Metaphorically Selling

Metaphorically SellingMetaphorically-Selling

How to Use the Magic of Metaphors to Sell,

Persuade, & Explain Anything to Anyone

by Anne Miller

Buyers are people, too. And people think in metaphors: “You’ll like it because it’s like such and such” your friend will say. An advertiser said pork is “the other white meat.” This book from Anne Miller can help you consciously develop metaphors to help you with your most important selling issues.

Years ago, I worked for Hearst Magazines on selling Detroit automakers on the concept that women bought SUVs. It should have been easy. You could sit at any stoplight and look to your right or left and see a woman driving a Jeep Cherokee or Chevy Blazer. (Remember those?) But advertising planners thought they had to target men, preferably in outdoor magazines, to sell the original SUVs. I was selling women’s magazines at the time, and I could never get my potential clients over that hurdle.

We have all been there. We see the logic of our proposal, but the client doesn’t. Client and agency contacts have a pre-existing point of view; they don’t see the world of media the way we do or they’d already be customers. But how can you break them loose from the pre-conceived notions they cling to? One of the principles I teach in many sales situations is get the client’s agreement on easy things, before you try to get it on the hard things. Metaphors are the way to do that in the most powerful way. Metaphors work in advertising sales for two reasons:

First, they are memorable. And in most cases, even when you convince the person you are talking with, that person probably has to convince his boss or colleague or client of the same proposition. Giving them a metaphor gives them a weapon, an easily memorable way to carry your message. For instance, both business and consumer magazines in Texas, California and New York have tried to win business from “national” advertisers. When their sales person calls on the media planner who has instructions to buy national media, they have to not only change the prospect’s mind but give their prospect the ammunition to sell the concept up through the agency or client. Texas Monthly and New York Magazine have done this for years, successfully making the case that Texas or New York “is as big as, and more important, than most countries.”

Second, advertising sales is very conceptual. Since advertising services can’t be weighed or measured as well as clients would like, there is a very big element of opinion in the advertising purchase decision. High value advertising sales is not about showing a client that your CPM is better than the competition; it is about getting clients to make a conceptual leap to your view.

This is why Anne Miller’s Metaphorically Selling is soooo worth it. It also helps that Miller has done a lot of sales training for publishing companies. So she knows sales from a media point of view, and uses examples that are relatable advertising sales people. The example of Nick the media planner at Monster Advertising agency will hit home for many a media sales person.

The cover blurb on Metaphorically Selling says “How to use the Magic of Metaphors…” You’ll agree it is like magic when you find the right metaphor to turn prospect after prospect to your point of view. Buy it here.