Do you oversell your product or service? Do you sometimes inundate your prospect with reams of features, facts and data? You know what I mean: go overboard.
Or are you just the opposite? Do you tend to undersell your product or service? Do you sometimes minimize and trim the details of your offer? You know what I mean here: you skimp.
Most tele-sales reps fall into one or the other category. But the real problem is how much information is too much and how little information is too little? It’s rather subjective.
The Rule of 3
In fact, it’s not.
It seems that the ideal ‘number’ of points to make when communicating to a client or prospect is three. Three is the magic number that strikes a fine balance between too little information and too much.
Why is this?
Well, naturally enough, there are three reasons. First, making three points (e.g., providing three features, or three explanations, of three ideas) is an easy number for most listeners to absorb and comprehend. Three is a manageable amount of information that can be easily remembered. Anything more than that gets confusing, cluttered and ultimately lost …left unremembered. In fact, beyond three and clients tend to turnoff. They are either bored or they sense it is too complex.
Second, three points or features or items create a sense of weight and value. Think of weights being placed a scale: one… two…three. The balance shifts and one gets a sense of significance to your offer. Three feels and sounds important; hefty but not heavy. While only one key point can be significant in selling and make a difference, two more points simply pads your bets.
Finally, three is a manageable number for you to remember and deliver with conviction and authority. This does not mean you should only know three key points about your product or service. There might be five, six, seven or more key points that you may have to haul out depending on the situation. What it means is that you should only deliver three of those points at any one time. This means you can streamline your sales message. Your call is shorter and clearer. Clients will like it and so will you.
The Secret of Great Speakers
Listen to some of the great speakers and communicators of our time. Read speeches by great leaders. You will notice that most of them will focus on three central points… no more. These people understood their listener and human nature. They understood that the average individual can only manage so much detail. This is why their plans, strategies, suggestions and ideas are very often 3-point platforms.
3 Ways to Use the Rule of 3
Use the rule of three when developing your sales message. For example, if you have a unique feature regarding a software product that you sell, provide the buyer with three key points about that feature. This makes the feature significant without making it confusing. If your entire product is unique, build a case with three key selling points and/or three benefits.
If your prospect says, ’why your product, why your company or why you’, have a three point reply. Simply say, “Good question. There are three reasons why you should consider us.” If your prospect is curious about who uses your product or if they want references, give them three names.
One of the most effective ways to get a prospect engaged and listening is to say, “Mark, I have just three quick questions I would like to ask.” Most prospects will grant you those three questions because they are manageable. But if they are GOOD questions – questions that have been well thought out- you’ll discover they will allow you more. But if they don’t, at least you’ll have three good pieces of information.
Of course, what the Rule of 3 really does is it makes you THINK ahead of time. It gets you to PLAN and it forces you to be PREPARED when the moment arrives. The Rule of 3 makes you more focused and articulate when selling. It literally will make you a better, more effective and successful sales person. Use it.