If your 2018 was as busy as mine, you may have missed the posts readers found most valuable, so I’ve compiled my Top 10 Sales Blog Posts of the year for you here. (Note: The first post won “First Place for Top Sales Content” in Sales Pro Central’s 2018 MVP Awards.) Read the winning article and catch up on all 10 of the most popular posts of 2018 below. Cheers! Julie 5 Ways to Make a BIGGER IMPACT with Customer Success Stories in Your Presentation: Five Ways to Shake up your Presentation You Don’t Have to Memorize Your Entire Presentation – Just These 5 Things 5 Stories Every Salesperson Should be Prepared to Tell Are These Words Sabotaging your Presentation? 3 Buddhist Principles for Fearless Presentations Pitch Perfect: 25 Tips for Pitching over the Phone: Deadpool Shows you How to be a Superhero in your Presentation Stop Repeating These 3 Read More
Repetition can be a very effective way to make sure your key ideas are heard and remembered by your prospect. It’s often helpful to repeat benefits, competitive differentiators, even the customer’s questions or words. So how can repetition possibly hurt you in sales? Human beings are quick to pick up on patterns. It allows us to sort and select what we give our attention to. Because of its power, unconsciously used, repetitive behaviors, words or phrases can overshadow and detract from even the most brilliant of presentations or pitches. For example: John continually asks, “Does that make sense?” after each point. By the 4th time, his audience is mildly annoyed and starting to keep a tally in their head. Like a song played entirely on the note of C, Mark delivers every word of his presentation at the same level. Like the teacher in Charlie Brown, all his audience hears Read More
I was excited to see one of my students present a powerful new software solution in a recent workshop. Susan (not her real name) is a smart, professional salesperson who is passionate about what she does. She presented herself well, the presentation was well-organized and tailored to the needs of the customer. So why was the reaction around the room a collective “Ho hum” after Susan finished? Instead of sounding confident and excited about her solution, Susan came across as vague, uncertain and, at times, even apologetic. Susan sabotaged her presentation with a mere handful of words. I’ve identified a few of the offenders below. Words that Sabotage: I’d just like to take a minute to summarize what we talked about… I think that this may be a good fit for you. This sort of shows you where you’re losing inventory … I hope that you’ve seen some things you’ve Read More
Here’s some news worth celebrating: The number of presenters tediously reading every slide and bullet point to their audience appears to be on the decline. But hold off on popping the champagne just yet. The pendulum is swinging dangerously towards the other extreme – presenters are ignoring their slides altogether. Here’s an example from a presentation I recently observed: On the screen in front of me a slide with a statement in 60 point Arial Bold all but screamed at me. Naturally I expected the salesperson to mention it. He did not. The next slide featured 5 bullet points. The salesperson brushed them all aside with a quick “you’ve expressed a number of goals in this area” before jumping to the next slide, a short quote. As I read the quote (I assumed that was what I was supposed to do), he started talking about something else. I’m not sure Read More
Set aside the violence, the snarky humor and the profanity in Deadpool 2, and look for this surprisingly compelling technique Deadpool uses to connect with the movie-going audience. Those comments the superhero directs straight to you – and not the other actors – is an acting technique called “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” And it can be used for great effect in presentations, meetings, speeches – any time you need to grab your audience’s attention. And you don’t even need super-powers to do it! Breaking the Fourth Wall with your Audience During a performance, an actor typically places an imaginary wall (the Fourth wall) between himself and the audience, going about his business on stage or on camera with the audience acting as passive observers. That distance is fine for drama, but it’s detrimental if you want to move your audience — your prospects — to take action at the end Read More
Delivering an Oscar-worthy performance is one-thing, but what about an Oscar-worthy presentation? Each year I hand out (not literally) awards for the Oscars Best and Worst Presentations in a variety of categories, along with some helpful tips for us less famous presenters. Here are my top awards from this year’s Academy Awards. See if you agree. The Oscars’ Best and Worst Presentation Awards from the 2018 Oscars Best Acceptance Speech (TIE) Frances McDormand, Best Actress Jordan Peele, Best Original Script If there was any doubt Frances McDormand’s speech was going to be standard fare, that was quickly dispelled with “I’ve got a few things to say” opening. McDormand was passionate and expressive in words, face, and body. Even so, she was able to channel her big personality and excitement enough to deliver a powerful message of change – along with specific instructions! While Jordan Peele’s style was certainly more contained Read More
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
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.