5 Ways to Get Greater ROI out of your Sales Kickoff


Sales Kickoff 2018 ROI

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

What’s Your Sales X Factor? 5 Questions to Find Out!


Yes, it’s the name of a popular television show, but it’s also an extremely important quality that salespeople need to have in today’s competitive marketplace. X Factor, def: “A variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.” What is the Sales X Factor? Your  Sales X factor is that variable that gives you a significant advantage over the competition.  In customer-facing events like presentations and demos, it is often the ability to: Quickly connect your solution to your prospect’s unique challenges Structure your message in a compelling and memorable way Deliver your message in a way that wins the minds and hearts of your audience and inspires them to take action Why you need an X Factor Each day your prospect navigates through a steady stream of vendor e-mails, voice mails, proposals, presentations and demos.  Each vendor claims to be the best.  But product Read More

(Video) What’s the difference between conversational presentations and traditional presentations?


Conversational Presentations vs.Traditional from Julie Hansen on Vimeo. I often get asked “What’s the difference between conversational presentations and more traditional presentations?” Traditional presentations are probably what most of us are familiar with.  They typically involve going through a slide deck in a linear way with limited audience participation.  While this style of delivery is often appropriate for more formal presentations, larger audiences or when delivering a great deal of content, it has it’s limitations. What if you are off the mark?  What if the audience wanted to see something else?  In a more traditional presentation you may not find out until the end when you open it up for questions.  Obviously this is too late to adjust. Conversational presentations, on the other hand, are more of a two-way exchange and more fluid than a typical linear presentation.  You are engaging with the customer more frequently throughout your presentation so you are able to Read More

Unleash Your Sales Presence with the Actor’s 3 C’s


Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.s’ got it.  So does Emma Stone. Orlando Bloom?  Not so much.  What is “it?”  Presence.  If you’re alive and taking up space, you have presence, too.  It’s simply a matter of degree.  Do you have enough presence to command the attention of one, two or twenty people?  For how long?  Ten seconds?  Twenty minutes?  Two hours? Presence is not just an important quality for actors.  It is a critical component in sales where your success depends on engaging and motivating others.  So can sales be developed? It’s helpful to know what presence is.  Here’s a definition: The state or fact of being present (don’t you love it when the dictionary defines a word with the root of the word itself?) An impressive quality, personal appearance or bearing An invisible spirit felt to be nearby When the dictionary struggles to pin it down, you know it’s hard to Read More

Audio Tip: How to Make Your Presentation “Sticky” – So Buyers Can’t Forget You!

Long buying cycles and increasingly complex sales mean most of today’s presentation or demonstration ends don’t end in a signed contract.  But they do ensure the sales process moves forward – IF – the buyer can remember them!

 In this audio you’ll learn how to make sure that your message is remembered after you walk out the door – and not confused with that of your competition? You need to make  your presentation sticky.

Can This Presentation be Saved? Yes, with the Improv Rule of Use It, Lose It, or Laugh at It


As they say in live theater, “the show must go on.” The same holds true for your presentation. Whether the customer throws you a curve ball, you’ve forgotten your slide deck, or can’t access your demo environment, you must carry on. Things change and mistakes happen. Technology and humans are both fallible. The important thing to remember is to remain calm. Not only will keeping your composure help you manage the situation, but it will help your prospect stay calm as well. Keep in mind that your prospect will take his cues from you. If you suddenly look like you’ve just missed the last flight home, your prospect will be understandably alarmed as well. When the unexpected occurs in business, I find many improv techniques to be very helpful, especially the improv rule of Use it, Lose it, or Laugh at to be extremely helpful. The rule quickly narrows down Read More

5 Outside the Box Presentation Openings that Stand Out with Busy Buyers


Outside the box presentations

Like the first scene of a movie, the opening of your presentation should grab your audience’s attention, set the stage – and let them know they are in the right theater! Unfortunately the typical sales presentation opens with a boring company overview that does nothing to distinguish you in a competitive marketplace. Outside the Box presentation openings take into account what’s of most interest to your prospect.  And it’s very rarely how long you’ve been in business or how many markets you’re in!  It’s likely something much more personal and close to home, like “What do I need to do to drive customers in my door? How am I going to compete with the new guy on the block? Here are 5 Outside the Box presentation openings: Customer success story. Whose experience is more meaningful to a prospect?  Yours or that of a peer in their industry facing a similar Read More

Don’t get blind-sided! 5 common objections in your presentation you must prepare for


Blind sided

No matter how prepared you think you are for your presentation, objections can – and will – come up.  Perhaps you missed something in your discovery, the prospect’s circumstances have changed, or new people are involved.  While it’s impossible to prepare for every potential objection, the overwhelming majority of objections you will get during your presentation will fall into one of 5 common categories. Preparing for these 5 common objections in your presentation can keep you from being blind-sided and increase your success rate. 5 Common Objections in your presentation Price This common objection comes in a variety of forms: “You’re too expensive,” “We don’t have room in the budget,” or “Your competitor is cheaper.” Regardless of the packaging, this objection appears on the surface to be all about price. And if you’re competing on price, you have made yourself a commodity. The antidote to competing on price is establishing Read More

Does Your Presentation Have One of These Bad Movie Endings?


Have you ever sat through a good movie, only to leave disappointed or confused by a bad ending?  Like a movie, a presentation can build up a lot of good will, only to tear it all down in those final few moments.  Some endings seem to go on forever, Lord of the Rings style, or leave your audience with more questions than they started with (No Country for Old Men or Inception anyone?)  Whether they’re poorly constructed or executed, bad presentation endings leave a bad taste in the mouths of prospects and can undo all your hard work. Luckily, bad presentation endings – like bad movies – can be avoided. 4 Bad Presentations Endings Here are four bad  presentation endings  – movie style –  I see presenters making and how to make sure they don’t happen to you.  Note, movie SPOILERS ahead! 1.  The Never-ending Ending Example: Lord of the Read More

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Performance Sales and Training: Persuasive Presentation Skills to meet the challenges of today’s B2B Sales Environment