At your next team meeting, take the last 5 minutes to have each person share a quick half sentence on this topic: "A specific personality of one of your contacts and how you adjust to interact with that person in a more meaningful way"
Do research on your client's competitors.What are their strengths? What challenges do they face? What must your client do to stay competitive?
Read a new article/book/blog or watch a video on your client's industry. Discover more about the environment they do business in.
For 1 of your top 3 clients, take your top 5 contacts from the org chart and fill out a Relational Grid on each person.
Write 2 arguments that will convince a data-driven person. Write 2 arguments that will convince a relationship-driven person.
Identify a decision maker you're not currently connected with and map your path to get to that person this quarter.
Profile the next client contact you'll talk to and capture their personality: How do they like to receive information? How do they make decisions?
Complete an org chart for 1 of your top 3 clients and circle a new relationship in each that you’ll connect with this quarter.
In one meeting today, when faced with a question that you DON'T have the exact answer to, resist the urge to take back the spotlight and follow up with one short open question to deepen the dialogue before you respond.
In one meeting today, when faced with a question that you DO have the exact answer to, resist the urge to take back the spotlight and follow up with one short open question to practice your muscle memory of this technique in a controlled environment.
To strengthen networking, use Short Open Questions at the water cooler with colleagues to go deeper than the usual small talk.
Watch a TV or video interview conducted by a famous host (Larry King, Oprah, Stephen Colbert, etc.). What questions does the interviewer ask to promote the dialogue? Check how good they are based on what information they elicit.
Observe and reflect on the questioning style of one of your top executives.
Make a list of eight default Short Open Questions that could be used in multiple scenarios.
For the first few minutes of your next client interaction, use at least two Short Open Questions (no statements, no agenda) to drive dialogue.
In your next meeting, have a colleague measure how long you spend talking and how long listening.
Discuss with a colleague and generate a list of five "universal" benefits of your product or service. These are the level-3 "big picture" benefits that cater to the needs of your every client.
For one of your bottom half clients, create client centric benefits that illustrate the power of your company's product or service. Start with the simple features but then work to the 3rd-level of benefits.
Teach a colleague why the technique "benefits over features" works and how to create a level- 3 "big picture" benefit. Have them report to you when they have used the technique successfully.
For 1 of your top 3 clients, create client-centric benefits that illustrate the power of your company's product or service. Start with the simple features but then work to the 3rd level of benefits.
Take the most common product in your portfolio and create a 60-second pitch that includes two components: S.A.V.E. Data Insight and Benefits over Features.
Use a “big picture” benefit in the subject line of an email to a client.
Use an argument based on benefits over features to convince friends to visit a place you want to go to.
Record yourself talking about your product in your next client meeting or call. Identify how much time you spend on features and how much on benefits.
Rank your most common statistics for any one of your clients. Which stats are lower priority, possibly cluttering your message, and could be eliminated to focus on the more impactful data insights?
Identify two interesting facts and data analogies from current TV or video ads.
At the end of your next team meeting, take 5 minutes to brainstorm and create one visual & emotional analogy to convey a commonly used complex concept or data insight.
Research and prepare a "client-centric" statistic that will resonate in your client's mind because it is focused on them and not directly on your company.
Watch a documentary or a learning show for kids on history, biology, astronomy or chemistry. Identify which analogies the show uses to present data and help viewers learn a new insight.
Of your most commonly used statistics, identify: 1 that is easiest for your client to understand 1 that is most complex, unknown, or difficult to understand that could benefit from a supporting sentence to help illustrate it.
Discuss with someone on your Marketing team and learn how they use visual & emotional analogies to convey complex concepts or to position your company and its products.
Identify 1 of the top 3 data insights that you use regularly and construct a visual & emotional supporting sentence (analogies with food, vacation, space, the human body, sports, animals...) to connect your data with something the audience already knows.
Think of a person who has a very different viewpoint from yours on any topic (politics, environment, economics, sports, etc.). Individually, write down 3 reasons why they might have such an opinion, from their point-of-view.
Think of a tough request your department has made or will make to another department. Prepare how you can Validate & Pivot an objection they might have.
Practice Validate & Pivot with a colleague for the following examples: going to the gym, eating vegetables, waking up at 4am, being a volunteer, etc.
Brainstorm with a colleague a list of 15 objections that clients may have, no matter how ridiculous they are or sound.
Next time you present something at an internal meeting, "Flip" a tough question back to the group or to a colleague to give yourself an extra moment to frame your response.
Reconnect with a client that had a previous objection, stalling the partnership. Ignite a new dialogue with them. Use your Short, Open Questions to build trust. Have your Validate & Pivot statements ready. Refrain from saying "no" or "yes, but..."
Refrain from instinctively responding to the next question someone asks you immediately. Use a pause, or a Short Open Question, or a Flip or a Validate & Pivot to start framing a more powerful response.
In a fun debate with a friend with a different opinion (Marvel vs. DC, camping vs. the beach...), use Validate & Pivot to move them 1 notch closer towards appreciating your viewpoint.
Choose 1 of your bottom-half clients and map a list of three micro-commitments that could engage them into buying more of your product/service
Create a running list of Active Asks you can have in your back pocket for universal scenarios related to your products.
Teach another Sales Rep the mindset of "Don't be afraid to firmly tell a client what to do. You're actually doing them a favor!" Have them report to you on the first time they use the bold mindset.
Plan your client interactions for one day and list one specific micro-commitment for each client.
Teach another Sales Rep the components of an actionable micro-commitment. Have them report to you on the first time they use the technique.
Choose a non-work product, place or service that you like but others don't. Invite someone to try it. If they say no, find a smaller or more agreeable pre-step for them to commit to.
Think of a home project you have not gotten around to starting. Come up with the simplest next activity that needs to get done (buy paint on the way home, borrow a tool, call a plumber, etc.). Do it or Active Ask someone else to help with this simple "next step."
Active Ask a family member, colleague or friend for one micro-commitment today regarding health & fitness or personal finance.