Presentations Lack Energy? Let Your Bad Actor Out!


Stallone and Arnold

Many salespeople don’t speak with as much energy or personality in business as they do in their personal lives—we tend to flatten things out, pull them in, tone them down.  Why?  Because they’ve been conditioned to go into “business mode.”  What’s business mode, you ask?  Think of the soothing voice of an NPR host, a golf announcer or a flight attendant.  The very intent of business mode is not to rile, disrupt or stand out.  It’s background noise.  Our clients and prospects have dozens of people every day droning on to them in business mode.  When you’re in business mode you blend in with the crowd – no matter how exciting or innovative your offering.  In business mode you do not stand out.  And to not stand out as a presenter means you are relying on your product or service to make the sale. So how do you break out Read More

Say “Hello” to the Conversational Presentation


What comes to mind when you hear the word, presentation?  For many it conjures up the image of a salesperson holding court in front of a group, typically with a slide deck and limited audience participation.  But this formal monologue is simply one type of presentation style in a broad spectrum of choices about how to communicate with potential customers.  In fact, it’s a style that is waning in popularity and effectiveness (for reasons you can read more about here.)  So what is in style?  Say “hello” to the conversational presentation. The majority of reps today are in front of customers in less formal circumstances, whether it’s a doctor’s office or waiting room, across the table from a prospect, or via webcam.  You may prefer to call these more informal customer facing events conversations.  And conversations are great.  They are typically a two-way exchange and more  fluid than a linear Read More

The Oscars Best (and Worst) Presentations – and what you can learn from them


Oscars

The stars, the clothes, the mix-ups! But underneath it all, the Oscars are really a collection of short presentations delivered to an audience with short attention spans and high expectations. If that sounds like a business presentation to you, it should! Each year I like to highlight the Oscars best and worst presentations and glean what we can learn from them as business presenters. Here are my top awards from this year show. See if you agree. The Oscars Best and Worst  Presentations …and what you can learn from them Best Disaster Recovery: Jordan Horowitz, LaLa Land Calling out LaLa Land as the winner for Best Picture was clearly an unprecedented Oscar disaster. But let’s look at the bright side. After discovering that Moonlight was the actual winner, producer Jordan Horowitz had the soundness of mind to succinctly announce the mistake and graciously relinquish the stage to the cast and crew of Moonlight. “I’m going to be really Read More

7 Insights that will Improve Your Presentation Close Rate


This may sound funny coming from a presentation trainer, but the most effective way to improve your presentation close rate doesn’t happen during your presentation. It takes place before your preparation.  No deck, prop or story can replace the need for a thorough understanding of your customer.  That’s why discovery is so important.  Without vital insights into your prospect’s business, interests and challenges, your presentation is at risk for slowing down the sales cycle, or grinding it to a halt. How does your close rate compare to others in your industry? What are the easiest / most difficult industries for sales people?   HubSpot just released a new study that shows the average sales close rates for 28 industry and it’s all based on proprietary data. Check it out! You can dramatically improve your presentation close rate by arming  yourself with the following insights well before you deliver your presentation or Read More

Using the One-Two Punch of Logic and Emotion in Your Presentation


boxing

Think back to purchasing your last car.  Did you buy it because it checked off a list of features?  Or did it just “feel” right?  You’ve probably heard the statement: Buyers buy on emotion and justify with logic.  Yet too many sales presentations speak to business buyers as if they were only using their heads to make decisions, and not their hearts.  Logic is rarely enough in sales.  Simply ask any salesperson who’s ever lost a deal to a competitor with an inferior solution! Failure to engage the emotional brain in your sales presentations today is a costly oversight.  Studies show that the most persuasive cases require a one-two-punch of logic and emotion.  Sure, it’s necessary to logically present and support the facts, but a long, logic-laden presentation can leave your prospect feeling beat up and ready to throw in the towel. Engaging emotion in your sales presentation not only Read More

Can Your Voice Cost you the Sale? 2 Common Vocal Habits that Distract Buyers


listening

You work hard to get an opportunity to present your solution to a prospect.  You have a great message to deliver. The last thing you want is for your audience to misunderstand it or discount it because of how you sound.  Can your voice cost you the sale?  The unfortunate answer is, yes.  Your voice is a powerful instrument with the potential to bring your message to life or cause it to fade into oblivion. Finding your best selling voice is critical today when competition is tight and people are distracted. The way you use your voice can affect the attention, perception, and ultimately opinion of your audience. Studies show that 38% of what we communicate to another person comes from the sound, the tone and the quality of our voice. Your voice takes on even greater significance by magnifying bad vocal habits during remote or phone presentations. Here are Read More

Tom Hanks, Credibility and Sales


Tom Hanks and Sales Credibility

Describe a film as a “Tom Hanks movie” and everyone knows what to expect:  A highly likable, regular guy who gets caught in extraordinary circumstances but rises to the top due to his true good character. It’s this credibility that has landed Tom Hanks at the top of the list of “Most Trustworthy People in America,” according to Readers Digest and Forbes. The credibility of the Tom Hanks brand translates to big bucks for the actor and the projects he’s associated with.  Sales credibility and the power of your brand translates into dollars for you and your organization as well.  So it’s good to do a gut check and ask: “How is my sales credibility?” Credibility is incredibly important and difficult to quickly gain in sales. When trust is low, as it is at the beginning of most salesperson-buyer relationships, your every statement is subject to scrutiny and skepticism. So Read More

Top 10 Sales Blog Posts of 2016


Top 10 Sales Blog Posts

You voted with your mouse on what sales issues mattered to you this year, so in case you missed them or want to re-read, here are your favorite Top 10 Sales Blog Posts from 2016! P.S. Be sure and read to the end of this post for an opportunity to jump start your sales success in  2017. 10 Quick Tips for a Winning Sales Presentation:  You have to think differently today to keep busy audiences engaged.  Here are 10 quick tips to start you on your way! 2.  5 Must Know Tips for Presenting with your i-Pad or Tablet:  i-Pads and tablets came on the scene so quickly, most salespeople haven’t learned any best practices for using them in a presentation!  Fill that knowledge gap here. 3.  5 Reasons to Tell a Story in your Sales Presentation:  Stories can be very effective in sales if you tell them for the right Read More

5 Proven Acting Tips for More Confident Presentations


Confident presentations

“Show confidence!” This was one of the least helpful pieces of advice I received before delivering my first sales presentation.  Not only did it lack practical tactics or steps, I didn’t want to just appear confident.  I wanted to feel confident. Confidence is vital in sales. Prospects want to feel like they are making the best possible decision and placing their business and trust with a credible partner. A lack of confidence on the part of a presenter can quickly call that trust into question and give prospects reason to choose another vendor, especially when all things are equal. I learned more about delivering confident presentations from my training as an actor than from any sales training I’d received. The acting tips below are tactical and proven to work in a craft that knows what it takes to appear – and ultimately feel – confident in front of an audience Read More

Make ‘em Laugh! 7 Guideposts for Using Humor in Your Business Presentation.


Laughing audience

Many experts recommend opening your presentation with a funny story, joke, quote, or prop. And why not? Humor can engage your audience, add welcome lightness to a heavy subject, and increase audience recall. Yup, humor can be a great opener….when it works.  And when it doesn’t? Few things will suck the confidence out of you faster than starting off with a joke or story that bombs, annoys or confuses your business audience. Using humor in your presentation is not without risk so be smart about exposing your funny side by following these 7 guideposts. 7 Guideposts for Using Humor in Your Business Presentation Make it relevant. I sat in on a presentation where the presenter told a story about his new dog’s obsession with his daughter’s goldfish.  It was funny, cute and heartwarming.  Unfortunately the audience’s smiles turned to stony glares after he clapped his hands together and said, “OK, Read More

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