All posts by Julie Hansen

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

Why Your Salespeople aren’t Making Discovery Calls (and What to Do About it!)


Picture this.   As a salesperson, you’ve been asked to give a presentation or demo to a qualified prospect. No easy feat in today’s competitive marketplace!  After high-fiving the rest of the team, what’s your plan? Start cutting and pasting from previous presentations. Review your prospect’s website and get the needed information. Plan discovery calls with key people within your prospect’s organization. If you do anything other than number three, you may very well be wasting your time. There’s a saying that applies to presentations in this regard: Garbage in – Garbage out Your presentation is only as good as the quality of the information you have, therefore discovery plays a critical role in your ultimate success. While much information about a company can be found on-line, the best, most insightful and valuable source of information comes directly from the mouths of key people within your prospect’s organization. This information Read More

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

Contact


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