your discovery calls will bring a radical shift in your sales numbers while reducing the time to close.

Potential Discovery Call Questions:

“What matters to you about the success of this project (or whatever your solution solves for)?”

“What are your values/ motivations ie. security, sustainability, efficiency”

“What would it feel like if X problem vanished?”

For more on this check out my last blog, “Connecting Authentically On a Distributed Sales Team”.

What You Believe in Resonates

We all know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s profoundly inspiring and enrolling speech which started with, “I have a dream”. He actually tossed his prepared speech to the side and when he spoke from his heart those are the words he uttered. Why? Because he knew he needed to resonate with the crowd to make a real change and no prepared speech is going to do that, unless you are Amanda Gorman, of course. Most black leaders speak from the heart, take Ibram X. Kendi for example, author of, How to Be an Antiracist. He vulnerably shares his awakening into anti-racism, exposing his humanity and in turn connecting with and empowering others to do their work. 

People can relate to what you believe in, the visions you see for the world, the why behind what keeps you doing what you do every damn day- essentially, your humanity. People’s buying decisions are also an expression of their values. Speak. To. Them. If someone values environmental sustainability and supporting black owned businesses then they might buy from black owned eco-friendly clothing brands, for example. We can’t position our differentiators without knowing what matters to the customer and what you believe in resonates way more than what you do, so speak to it! 

We Remember in Stories 

I was recently helping a client of mine revamp his sales deck. He had an outcomes slide sharing all the stats of their past client engagements. It’s understandable that he would think this is a convincing slide given our performative cultural norms. Our capitalist society conditions us to value things like ROI, titles, accomplishments, achievements, production etc. I talk more about the cultural norm of performativity in a previous blog on how we as white people can contribute to cultures of anti-racism. Personally, I felt my eyes glaze over- “achieved 200% increase in email revenue.” There wasn’t even a logo or brand associated with who got this outcome, let alone how and why. 

While these outcome stats might be impressive and exciting, they are quick to be forgotten right alongside “what” it is that you do. We revamped his presentation to integrate a narrative around what happens to companies who don’t use his product and what happens to companies that do by pulling in news headlines and the corresponding story. Check out this article, “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen” to learn more about this tactic. 

Narratives help clients anchor to possibility and envision what outcomes might look like for them. Don’t be sucked into what you “think” your client wants to hear and see where a story or narrative might speak more to their heart. 

Here’s a great template for leveraging narrative in your testimonials as well. 

1. State problem “I went in search of help for X.”

2. I chose to work with (your company) initially because I saw X in their product and I knew they could help me with Y.

3. Together we did X and accomplished Y (result).  

4. This is now who I know (your company) to be. 

People Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

It takes more energy to make a change than it does to do things the way they have always been done. For this reason, even if it makes more logical sense to use your product, your potential customers won’t make a change solely based on logic. If customers can connect to your product emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially then they are sure to relate to your solution and be motivated enough to make a change. Because at the end of the day, “people will never forget how you made them feel”– Maya Angelou. 

Call to Action

I believe that inclusion and service are the keys to unlocking breakthrough growth. In my efforts to help sales leaders authentically close more deals, I am offering complimentary 1:1 sessions to support black sales leaders, entrepreneurs, job seekers and dreamers to craft their mission statement. 

I am on a mission to strike the elevator “pitch” and empower people to speak from their values and beliefs and enroll potential clients into *conversations* about them. You will walk away with a clear mission statement and an outlined elevator conversation that is sure to enroll more clients and close more deals (or create more job opportunities). 

Who: Black entrepreneurs/ small biz owners, sales leaders, job seekers, dreamers

What: Revamp Your Elevator Conversation Coaching Session

Where: Zoom 

When: 1.5 hrs

Complimentary service ($200 value)

Book your session today! >>>Scheduling link<<<

While this article and offering is inspired by Black History Month, this offering doesn’t end on March 1st and neither does my commitment to creating more inclusive sales teams and confronting my own whiteness. Let’s all continue to call in, rise up, and heal everyday and every month of the year. 

Sarah is a Sales Coach and Consultant helping sales teams and entrepreneurs authentically achieve breakthrough growth. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the heart of her approach. Learn more about Sarah here and/ or connect on LinkedIn.