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

Demotainment is Not a Dirty Word! 5 Ways to Make your Demo More Entertaining


Demotainment

 I just sat through another deathly serious – and seriously boring – demo.  When I suggested some ways to make the demo more engaging for his audience, the salesperson bristled and replied, “I don’t believe in demotainment.” Demotainment, which Urban Dictionary defines as (duh) “the demonstration of a thing in an entertaining way,” has gotten a bad rap in the past.  Sure, some overzealous presenters have done everything but tap dance through their demo in an effort to stand out, or worse, mask their product’s deficiencies.  But the concept of demonstrating in an entertaining way shouldn’t be scratched entirely.  In fact, in a time where competition is fierce and capturing a prospect’s attention is more challenging than ever, entertainment can be a very effective tool. After all, consider what entertainment means: Entertainment, def: “To hold the attention of” Buyers are not the deadly serious lot some may imagine. They are Read More

3 Sales Tips from the Movies for Engaging Buyers


Batman

Holy Hollywood Batman! We lost another film icon this week – the first Batman, Adam West.  It got me thinking about the lasting power of the movies.  Even today, busy executives who can’t sit still for a ten minute meeting will carve out the time to watch a two-hour plus movie.  Movies have honed the secret to engaging audiences from years of practice and experimentation.  While your presentation doesn’t have to be worthy of an Oscar nod, it pays to leverage techniques and tips from the movies for engaging buyers and standing out from the competition. 3 Sales Tips from the Movies for Engaging Buyers in your Presentation: 1. Cut to the chase Movies don’t start with the director giving his resume or telling the audience what they’re going to be seeing, or why he made the movie. No! Movies are much more likely to start with a car chase, Read More

Are you making this mistake when using your iPad or tablet on sales calls?


A growing number of sales teams have put away brochures or laptops on sales calls in favor of iPads or tablets.  And with good reason. Used properly, mobile devices allow salespeople to be more responsive to customer’s interests, access information in real time, and encourage greater interaction. Unfortunately, there is very little information available to salespeople on how to incorporate their iPad or tablet on a sales call effectively.  Salespeople are often unaware that they are making mistakes that distract or confuse customers, and can even cost them the sale. One of the most common mistakes I see sales people making when using their iPads or tablets has to do with managing the customer’s attention. Many salespeople make excellent points that unfortunately, are falling on deaf ears.  Here’s why: The eyes have it It’s estimated that 80% of people are visual learners.  That means if you put content in front Read More

Start with Why – 3 “Why” Questions to Increase Your Presentation’s Success


If you’ve ever sat through a presentation and thought, “Why am I here?” you are not alone.  Most presentations fail to answer this most fundamental question until five, ten – even thirty minutes into the content. Presentations that do not quickly answer the question “Why?” are frustrating, confusing, and cause distraction-prone audiences to tune out.  In his popular TED Talk, Start with Why, Simon Sinek proposed that people won’t fully buy into a product, service or concept until they understand the “why.” Start with why is how all great presentations begin.  But… Starting with why is, well…just the start.  To really connect with today’s buyers and increase your presentation’s success, it’s important to know which “why” you are addressing in your presentation.  This isn’t as daunting as it seems.  The underlying “why” for most prospects typically boils down to one of the following: Start with Why : Why should I Read More

Think like a director: The secret to managing a conversational presentation


Director

A conversational presentation is a non-linear style of presenting in which you can move about in a more fluid way responding to prospect’s interests.  It’s a big – and often welcome – change from the old days of a sales person’s orderly and scripted descent through a slide deck. When done well, giving the customer a greater role in the presentation can create a more engaging, memorable event tailored to their interests.  So why do we need to think about managing the conversational presentation?  Because often the pendulum swings too far.  Giving the customer total control without exerting proper guidance leads to all kinds of problems:  The conversation veers off track leaving prospects confused.  You jump from topic to topic and never make a strong, cohesive point.  You run out of time and don’t accomplish what you set out to, which doesn’t benefit you or your prospect.  What’s the answer? Read More

All questions are not created equal. Winning strategies for handling questions in your presentation


Handling questions in your presentation

Questions are a sign of a healthy presentation. They typically indicate interest and create important opportunities to interact and gain insight into a prospect’s thinking.  Therefore, it’s not surprising that most salespeople have a knee-jerk reaction to answer every question on the spot. But does every question require – or deserve – an immediate or full blown answer?  What about questions that may take you deep into the weeds, eat up time, confuse or even alienate other audience members? Or questions from people with conflicting agendas or ulterior motives? These are the types of things that can quickly derail your presentation (and the deal!) Keeping an open dialogue with your audience is vital to a successful presentation today.  But you must balance that with the clock and your – and your prospect’s – objectives for the meeting. To be an effective salesperson, you must have a strategy for handling questions in Read More

How status effects your relationships with prospects


status in business

What comes to mind when you think of the word “status?”  Many people (myself included) tend to think of Facebook labels:  single, married, none of your business…  But status can also mean how we perceive ourselves in relation to others.  This often unconscious perception is proven to have a profound effect on the quality of our relationships, the way people respond to us and the amount of influence we are able to wield.  In other words, status effects your relationships with prospects and in turn,  whether you’re successful in sales. How status effects your relationships The way you feel about yourself in relation to a prospect is expressed both nonverbally and verbally.  Your posture, the way you move, the amount of eye contact you make – together these things convey status subconsciously to your prospect before you ever open your mouth. High status people stand up taller, their eye contact Read More

The 1-2-3 Rule for Mobile Presentations


Mobile presentations

Using  iPads, tablets, or even smartphones to engage customers in conversations and presentations is a smart move today. In addition to giving salespeople the flexibility to be more responsive to customer’s interests and access information in real time, mobile presentations set a less formal tone and create more opportunities for interaction and dialogue. But like any platform, it’s critical that salespeople know when and how to use their mobile devices for each unique customer facing event. Just as projecting your presentation on a giant screen for a single prospect is a poor use of platforms, asking five people to crowd around your iPhone is equally ineffective. As a salesperson, knowing the size and make-up of your audience is just the beginning. Even then, things don’t always go according to plan. You expect to meet with one person and when you arrive, there are three. You were ready for four and Read More

Traditional Sales Role-play is Dead (Meet its Replacement)


Sales role-play

Two words that can send the most confident sales rep racing for the door:  Role-play. While as children most of us happily engaged in some form of role-play, sales has turned this once valuable learning experience into an awkward, high-pressured test of a rep’s ability to correctly articulate product knowledge or follow a particular sales methodology. Traditional sales role-play embodies every actor’s nightmare of stepping into the spotlight without knowing their lines or even what the play is about.  High expectations and vague circumstances (Ok, Alice you’re the salesperson, Ken, you’re the customer…Go!) set reps up for failure – and it all takes place in front of the chief critic (manager) and their peers. Reps go into survival mode under these nerve-racking conditions, regurgitating back information that is expected of them. The result is a performance that rarely resembles the salesperson on an actual sales call. So what are reps Read More

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