• Sep 17
    2012
    Have you ever watched a film that ended abruptly, and thought “Huh? That’s it? That’s the end? What happened? ” It can be kind of an unexpected slap on the face. Effective moviemaking? Perhaps. But in a presentation, you want to take advantage of your close so that your audience remembers what you just said. This means that you don’t just tack on a slide that says “thank you” and ...
  • Sep 13
    2012
    Sales professionals love to use brochures and handouts to help position the benefits of their products. Fair enough - but what if your customers don't understand why those benefits are of value? It may seem obvious to us how those benefits will work for your customer, but you can make them clear and show you're listening at the same time. How can you improve some common vague benefit statements? Thousands ...
  • Sep 12
    2012
    When we speak in front of an audience, the first minute is the most important in terms of making your presentation a success. That’s not much time, considering you may be speaking for 30 minutes or more. There’s much to accomplish in that first minute: you must capture their attention, establish credibility, introduce your topic and inspire them to listen. How do you do this, assuming that pulling a rabbit ...
  • Sep 12
    2012
    A recent study in the journal Psychology of Sports and Exercise found that if you want to gain a measurable edge over your opponent, stand up straight and dress like a pro. Sound familiar? The study showed that when athletes were shown a video of prospective opponents, they were much less confident of victory if the subject displayed good posture, a genial demeanor, and dressed in a clean uniform. Conversely, ...
  • Sep 06
    2012
    The world of sales is a lot more technology- dependent than ever before. Most of us now use some kind of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, such as Salesforce.com or something else that is supposed to make our world easier. So why doesn't it seem to work that way? The tools do what they're supposed to do - capture information and get it to us when we need it. The ...
  • Sep 05
    2012
    Many business presentations have a routine. A slide appears, the presenter talks, and the next slide appears. Try spicing up your presentation with a little stage craft to keep the audience engaged and a little surprised: Make an important point then hit the "B" button on your computer to make your screen go black. Tell them you want to remove any distractions and have them think about what you just ...
  • Sep 04
    2012
    "The most precious things in speech are pauses." So said the eminent Shakespearean actor Ralph Richardson, and it’s not only true for the thespian performing a soliloquy from Hamlet. When delivering a speech or presentation, you can’t deny the power of the pause. Pauses in your speech serve three important functions. First, they help control breathing, which is fundamental to your success as a speaker. Natural pauses assist your breathing. ...
  • Aug 30
    2012
    Studies consistently show that customers believe sales people talk too much. Even more embarrassing, polls of sales people show that we know we talk too much. But how can we sell more while talking less? One reason we talk too much is we don't want to miss a detail the customer might find important, so we overload them with information. The answer lies in letting the customer speak first. If ...