Welcome to Week 3
this week we focus on Presentations. Nothing make someone more nervous than making a presentation. Nothing!
But let's face it. You have to present what you have to offer to the potential buyer or they will never know how to take action. So as difficult as you might find this week it is a major key to your success.
Week 3 Menu
Introduction to Presentations
Very early and very often you are going to have the opportunity to tell other people what you do. There's no other way to do that than to practice. The best way to do that that to begin with the very next person you meet.
Can you simply begin a conversation with them about what you do and why it matters?
Let's put some parameters around that:
- Don't mention your company - "I'm a brand ambassador for..."
- Don't mention your product - ""I sell signage..."
- Don't identify an industry - "I'm an insurance agent..."
- Do mention why you do what you do - "I'm passionate about helping..."
- Do mention why it matters - "So the small business owner can..."
- Do mention the solution - "Eliminating the overwhelm that comes from..."
At first you'll think it is important to talk about your company, your product, and your features. It's not! Seriously nobody cares until they ask. When they ask you can answer.
At first all they need to know is, "Can I connect with this person, and if so what's this going to do for me?" Win that conversation and you are on the right path. Mention your company, industry, or product and immediately you are competing with their perception of what you do instead of the conversation with you. (More about that in Your First 12 Months in Sales.)
You should find it very comfortable talking about the solutions you bring. If you're not comfortable then talk to your waitress at lunch. But get started early and often. Not all presentations have to be formal. But all have to be professional and they must make an impact!
Having a conversation with someone is much easier than making a presentation. For the following reasons:
A Presentation is...
Presentation is when you are talking at the other person. We’ve all been talked at. We’ve had monologues with our parents where they talked and we listened (well we were supposed to be listening). How did you feel when that was over?
Teachers have talked at us. Did you ever struggle to stay awake in class? It had nothing to do with the information or its importance. It was the delivery and the lack of engagement.
It was the idea that I was supposed to listen and in the end I would benefit from what was just said at me. In fact, to make sure I was listening properly this talk would be followed with a test.
We’ve all sat through endless presentations where we are silently screaming, “Please make them shut up so I can leave.” We are too polite to ever do such a thing, but the urge begins within the first 5 minutes of a presentation where we are talked at.
What we do in the south is politely make eye contact, nod our head as if to say, “yes, please go on” while we smile pleasantly almost encouraging them to go on all the while thinking if she doesn’t shut the mess up, I going to slap the Tuesday right off her face. .
That’s not the experience you want to put a potential buyer! AND I can assure you they really don’t want it either. Adults would much rather be involved in a conversation than listen to a presentation.
A Conversation is...
Conversations are simply much more interesting than presentations. Engagement is the measure of a conversation. Information is the goal in a presentation. Our perception of information is that it flows one way. Whereas a conversation is a guided experience where both parties get to establish the rules.
Conversations are natural part of our daily lives that we “practice” everyday. Presentations come with pressures to get it right and memorize every part. Who does that in the daily life?
Conversation are causal in their delivery. Presentations “require” preparation, special skills (or so we think), and a carefully thought through method of delivery. We have conversations almost without thought. It comes very naturally to for us to engage in conversation with someone else.
Rarely are we at a loss for words and usually thoughts flow pretty freely. Presentations however are anything but natural. In fact the fear of speaking in front of other people is considered the great of all human fears.
Obviously developing presentation skills is like trying to swim upstream. It’s hard for you to do (triggers your greatest fear) and the other person has been conditioned to not want to listen.
Seriously, could we make this more difficult?
What if there was a better way?
Well there is...
Introducing Conversational Presentations
You have a track record of doing great in your conversations. You had a conversation that got you a job, got you a date, got you pick for a task, helped you build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. In fact, you’re pretty good at conversations. So instead of forcing yourself in an area where you are uncertain what if you took those skills to your conversations for sales?
Simple rules for conversational presentations:
- Don’t try to be anyone other than you
- Speak to each person not everyone
- Make eye contact
- Use conversational language
- Causal is the new professional
Connect and Collaborate
You job is not to convince a person to buy. Your job is to convince them that you care about their business as much as they do. When you have done that you've turned the selling process into taking an order.
You do that with a technique I call, "Moving Your Desk to The Other Side of The Room"
"I knew it... I knew from the moment we started, that she wasn't buying what we were selling." How many times have you presented to the person who could say YES to you, only to be convinced along the way that she wasn't about to buy what you were selling?
When the client is being "sold to" there is a natural resistance to the sales conversation/presentation. This is going to get in the way of everything you say or do.
The client isn't going to buy because she's being sold!
You need to get the client on your side. But you don't move her to your side, you must move to her side.
I tell people in my seminars that objections depend on where you are sitting in the room. If you are on the opposite side of the desk, what you get is opposition. If you'll learn to "sit" on the potential buyers side of the desk you will see things more clearly.
Move your chair over there right now (in your mind). Sit on her side of the room. Tell me what you see.
- What are her concerns?
- What are her challenges?
- What keeps her up at night?
- What motivates her?
- What does your offering do for her that she couldn't do without?
- Would she be attracted to the benefits of your offering?
- Would she be repulsed by the things that you can take away for her?
What do you hear when you listen to your conversation/presentation from the potential buyers side of the room? Is it a slick presentation? Is it a bunch of manipulative closing tricks? Or is it a genuine concern about meeting real needs?
Your questions must reflect your understanding of her concerns. Your statements must be targeted at her needs. Your answers must eliminate her fears. Your tone of voice must match the direction of the conversation. Can you speak with conviction, compassion, and concern? Can you sound to her like her life will be significantly better because she spent this time with you?
What do you see when you watch your presentation from the potential buyers side of the room? It is a PowerPoint design to dazzle the buyer into whatever they're supposed to be dazzled into? Is it the latest marketing slick designed to close sales if you just get it in the hands of the buyer?
Is it a deeply held conviction that you are there to profoundly impact another person's life and/or livelihood, clearly demonstrated by your facial expressions and body language?
Your listening skills are seen by the potential buyer. She'll watch your body language as she talks. She is less interested in your "presentation" than she is in watching you. If your presentation is all about your PowerPoint you're missing your greatest value - you! Do you really want her eyes off you and on a computer screen?
You're there to sell you. How does she see you? She should see you as a polished and prepared Sales Professional who is far more concerned about her than about the presentation.
What do you perceive about your presentation from the buyers side of the room? Is it to close a sale? Is it to make a friend? Or is it to make a difference? If you're there to make a difference, you're getting closer to winning the client.
The client you're presenting to is used to being sold. If you approach her with the intention of letting her buy, you may be able to make a powerful difference in her attitude toward you. She isn't used to that. She hears from sales people continuously. How many of those people are really looking out for her interests, as opposed to those who are just selling something? Your attitude must be one of genuine interest in making a difference for the client.
Take out your cleaver. Lay everything out. How you dress. How you sound. The materials you use. Even your attitude. Everything must be on the table. Make this a zero-sum evaluation. If it isn't for and about the client, it cut it out. It must go!
You'll never get the client on your side because you don't really matter to her. You must get on her side if you're ever going to win. If you're on her side of the room...she'll buy. If you are on her side of the room, she will tell everyone she knows about you.
Where are you in the room?
Motivating Buyers to Buy
We live in a time when understanding what makes people tick is essential. Human understand is the one key factor that can determine success in a sales profession. It is this that will set you apart from your competition.
We have moved beyond the closing skills and manipulation techniques of the past. Our times demand that sales professionals have a deep understanding of what motivates people.
Since birth this generation has been bombarded with every kind of marketing and sales technique known to man. Knowing what motivates them is far more important than trying to impose some slick closing technique or some fancy marketing campaign. Here are some of the ways you can discover what motivates people to buy.
Just because you have an appointment with the business owner does not mean he is in the frame of mind to consider your offering. An appointment is not a buying signal. You must touch him in some way that motivates him to consider your offering. If you fail to do so, you'll make a great presentation and get no money. You'll wonder what happened. You'll go back to your office and think he will buy later. All the while failing to recognize that he didn't buy because you failed to address those thing that motivate him.
Identifying The 3 Keys That Motivate Buyers
The better you understand these things (pretty easy to find out in today's information based world) the better positioned you are.
What moved them to start the business in the first place? If you know what moved someone to start their business in the first place and you can tap into that you can motivate them to consider your offering. What moved them to start that business in the first place wasn't so they could buy your goods/services. They had a reason for taking that risk and it wasn't so they could do business with you. Know the reason and you are on your way.
If they provide some special service to others, and you can show them how your offering can make that service easier to access you've made it easier for them to consider your offering. If he manufactures some kind of product, show him how to get to market faster and you'll motivate him to consider your offering. Speak his language and you will get access to purchasing power.
What purpose does this business serve? If the business serves a purpose big than it's product that is a motivating factor.
Example: "Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased." Understanding the greater purpose is key to motivating a buyer.
Maybe the purpose is to impact the lives of the employees. For my Dad this was a motivating factor. Know the purpose behind the business and you are no-track to a buying relationship.
Consider how your offering would make a difference in the lives of the employees. I made millions of dollars of sales in the insurance industry (and helped other do the same) with this line; "I help employers, help their employees to be happy, healthy and on the job by providing a simple understanding of the benefits which you are providing."
How does this business owner take his product to market? Understanding how the business goes to market with their goods/services will make a huge difference in understanding how to motivate them to consider your offering. His business model is important to him. Understand his model and you can use it to motivate him to consider your offering.
I was with a sales rep in a training situation recently when we were stood up for an appointment by the HR director. A VP in the company followed us to the parking lot and asked what had happened. He apologized and said, "We don't do business that way. We treat people with respect..."
Now I know their business model. I should use that knowledge in my next encounter with the business owners. Their business model motivates them...use it to your advantage.
Armed with this knowledge of the business owner you are now in a much better position to target your offering toward his motivations. Your presentations will lead to more closes when you address his motivations. Your success will lead to a lifetime client.
The ONE BIG Thing
There it is again - that One Big Thing that keeps the other person from doing whatever it is that you are trying to persuade them to do. It's there. You know that it stands in the way of your desired result.
If you only knew how to deal with it...
Understanding the One Big Thing:
- It will never be what your marketing department thinks it is. Marketing Departments usually think from the company perspective and rarely if ever from the potential buyers perspective. As a result their materials and their training usually reflects this. They don't know what it is.
- It will never be the obvious thing to you. Because of the training mentioned above and because of so little emphasis placed on the value of listening you will miss the One Big Thing when it comes up in conversation with the potential buyer.
- It will never be about the differences between you and your competition. Because in your potential buyers mind, if it is a problem too "big" for your competition it is too "big" for you also. If they didn't consider it important, then you won't consider it important either.
- It will never be a "big problem". Remember this! Whatever the One Big Thing is for your potential buyer it won't appear Big to you. It never does. It is like the temperature in the room. It is only important to the person who is feeling it.
Let me make this clear.
A problem is something that is open to intelligence, imagination, and creativity. In other words, it can be solved. If there is no solution, then it is not a problem - it is a fact. If you can distinguish between problems and facts you can solve real problems. Problems always have solutions!
Example: Customers always want the best possible service at the lowest possible price. That is a fact! It is also a fact that there is a price point at which a product or service cannot be delivered with any degree of quality. I understand the facts.
Now I can deal with the problem. Can I help the potential buyer understand my price point so that I can deliver a product that is capable of meeting and exceeding his expectations and still remain in a viable business? If I cannot do that, then I either don't have a product fit for the marketplace or I need help understanding the market. I must re-frame my attention by the actual problem illuminated by the facts, but I can't change the facts. I can only focus on the problem.
How to get to the One Big Thing:
- Realize that a potential buyer never shares the One Big Thing with someone they don't trust. Build trust and you'll hear it.
- Recognize the One Big Thing when it is told to you. Usually the potential buyer will say it in exactly those words, "I would make that change but One Big Thing that I have to know is... how will I be billed." You will miss that because you're expecting the One Big Thing to be a big thing. The potential buyer thinks it is big because the other guy never dealt with it. If they trust you enough to tell you, act trustworthy enough to treat it as big as they do.
- Be your potential buyer - what is the One Big Thing for you. How important is that? Learn to see life from your potential buyers perspective and you will conqueror the One Big Thing!
Congratulations on Completing Week 3
You're getting closer. Time to check in...
Tell me how you plan to turn your presentations into conversations.