The Powerful Sales Strategy You Learned (and Likely Forgot!) in Preschool
What random item from your house did you bring into preschool when it was your turn for show & tell?
You may not have realized it at the time, but this fun style of presenting yourself was actually teaching you a foundational sales strategy that delivers game-changing results.
In today’s post, I’m encouraging you to re-embrace your love of show and tell, and sharing several reasons why this sales technique must be implemented at every stage of your customer’s journey if you want to make more sales.
Read on to get examples you can start using this week to show and tell more in your business, whether you have a physical product or not.
Your sales education began in preschool
You didn't know it back in preschool, but you were learning one of THE most foundational sales strategies for your business; it’s one I still teach to my clients and use myself each and every day. Remember when it was your turn for show and tell? You’d pilfer through your house and find something you really wanted to bring to class, then you’d stand up and show it off while describing it to your peers.
Now, imagine if back then you just showed up without an item, saying you forgot it at home. But you stood up there anyway and just described it. In that situation, no one was happy. Why? Because seeing it while you were describing it was the fun part. People want to see things, feel things, absorb things. Even as preschoolers, we have an innate human need to be shown the goods. And this need is no different when it comes to sales.
You’ve got to show and tell to sell
Show and tell go hand in hand; you cannot succeed with simply one or the other.
If you start out in your communication with your audience by telling them all about you, you you, your offer’s endless components, and how it helps them, you’ll end up turning people off. There’s too much tell, no show, which cannot hold someone’s interest on its own. The opposite is also true. If you show off your goodies constantly without explanation, you’ll also be setting yourself up to lose.
If you want to make more sales, you’ve got to implement the powerful combo of show + tell.
Here are some practical examples of how this works in the real world:
When I sell potential attendees on my transformational retreats, I begin by telling: I share the details about the retreat such as where, when, and why. But that’s not enough. I’ve also got to incorporate showing by sharing some of the wins my past attendees have experienced. Showing how past attendees have overcome massive mindset blocks, repositioned their businesses for greater impact, and figured out ways to have more fun while still making money, shows those considering it what they, too, might experience if they joined in. It puts people IN the opportunity and makes it feel far more compelling by showing real world examples alongside the details of the retreat.
(BTW - for those who have been asking - I just secured September 8-11th for my next retreat. DM me over on Instagram if you want to snag one of the remaining slots! I’ll be sharing more details about this and having some past attendees join me to chat about it in a future episode, so stay tuned.)
If you own a copywriting agency, you begin by telling your potential clients about your process, the services you offer, and the results you get for people with your copy. Then you show your actual work by pulling up a client’s website, sales page, brochure, etc. that you wrote, backed by the conversion data (if you can get permission to share from your client). This is far more powerful.
If you own a photography business, which is already a very visual business, you tell about your packages and show your portfolio of past images.
If you own a marketing agency, you can tell all about the campaigns you’ve created and the results that those campaigns have delivered, then you can add power and credibility by showing the actual data specific to those campaigns (based on client approval) in your sales presentation.
No matter what your business is, there is always a way for you to go beyond just telling by showing your work and the results that you're getting for other people who have chosen to work with you.
Use the show and tell method to sell throughout the entire customer journey
Showing and telling isn’t just reserved for your sales presentations. This technique should be happening throughout the entire customer journey.
Starting at your website, you want to strategically tell with your copy and show with your images. We humans think in pictures. Get creative by using metaphors, analogies, and other descriptors to pair with images that complement them for an impactful combo. Show the results and transformations you provide to your clients.
If we think in pictures, the question you need to ask yourself is, What kind of picture am I creating for my prospects? What am I creating on a daily basis that conveys who I am, what I do, and how I can help potential clients?
This is applicable to everything from your website, your blog, your social media presence, your podcast, and everything else you present to the world. You want to ponder your buyer’s journey from start to finish and find ways to show + tell them they’re selecting the right person for the job.
Another way to go about this is to give a peek into the services you provide - let prospects sample your offer so they can see how much they want the full package.
My mentor does a “Coaching Over Coffee” segment where he allows people to see him coaching in action. By watching him coach real live students, prospects can begin to picture him coaching them, too. It makes people want more.
There are many ways you can do the same, depending on your business. It can be a free webinar, or it can be the lowest priced entry point into your funnel. What this does is it gives people a taste of what they can expect in working with you. They see your personality, your energy, and your skills at play. The goal is for them to find ways to connect with you and your services, and then seek out more.
Avoid the Yap-Yap Trap
By focusing on the show + tell method, it helps you avoid falling into the common problem of entrepreneurs, which is to start yapping - and not stop. I call it the “show up and throw up” sales technique.
They show up to an appointment or discovery call, and then they just start yapping away all about themselves and their offerings. Sometimes this happens out of nervousness. Other times, it happens because they don't have the right sales sequence or sales process (which is something I definitely help with!). Most of the time, when it's happening, they don't even realize they're doing it.
Hey, how are you?
How are you?
So tell me what you're looking for.
Oh, that's what you're looking for.
Okay. Let me tell you all about me…
It shouldn't ever go like that.
Instead, you could say something like, “Oh, that's what you're looking for, right? I actually worked with someone who was in a similar situation, and here's what they went through. And here are some of the results that they got.”
So now you’re telling AND showing the outcome.
You can also integrate this in your sales copy. You can have a headline that tells something specific about whatever it is you're offering and then shows - in descriptive language - how you do that, how you help them, what it all looks like.
Now you may be thinking that this is much easier with physical products. And the truth is, it is easier if you have a physical product to show like a candle or a bar of soap or something. Having a physical product allows you to show the actual product. But if you’re selling something that isn’t physical and that’s more of a service or experience, that doesn't mean that you get to skip the showing part. If you don't have something physical to show, it's even more important to engage your customer's different senses and give them ways to hear, feel, see, and smell your offer.
My husband, Jeffrey Gitomer, has a really great quote. He says, “When you talk about yourself, it’s bragging. But if someone else speaks highly of you, that’s proof.” This is an important reminder that customer reviews are another amazing way to show what you offer. Allow your customer’s stories to help sell your story.
How can you start this week to move beyond telling and start showing more to your clients in your business? How can you show + tell the impact you provide to your clients throughout the buyer’s journey?