May 1


How To Successfully “Plant” Your Message In The Hearts Of Your Prospects

By Michael Q. Pink

May 1, 2024

Your message or offer is like a seed that you want to plant in your prospect’s mind and heart so it takes root and delivers the promised value proposition.

Those 9 words contain so much power, so much wisdom for anyone wanting to increase their sales and grow their business. But you have to look below the surface.

Yesterday, I talked about the first two words of 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted. Apollos water, but God gave the increase.” but was only able to illuminate two of the ten considerations one should factor in, when evaluating performance and planning for growth. (Seed quantity and quality)

Today, I’m going to share with you the remaining eight factors that contribute to a successful seed planting both in your garden and in your marketplace with potential customers.

3. Timing: Seeds should be planted at the appropriate time of year for your region and and the specific plant species. In business, there’s an expression “timing is everything”. When it comes to sales and marketing, the more accurately you can time your sales call or offer with the circumstances that most call for what you’re offering, the better. Don’t sell snow shovels in the summer. 

In sales, the question you need to answer for yourself, perhaps in the qualifying stage is whether this is the right time for them? Their life circumstances may indicate it’s not the right time to purchase your offer. Even though you may well still be able to make the sale, doesn’t mean you should. Ask the questions that will reveal whether the timing is right for your offer, before trying to make the sale.

4. Soil Preparation: Prepare the soil by loosening it to allow for proper root development and drainage. Remove weeds, rocks, and debris that may hinder seedling growth. Loosening the soil makes it receptive to the seed. In sales, you loosen the soil of their heart with questions that build rapport and earn trust.

Those questions will also reveal the hard places (rocks) that need to be acknowledged and removed, along with the debris (lies or misunderstandings they believe to be true) and weeds (non-productive, life sucking, resource hogging pursuits). That happens best when your dialog is focused on them, asking questions from the Moses Questioning Strategy and listening to learn.

5. Planting Depth: Plant seeds at the correct depth according to the instructions provided on the seed packet. Planting too deep or too shallow can affect germination rates and seedling development. There is a delicate balance in sales between going deep into the details or remaining on the surface.

Two factors should inform your decision… the personality type and the complexity of your offer. Some buyers, especially CEO’s are very bottom line oriented. They don’t want the detail… just the bottom line. Others want the stories about the product and what it will do. Typically a technical buyer cares little about stories or bottom line. They want to know the veracity of your claims and the efficacy of your product. For them, that requires a lot of detail.

How much detail depends on the complexity of your offer and the relevance of the details you share. The way to know the depth to plant your seed (message) in the heart and mind of a prospect is by listening. And if you’re going to listen, you need to ask questions. Hence the Moses Questioning Strategy revealed in Numbers 13.

6. Spacing: Proper spacing between seeds ensures adequate room for each plant to grow without competing for resources such as water, nutrients, and sunlight. The seed in this analogy is your message. I just reviewed a promotion for a friend that was offering so many seeds (options) that it was easier to say “no” than to decide. 

If you have multiple offers you can make, space them out. Start with the offer that has the largest appeal to your market. Give it a rest, and then offer them the next option. Wash and repeat.  If you offer a bunch of options in your promo, the prospect has to sort through them, weighing pros and cons, etc. Just give them a simple, clear offer that requires a “yes” or “no”. Once they have committed, you can certainly offer them an upsell at checkout because the big decision is behind them and now it’s a simple add on to accept or decline.

7. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged after planting seeds. Watering requirements vary depending on the plant species and environmental conditions. In Ephesians 5:26 and other verses, we find that water is analogous to information. A mistake a lot of sales people make is talking past the sale. The prospect is ready to purchase, but the salesperson still feels they have more to share and keep talking. 

The prospect wants to buy but the salesperson still wants to “sell”, and thus keep giving more and more information, waterlogging the prospect to the point that they hold off on their buying decision. Don’t overwater. This requires the salesperson to be in tune with the prospect, reading their body language and buying signals.

You can tell when a prospect is ready to buy by using a trial close question such as, “If you were to purchase this bedroom furniture, when would you need it to be delivered?” If they say, they’d like it to be delivered in time for the weekend, then agree with them, ask for their address to verify you can deliver in that area at the time they want, and ask them whether they will be paying with credit card or by check.

8. Sunlight: Most plants require sufficient sunlight for healthy growth. Ensure that the planting location receives the appropriate amount of sunlight each day based on the requirements of the specific plant species.

Sunlight provides clarity of vision and warmth (passion, motivation). On occasion, the buyer makes the purchase but later has buyers remorse. It’s normal for a buyer of a larger ticket price item or service, to wonder if they made the right choice after the reality of their purchase sinks in.

You need to add further clarity and conviction by asking them (after the sale is closed), what was it that really spoke to them and helped them make their decision. This is important if there’s a chance that a spouse or partner will challenge their decision when they see them next. 

When they give you their answer, if you feel it’s a bit tepid, you might ask them why that was important to them? Get them talking about their purchase in a way that involves their emotions. It’s not just the “what”… It’s the “why” that you want to get them talking about. That will clarify their thinking and strengthen their conviction.

9. Mulching: Mulch around the planted seeds to conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Organic mulches such as straw, compost, or shredded leaves can also improve soil fertility as they decompose.

Once the seed is planted and accepted, (sale is made) overwhelm them with value. Give them more than they bargained for. Give them high level service such as found in Isaiah 65:24 (“Before they call, I will answer.”) Your layer of service and extra benefits forms a protective layer over the sale, keeping competitors out and naysayers silent.

10. Monitoring: Regularly monitor the planted seeds for signs of germination, pests, diseases, and environmental stressors. Adjust watering, fertilization, and other care practices as needed to support healthy seedling growth. After the sale, be sure to check in with them from time to time. Do surveys. Get feedback. Look for ways to improve. They may be somewhat satisfied. Look to see how you can get them to “thrilled”.

If you’d like to learn how you can go deeper on the subject of selling according to Biblical Wisdom and Natural Law be sure to get on the waiting list for our next 3-day Selling Among Wolves Challenge.

Until next time, be fruitful and multiply!

Michael Q. Pink

About the author

Michael is America's leading authority on applying Biblical Wisdom and Natural Law to sales and business and has authored 19 books including The Bible Incorporated, Selling Among Wolves and God's Best Kept Secrets. Using that knowledge, he has helped thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs experience radical transformation in their lives and careers, including helping a start-up with 3 struggling sales reps turn the corner and become the 16th fastest growing company on the INC 500 list. 

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