Say No To “I”


Have you gotten e-mail out of the blue like the one below?

“Hi Brian

I wanted to check in with you now that the world is back at work full force. “My Company” is full service communications firm with expertise in brand development, digital/interactive services as well as, identity and design.

As always “No” is a fine answer but I’ll ask the question.

Is there anything on your horizon that we can help you with?”

The author of this e-mail lead with an “I”, the message is now all about him and what he can do. He never took any time to try and understand what I am trying to accomplish, fix or avoid. He made it about his company and lost my interest. The result, I end up treating his message like the countless other spam I receive everyday.

Let’s try it again, but this time focus the message around “you”.

“Hi Brian,

As you know your brand is one of your company’s most important assets. Managing that brand and making sure your message clearly reaches your customers is essential. Branded companies such as yours work with “Company Name” because of our expertise in brand development, digital/interactive services as well as, identity and design. Whether you need help with the fine or broad strokes of your message, we can help. Where should we go from here?”

Boom, the above message is now about me and a potential situation that I may be trying to accomplish fix or avoid. They have my attention.

Bring It On BlogWell…

Sernovitz and the Gaspedal crew via SocialMedia.org are bringing a cool event to SanFran on June 20th…


Yours Truly will be there…

… and I’ll have a tabletop, signing copies of my new book:

Smackdown! How to get the public to perceive you’re still a man, even though your wife beats you at home.

Should be a best seller on Amazon.

Sernovitz was kind enough to send me a discount code for 33% off, drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you da info.


It’s NEVER About Price…

… it’s about a mis-understanding of value, or a Basic Issue.


[Note: Many in the MH community will argue that it’s ALWAYS about price for those of us in the field, but that academically the above holds true. Regardless, please read on for my point]

Today, I was involved in a meeting where the customer told us, “Your price is too high.”

After preparing a GST, asking questions, and practicing Golden Silence, we were able to drill down on and understand the Customer’s Concept… that is, what he’s looking to accomplish, fix, or avoid.

Customer initially says you cost too much; after meeting we now understand the following, as spoken to us by the Economic Buyer:

“We’re concerned about margin erosion, b/c we’ve been using the high profits from your product line to compensate for lower margins on our commodity sales.”

That is extremely important information that will help resolve the customer’s pains, and develop an effective action plan.

Boom!  The POWER of Questions lives on…

What’s in Your Sales Toolkit?

Miller Heiman recently released their excellent Annual Sales Best Practices Study, where they detail the best practices of world class selling organizations. It’s a GOOD READ.

You can find a link to the executive summary of the report here: http://www.millerheiman.com/2010research.

Some of the study’s key highlights include:

  • 97 percent of World-Class Sales Organizations know why their customers buy from them.
  • World-Class Sales Organizations are four times more likely to consistently utilize comprehensive prospecting plans.
  • 97 percent of World-Class Sales Organizations have an organizational structure that allows them to adapt to customer’s changing needs.
  • World-Class Sales Organizations are four times more likely to spend adequate time coaching their salespeople.
  • 90 percent World-Class Sales Organizations agree that their salespeople have a solid understanding of our customer’s business needs.
  • World-Class Sales Organizations are four times more likely to have a formal process for executive-to-executive selling.

As many of you are aware, we’re Miller Heiman clients, and they’ve served us VERY well over the years; I’m more than happy to speak with any of you regarding our experiences. craig@theemptybin.com

Um, What’s Golden Silence?

Last post we talked about the ‘ol “Show Up & Throw Up“… and the importance of following this: “Stop Talking. Ask Questions. Practice Golden Silence.

So, what exactly IS Golden Silence? Well, it’s easy:


Ask your great question, wait for the Buying Influence (BI) to answer… and once the BI has responded, wait and additional 3-4 seconds. Why the second pause after the BI answers? Two reasons:

  1. It demonstrates to the BI that you’re actually LISTENING to and PROCESSING the important information the BI is sharing with you;
  2. As a general rule, people will elaborate on their initial response given the chance! So, give it to them, ’cause you’ll get even more information critical to your sale!

Golden Silence: don’t leave home without it.