It’s 2018, and by rough count, I’ve sat through a thousand sales presentations. Most of them have blurred together in my mind. What stands out? The exceptionally good ones…or the cringingly bad ones. Your prospect may not have seen quite as many as me, but they likely struggle to recall most of them as well. Why does this matter? Boring, forgettable presentations are unsuccessful presentations. Why are today’s presentations so forgettable? In a day and age where we know so much about our prospects, from their interests and dislikes, to their challenges and goals, it seems surprising that most presentations are still so ineffective. Part of the problem is that most salespeople today are still following a presentation structure that has been around since the seventies (even though many of today’s prospects were not even alive in the seventies!) This dated, ineffective structure includes too many elements that are unnecessary, Read More
I love snack size foods. They’re cute, they’re portable, and they create the illusion that I’m eating lighter. I say “illusion,” because I usually end up eating more than the equivalent of a full-size portion – especially if it’s a candy bar! Snack size foods have exploded in the last five years for those very same reasons. Smaller packaging gives customers a relatively low-risk way to sample a product — without making a full investment in money, time or calories. In a selling environment where customers show an ever-increasing reluctance to invest their time and energy to sitting through – or sifting through – long presentations or product demos, it’s time to think about going snack-size as well. Customer’s Love Affair with Snack Size Content The majority of people consume content today in snack size portions. We get our news and entertainment on demand, read or watch only so long Read More
A drum roll please…From improving closing rates to greater confidence and presence in your presentations, here are the Top 10 Sales Blog Posts of 2017.
Imagine being wrongly accused of a crime and having to present your case to a jury. You’d want to use every possible advantage to win them over, right? When the stakes are high, good trial lawyers know a few secrets to a successful presentation – how to quickly establish credibility, present a strong, persuasive case, and win over skeptical jurors. While you’re not technically on trial in sales, you also need to win over often skeptical buyers. And a dry run through of the facts is not going to cut it. Being able to present a strong, persuasive case is a critical skill for salespeople today in an increasingly competitive market where buyers are reluctant to change. Fortunately, trial lawyers have a few secrets up their sleeves for a successful presentation that we can apply in sales to improve our results. Trial Lawyers’ Secrets to a Successful Presentation 1. Make Read More
If you deliver your presentation the same way to each of your customers, you are leaving money on the table. Think back to your last three customers. One may have been talkative and forthcoming, while the other was quiet and guarded. Perhaps one of your customers lit up when you were talking about the big picture while another only showed interest when you got to the numbers. Even customers in similar industries or roles can have dramatically different personalities. And these Buyer Styles – and how you react to them – can determine whether your meeting is successful or not. Adjusting your presentation strategy to buyer styles doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Once you learn how to identify specific personality traits and understand what adjustments you need to make in the way you present, you will have a distinct advantage over your competition. Below are 4 Read More
How long before you get to the “big reveal” in a customer demo? 10 minutes…20 minutes…an hour? Turns out, that’s too late! If you’re not starting with the end result in those critical first few minutes of your demo, it may be costing you the deal. In other words, you need to Flip your Demo! In fact, in Gong.io’s recent analysis of 67,000+ SAAS demos, they found that “Following a linear path or going through a series of workflows before getting to the end result is an unsuccessful approach.” Why the traditional linear demo is ineffective: Think about how traditional demos typically start. The salesperson walks through a few PowerPoint slides that talk about his company, their customers, the problems they solve and the solutions they provide. Then there is an agenda outlining what will be demonstrated. And finally, the salesperson gets to the demo, logs on and proceeds to Read More
Steve Jobs raised the bar on public speaking and executive presence for all of us. Even acclaimed Irish actor Michael Fassbender felt unequal to the task of portraying the legend in the film, Steve Jobs, telling his driver on the way to rehearsals: “You should slam it. It should cause a break and it should get me out of this gig.” So you’re not an actor. You don’t (always) wear a black turtleneck. And you don’t have weeks to spend obsessively rehearsing for every speaking engagement. Is it still possible to exhibit the executive presence necessary to win over important clients, rally the troops, or engage a large audience? The short answer is “yes.” After all, if you’re alive and taking up space, you have presence. The question is a matter of degree and expression. Do you have enough presence to command the attention of two people, or two-hundred? And Read More
“I’m curious about other people. That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you.” ~ Meryl Streep How did Meryl Streep play real people like Florence Foster Jenkins and Margaret Thatcher with such depth and authenticity? How did Daniel Day Lewis give the definitive portrayal of Abraham Lincoln? What does either have to do with emotional intelligence in sales?! While neither star had experience ruling a country, or singing opera, but they delivered authentic and award-winning performances requiring remarkable insight and empathy for their characters. One of the key qualities of emotional intelligence in sales is empathy, or the ability to identify with and understand what it’s like to walk in your customer’s shoes. Authentic empathy goes beyond simply recognizing what your customers emotional state is, to actually sharing in those feelings. Who has time for Empathy?! As a busy salesperson it Read More
If your prospect had a remote, would he be tempted to change the channel on your presentation or demo? That’s a tough question to ask yourself, but given the number of choices today’s buyers have and the demands on their attention, you need to take a hard look at just how compelling your presentation or demo is to your audience.
The bar has been raised. And if you haven’t raised your presentation game with it, you’re going to get left behind. We live in a time where most people have been exposed to hundreds, maybe thousands of presentations. Showing up and walking through a slide deck and parading our your features and benefits like salespeople have been doing for decades, is not going to help you win deals.
Today’s presentations have to be better than average, they have to be compelling in order to break through the clutter, stand out from the competition, and move buyers to the next step in the sales cycle. And by compelling I’m not talking about slides, or templates or platforms, but rather great substance, structure and delivery. The elements that make your prospect say, “Wow, they really understand us.” And that, my sales friends, is compelling.
If you’re uncertain whether your presentation is compelling or not, shoot me an email and let’s talk. Don’t wait to find out until your prospect changes the channel from you…to your competition.
What does your team remember from last year’s Sales Kickoff? The theme? The awards ceremony? That awkward moment when the VP of Marketing tripped walking toward the podium? What about all those great new selling tactics your sales team was introduced to? How many of those are actually being used 10 months later? Here’s a sobering fact you may have heard: 77% of what we learn within a week is forgotten. While the opportunity to bond and soak up company culture is important for a healthy sales organization, ultimately, you’re investing time and money in a Sales Kickoff with the goal of impacting the bottom line. You likely have speakers and breakout sessions lined up to arm your salespeople with new tools and tactics. Which 23% would you like them to remember? If you want to get greater ROI out of your Sales Kickoff, you need to make sure your Read More