Speaking Their Language

3 replies
I've gotten plenty of snickers and teased on WF for my sometimes "verbose" language and it definitely gave me something to think about.

I just started targeting new car dealers a couple weeks ago. Previously was going after smaller businesses...restaurants, car repair, home improvement, etc.

Had my 1st 3 appts this week all with big dealers and what I noticed is that the level of communication skills and language was a lot different than I'm used to. I heard things like retention metrics, roi, strategy, business development, etc.

Of course I've run into the opposite. Extremely wealthy and successful business people that don't even know what roi means.

So I think its good to be able to communicate at a high level if you're targeting bigger businesses because you're probably going to run into that a lot more. If you're not a good communicator, I think you reduce your opportunity quite a bit with a lot of bigger companies. That said, I think its important to speak their language. If you're smart and you let them do the talking first, that should tell you what you need to know.

Btw, 3 really good appts. this week. I think my chances are pretty good to at least get 1 good size deal and 1 small deal.
#language #speaking
  • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks

    The first appt I used what I consider a fairly creative strategy that I probably learned somewhere along the way. I called my dad's car salesman and left him a message asking him to call me but didn't mention why. When he called back I picked his brain about the industry and their dealership because at that point I didn't know much about either. Then I asked who I might talk to about marketing. He told me to call the gm.

    When I called, I got him on the phone and the first thing I said is something like "hi Tom I was talking with my Dad and he recomended I call his car salesman John Smith and John recommended I give you a call". If my dad hadn't been a customer would I have gotten the appt? Who knows but its a great strategy regardless. Then I said I'm a "business growth specialist" and was looking at some of your marketing campaigns, I see a lot of opportunity for improvement and would be happy to share my ideas with you." I also told him it wouldn't be a sales pitch and I wasn't trying to sell him anything. And I wasn't I was just trying to start a relationship and see how I might help them.

    So there was no pitch. It was strictly consultative. Since I don't have a whole lot of credentials and experience, I went through my "instant expert creator" list of 20 questions. Let him talk, talk and talk some more. After that, I started throwing out ideas where he could make improvements. Some of which they could do themselves and some I could provide. I mentioned one in particular that really got his interest...call tracking of their ad campaigns. But didn't mention that I offered the service. When I was leaving I said "by the way do you want me to send some info on the call tracking". He said yes.

    The potential big deal was the exact same approach except it was a straight cold call. There's a lot more potential with this guy because he's got a serious pain point...he needs to sell more used cars, realizes all the dealers are doing the same marketing and is looking for something different. I gave him different. Strategies such as using lead magnets, youtube video marketing, website lead capture and none of his competitors are using and pretty much blew him away. He never heard most of this stuff and has talked to comcast, YP, etc.. He asked me to put together my top 5 strategies and a proposal.

    The other one was a straight cold call but this one I directly pitched targeted online display ads...just kind of testing to see which strategies are going to work best. They're obviously interested or he wouldn't have seen me. No deal but following up early next week.

    What a great experience this was. It gave me a lot of confidence for sure. Thank god I took the time to get my ducks in a row and look like a professional...things like a professional site, business cards, presentations, my own promo videos, etc. Otherwise I don't think I would much of a chance with any of them. If you get in front of big players you better look like a pro or you're just wasting your time IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Yes there is a big difference between a Mom&Pop business owner and a hired gun college grad manager.

    Mom&Pop is concerned with the state of their bank account. They are likely doing everything task-wise...picking up supplies, delivering services, managing people, counting inventory, doing the bookkeeping.

    The hired gun is interested in More Bigger Better Faster. They delegate. As long as something gives them an ROI, they probably want to know more. If it saves them time personally, even better.

    Start off talking about ROI to a Mom&Pop and you may not get much farther. Say "I want to help you make more money" to a hired gun, and you're likely to get a wry smile and niced out the door for your trouble.

    Mom&Pop don't have standard procedures (watch an episode of "Dog and Beth On The Hunt" and you'll see this in the bail bonds field). Terms like "process improvement" scare them.

    I come from the hired gun school and it is tough for me to speak Mom&Pop. Learned this after I moved from urban Canada to the rural US. Some people don't like to hear these differences, but they're a fact. One is not better than the other, but you need to know your audience.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Start off talking about ROI to a Mom&Pop and you may not get much farther. Say "I want to help you make more money" to a hired gun, and you're likely to get a wry smile and niced out the door for your trouble.
      That's awesome Jason. What a great distinction.

      I think another distinction that needs to be considered is whether they are a true entreprenuer or a professional. Big difference. Most dentists, lawyers, doctors, etc. aren't going to understand fancy business lingo even though they're well educated.
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