Aristotle Walks Into A Sales Meeting

aristotle meddic sales meddpicc

The Timeless Wisdom Behind Metrics in MEDDPICC

Have you ever wondered how good Aristotle was as a salesperson? No? Well, you’re in for a treat because it turns out the old Greek philosopher’s ideas are not just for debating the meaning of life—they’re also pretty handy for nailing your sales targets. Let’s crack the code on how Aristotle’s age-old concepts of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos secretly power one of today’s most buzzed-about sales methodologies: MEDDPICC, with a particular focus on Metrics.

What’s the Big Deal with Metrics to Start With?

First off, let’s talk Metrics. In the MEDDPICC world, Metrics are about turning those “trust me, it’s awesome” pitches into “look at these numbers; they don’t lie” arguments. Metrics solidify your value proposition, giving you and your clients a clear picture of what success looks like.

It is the documentation of the measured performance and economic impact that your solution creates for existing customers or that it will create for prospects compared to their existing situation (their pain) or the competition’s solution.

The main objective of a metric is to turn subjective gains into objective, measurable gains. What can the business achieve with the help of your solution? A metric helps outline solutions in a measurable form that significantly helps the decision-making process.

Metrics are also about quantifying the pain. How bad is the problem you want to solve? What happens if you leave the pain unremedied? What’s the cost of doing nothing?

Aristotle’s Guide to Convincing People

But where does Aristotle fit into all this? Well, our buddy Ari was all about convincing people. In his Amazon Best seller book titled “Rhetoric”, Ari explains three key ingredients to make any argument persuasive: Ethos (credibility), Logos (logic), and Pathos (emotional appeal). Mixing these elements correctly can make your message hard to resist.

Making the Connection: Metrics Meet Rhetoric

Ethos + Metrics = Trust: When you back up your pitch with solid Metrics, you’re not just another salesperson but the expert. This boost to your credibility is what Aristotle’s Ethos is all about. It’s like saying, “Don’t just take my word for it; look at these numbers.”

The Power of Metrics in Building Credibility

Metrics are quantifiable data points that measure performance, outcomes, or impacts. In sales, metrics could range from customer gains to return on investment (ROI) or time saved using a product or service. These numbers do more than adorn a slide deck; they serve as evidence of your solution’s value. When you incorporate solid metrics into your sales pitch, you’re making a statement: “I have done my homework, and here is the proof.” Or I know your pain and here’s what I have seen elsewhere.

But why are metrics so compelling? Humans are naturally inclined to trust numbers. They provide a sense of objectivity in a world awash with subjective claims. A sales pitch supported by hard data shifts the conversation from subjective opinion to objective evidence. It’s the difference between saying, “Our solution is effective” and “Our solution has helped companies just like yours increase efficiency by 40%.” The former is easily dismissed; the latter demands attention.

This isn’t about throwing a bunch of jargon and hoping something sticks. It’s about proving you’ve got the goods, and nothing says “I know my stuff” quite like a solid set of numbers. This is where Aristotle high-fives MEDDPICC, right on the “Metrics.”

Why Metrics Are Your Secret Sauce

Let’s get real for a second. Anyone can say their product is the bee’s knees. But when you slap down a stat that says, “Our widget boosts productivity by 50%,” suddenly, you’re not just another voice in the crowd. You’re the voice with proof. It’s like showing up to a potluck with a gourmet dish instead of a bag of chips. People notice.

Metrics do more than just beef up your pitch; they transform it. They turn vague promises into promises you can prove. It’s the difference between “Trust me, it’s awesome” and “Here’s exactly how awesome it is.” And in the world of B2B sales, where decisions are driven by ROI, efficiency gains, and bottom-line benefits, those numbers are worth their weight in gold.

Aristotle’s Ethos in the Age of Information

In Aristotle’s time, Ethos was about the speaker’s virtue, wisdom, and goodwill. Today, while these elements remain important, credibility also comes from demonstrating expertise and authority in your field. In the context of sales, this means showing a deep understanding of your product, the industry, and most importantly, how your solution solves specific problems.

Metrics are your ally in this endeavor. They allow you to illustrate success stories, benchmark performance against industry standards, and showcase the tangible benefits of your solution. This not only demonstrates your knowledge, but also shows that you understand and can quantify the value your solution brings to the table.

Crafting a Metrics-Driven Narrative

To effectively leverage metrics in boosting your Ethos, crafting a narrative that resonates with your audience is crucial. This involves selecting metrics that align with your prospect’s goals, challenges, and pain points. It’s not about inundating them with data but choosing metrics that tell a compelling story of how your solution can transform their business.

For instance, if your prospect is struggling with high operational costs, highlighting metrics related to cost savings achieved by similar companies can be incredibly persuasive. This approach shows empathy (you understand their problem) and expertise (you know how to solve it).

The Trust Equation

Integrating metrics into your sales pitch can be seen as an equation where Trust equals Credibility plus Reliability plus Intimacy, divided by Self-Orientation.

Let’s break this down:

  • Credibility is enhanced by showing that you know what you’re talking about, supported by data.
  • Reliability is demonstrated by sharing metrics that reflect consistent performance or improvement over time.
  • Intimacy is created by selecting metrics directly relevant to the prospect’s specific situation, showing that you’ve listened to and understood their needs.
  • Self-orientation is minimized when you focus on metrics that matter to the prospect rather than those that simply make your solution look good.

Overcoming Skepticism with Transparency

One of the hallmarks of a trusted advisor is transparency. In the context of using metrics, this means being open about where your data comes from and how it was calculated. It’s also about acknowledging the limitations of your data and avoiding the temptation to cherry-pick only the most favorable metrics. This level of honesty can significantly enhance your credibility, showing prospects that you’re not just trying to make a sale but genuinely looking out for their best interests.

Aristotle: Ethos in Action; A Real-World Example

Consider a scenario where a sales professional presents a case study to a prospective client. The case study details how their solution helped a similar company achieve a 25% increase in productivity and a 30% reduction in operational costs within six months of implementation. By discussing the specific metrics achieved, the salesperson demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the prospect and how their solution can address them effectively. This not only showcases the salesperson’s expertise and authority but also builds trust by providing tangible evidence of success.

Keeping It Truthful

Here’s the kicker, though: Your metrics need to be legit. This isn’t about smoke and mirrors. Transparency is key. If you’re using numbers, you better be ready to back them up, source them, and explain them. Even better: Use their own numbers. Ask them to quantify their pain. During demos, ask them to estimate the gain with your solution. There’s a thin line between being impressive and being suspicious, and in the sales game, credibility is everything. Once you lose it, good luck getting it back.

Logos + Metrics = No-Brainer Decision: Aristotle’s Logos is all about logic. When you present clear, quantifiable benefits of your product or service, you appeal to your client’s rational side. Metrics turn your pitch from a persuasive argument into a logical conclusion. It’s the difference between “Our customers love us” and “95% of our customers see a 50% improvement in efficiency.”

Logos and Metrics is where logic rules and numbers talk. Imagine you’re sitting across from a potential client, and you’ve just hit them with the best pitch of your life. Now, it’s time to bring out the big guns: cold, hard facts. This isn’t just about making your product sound good; it’s about proving it’s good.

Aristotle Logos: The Logic Behind the Magic

Think of Logos as the Spock of Aristotle’s persuasion trio. It’s all about logic, reason, and making sense. When you back up your sales spiel with solid metrics, you’re not just hoping your client will buy into your vision; you’re showing them why they should.

But Logos isn’t just about dumping data on someone’s lap and saying, “Here, figure it out.” It’s about connecting the dots between what your product or service does and why that matters. It’s about turning features into measurable gains and gains into no-brainer decisions.

Metrics: The MVP of Sales

Now, enter Metrics, the MVP of your sales team. These aren’t just any numbers; these are the numbers that matter. They’re the proof in the pudding. When you make “them” observe, “It looks like we will be completing the tasks 50% faster,” you’re doing more than showing an alternative. You’re providing a compelling, logical reason for your client to buy.

Making It Relatable

But here’s the thing: Your metrics need to hit home. They need to be their own observation or if from another client, relatable to their specific situation and that they own it. It’s not just about throwing out impressive stats; it’s about showing how those stats translate into real-world benefits for them. Are they struggling with slow production times? Show them the features that allow them to speed things up and ask them to quantify it. Is their customer satisfaction lagging? Pull out the metrics that show how you’ve turned that around for others, then show them the features or experience that will make this happen for them and make “them” measure the difference and take note.

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The Art of Logical Storytelling

Yes, storytelling isn’t just for the Pathos crowd. Logos has its own narrative, and it’s called logical storytelling. It’s where you take your client on a journey from problem to solution, guided by the beacon of your metrics. Each number is a plot point, each statistic a character development, leading to the climax where the only logical conclusion is to go with your solution.

Avoiding the Overwhelm

Now, a word of caution. While Metrics are your MVP, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Bombarding your client with too many numbers too fast is like trying to drink from a firehose. You’re going to get soaked, and not in a good way. The key is to choose your metrics wisely. Focus on the ones that pack the biggest punch and are most relevant to your client’s needs. Make each number count.

Remember, when you’re armed with Logos and Metrics, you’re not just selling; you’re educating, enlightening, and making it ridiculously easy for your client to say yes. Because, at the end of the day, who can argue with logic? Especially when undeniable, irresistible metrics backs it.

Aristotle’s Pathos + Metrics = Emotional Connection

You might wonder, “How do cold, hard numbers appeal to emotions?” Well, it’s all about connecting with you, the seller, emotionally. But how do people connect emotionally? When there is empathy, trust and likeability. When you are interested in their metrics, you prove that you feel their pain. You show that you understand the consequences of the pain. You understand how much it hurts. Like a doctor who understands the nature of the patient’s pain, you show that you understand its consequences, have seen hundreds of other patients like this patient, and will prescribe the proper remedy. When people like their doctor, they take the painkillers that the Doctor prescribes. Right?  Showing how your solution can save time means you care about their issues. You create that emotional connection with the client.

The Takeaway

So, what’s the takeaway? Aristotle might not have had a LinkedIn profile, but his ideas on persuasion are alive and well in today’s sales strategies. By understanding and applying the power of Metrics, as outlined in the MEDDPICC framework, sales professionals can craft more convincing, compelling, and ultimately successful pitches.

As we navigate the complex world of B2B sales, let’s remember that some strategies are timeless. The wisdom of the past, like Aristotle’s rhetoric, can offer fresh insights and approaches, proving that some things never change when it comes to persuasion. Maybe that’s why MEDDIC and MEDDPICC work. They are, after all, common sense best practices that successful people have been using, in a way or in another, since thousands of years ago.

If you have not taken any MEDDPICC course, take it today, it’s timeproof.

Posted on February 13, 2024 in MEDDIC, Sales, sales enablement, Sales Management, Sales Training

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About the Author

Darius Lahoutifard, founder of MEDDIC Academy is a Serial Entrepreneur and a former Executive at PTC and Oracle among other software companies. His latest company was Business Hangouts, a Google G Suite live broadcasting app, with millions of users, acquired within 3 years. He is interested and writes about entrepreneurship, startups, technology, enterprise software, SaaS, Sales Leadership, Management, Sales & Leadership Education including specifically the MEDDIC methodology, Marketing, Market Research and more.
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