Cato "won" because he did 5 simple things: (1) He decided upon a concrete objective.
(2) He formulated a crystal clear communication to share his message.
(3) He aimed his crystal clear communication at folks that could do exactly that for which he was calling.
(4) He appended this crystal clear communication to every larger message he conveyed, to all of his speeches, and I presume, conversations.
(5) He repeated his crystal clear communication, without fail, never questioning its merit.
As I say in the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers," if we do anything enough, we'll get good at it; Do more, and we become experts; Surpass that amount, and we become legends, and absolutely unstoppable.
But let's apply Cato's wisdom to sales and service, shall we? (1) What's the key objective for a customer service call? No, it isn't making the call shorter, so you can get to the next call, unless you are using a special call path designed for that reason.
The objective is to produce recommitment, a stated vow by the customer that he or she is going to do more business with you.
Plus, we need to arouse the right tone of voice to confirm that vow.
Once you have clearly defined your goal you begin to separate your service from everyone else's.
Different aim=Different results! (2) The great majority of sales scripts and customer service conversations are scattershot affairs, undisciplined exercises in "spraying and praying.
" They confuse more than clarify, while wasting everyone's time.
Much of my telemarketing speaking and customer service consulting is aimed at simplification, cutting away the fluff and confusion.
Michaelangelo said he didn't create his perfect work, the statue of David.
He merely released it from the marble block in which it was captive.
Leonardo Da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
" Do a review of all of your "standard" customer-facing messages, and improve them, now.
(3) Salespeople incessantly try to sell to people that are the wrong people, to those that are unqualified to buy, and often to those that are hostile toward the buying process.
Cato's message was aimed at Senators who could authorize a war, and it was approved.
Had he urged the same action in the streets of citizens that had no genuine power, he would have gone hoarse without dispatching a single chariot.
It takes a better strategy to identify and then to effectively communicate with the empowered, but it's worth the effort.
(4) "What do you do?" is a question that we hear, everywhere.
Do you have a proven reply that informs and persuades in every medium? Are you saying one thing at networking mixers, another in your public relations, and a third at your kids' Little League games? Cato wouldn't.
(5) Repeat, repeat, and repeat again your crystal clear communication.
You're not just convincing others; you're reinforcing yourself! Especially in a challenging economy, we need to marshal every advantage.
One of the most overlooked is creating clarity.
If we do that, we can build sales and help customers, immensely, and profit handsomely, too.