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
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
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
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
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.
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
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