Last week I wrote about First Impressions and today's topic is presentations. That's quite the change in direction from Consultative Selling, Sales Process, Assessments, and Performance.
What do Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocket Man, Miracle and Argo have in common and what do they have to do with selling?
What do Unbroken, Hunt for Red October, and A Few Good Men have in common and what is their relation to selling?
Let's tackle the issue of presenting your solutions to two different audiences:
- Those who are very familiar with what you have, what you do and how it works;
- Those who are unfamiliar with what you have, what you do and how it works.
Think about a time when you were being sold, and the salesperson was blabbing the company's talking points, capabilities, features and benefits and you either already knew that stuff or weren't particularly interested in hearing about it Wasn't that an awful experience? It doesn't have to be that awful. If you saw Bohemian Rhapsody, you already knew what was going to happen to Freddy Mercury and Queen but the movie sucked you in despite that. If you saw Rocket Man you already knew the story of Elton John but the movie grabbed you by the throat and didn't let go even though you knew how it would end. If you saw Miracle, you already knew that the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team defied the odds and beat the Russians to win the Gold medal but they had you immersed despite that. And if you saw Argo you already knew that the hostages escaped from Iran but you were still on pins and needles hoping they made it out of Iranian airspace.
The presentations to people who know you and your company don't have to be boring and repetitive. What can you do to transform your presentation so that you achieve the same emotional reactions as those four movies do? You need to stop taking your presentations for granted, stop sleep walking through them, stop treating them like you're reciting the multiplication tables and infuse some drama, interaction and suspense.
Your other audience is the group that isn't aware of your capabilities. Most of us who watched Unbroken weren't familiar with the story of Louis Zamperini. Most of us who watched Hunt for Red October and a Few Good Men weren't even aware that they were true stories! When presenting to new prospects, people who aren't familiar with you, how can you tell your story in such a way as to get your new prospects to react emotionally in much the same way as you would have reacted after those movies? "Wow, I'm so glad we saw that - I had no idea!" Again, infuse some drama, interaction and suspense into your presentations!
The Sales Competency on which salespeople generally score the highest is Presentation Approach - presenting the right concepts to the right people at the right time for the right reasons. That said, there is still room for improvement. OMG's average score for all salespeople is 71% but there is less disparity between the top 5% and the bottom 10% than any of the other 21 Sales Core Competencies. Elite salespeople are "only" 157% better at Presentation Approach than the bottom 10%. Want to see all 21 Sales Core Competencies, the scoring variances by industry and how you and/or your team measure up? Click here.
Bonus lesson: Bohemian Rhapsody has a scene where Freddy Mercury articulates Queen's Positioning Statement. Watch it here.