Some sales and business people will be scared off by this and claim, “Well, I am not good at speaking to groups.” It is a well-known fact that public speaking ranks higher than death in the list of top ten fears. My answer to that is, “Learn how now!” Speaking well is the most powerful sales tool you can have. If you ignore it, your income will suffer.
The ability to communicate confidently in front of people not only enhances your own confidence but presents you as a credible authority, a leader. You become the one everyone wants to talk to because you’re the expert, you’re the one with the answers. This is an extremely valuable perception to have on your side when you approach a prospect.
Unfortunately, most speakers are either talking at a hundred miles per hour or the monotone, scarcely coherent ones droning on endlessly, or the self-absorbed ones trying to be cute, clever and witty. To be an effective speaker, you must also develop important speaking skills in order to hold your audience.
Some say it is OK if you get 15 percent of the audience interested. Rubbish! Your goal is to enroll 1OO percent of the audience every time. You want to have everyone interested in talking to you further, wanting to buy from you, wanting more information from you or just plain excited about the experience of hearing you.
And this is how you do it:
Earn the Right
Who are you and why are you different? It is critical that you learn how to earn undisputed credibility quickly and easily and the quickest way is to tell your personal story. Your past can uncover gems that will instill confidence and respect in the minds of all of your attendees. These are honest experiences that tell the group that you know what you are talking about without boasting.
A friend of mine said it well: “Selling is not TELLING.” Most presenters spend so much time telling everyone about the incredible data that they have they don’t stop to explain exactly how it is going to benefit them. Selling is the art of asking the right questions
to generate interest, create the process of discovery, build rapport and truly demonstrate your interest in the prospect.
You must know how and when to acknowledge your audience and when to invite them to share their experiences in a way that raises the probability of sales. Without this interaction the presentation is at best dull and boring or at worst, one-sided and patronizing.
Identify and Confront Silent Issues
Good presenters should be able to sense the mood and energy of a room. If they sense skepticism, confusion, doubt or any negative vibration, rather than glossing over it, they should address it immediately and directly. “I get a sense that there is some doubt about what I am saying. Who would care to say how they feel about the information that I just delivered?” The energy of the room jumps up and the feeling of being disconnected from the group begins to subside. This is extremely valuable because you are addressing objections before they build up against you.
Listening is obviously a critical skill in sales, yet few people are good at it. In a presentation it is important to focus and listen to what participants have to say ALL THE WAY THROUGH. The natural tendency is to try to gauge the intent and nature of the question as fast as you can and be ready with a good answer. While this is admirable and efficient, this is the very reason most people are such poor listeners. The moment your mind begins to ponder an answer is the moment you stop listening. If you listen and stop thinking of the next witty comeback while someone is talking, two things will happen:
First, you will build an incredible connection with the person speaking, because he will sense your focus at both a conscious and subconscious level.
Second, you will hear valuable information about the person’s emotional concerns and thoughts on the issues being raised. The most important part of any conversation is revealed at the end of a person’s comments. So if you “zone out,” you will miss the real
selling signals! These critical elements of feedback are where the clues, hints and insights are hidden. It is these gems that will allow you to ask specific questions in order to address the client’s needs. Listening well also develops a more trusting and respectful relationship, which will encourage a positive buying decision.
Ask and Solicit Lots of Questions
Whether you are presenting in front of a group or are in a one-to-one interview, you must continue to ask questions and encourage your audience to do the same. It is in this process that prospects’ interest is developed, the relationship between the speaker and the participants is built and a working dialogue begins.
Turn Features into What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) Benefits
Every basic sales training course tells you that customers make their decision to buy based upon the perceived benefit of your product or service. They will never buy features unless they are made relevant to their needs.
Do NOT use your time in front of the audience to simply list features. Don’t assume anyone will bridge the mental gap between a feature and the benefit it provides him or her. That’s your job. YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM! For example, “This insurance policy has an increasing cash value. This is important to you because you can borrow from it tax-free in the future and thus reduce the money that you pay in taxes each year without reducing your actual income.”
You don’t have to be a pro at this, and fill the Expo, but you have to start somewhere. Start small and hone your skill!
This article was adapted from “SalesDogs: You Do Not Have to Be an Attack Dog to Explode your Income!” by Blair Singer, top sales and leadership coach. Success Resources is pleased to introduce the “Sales and Leadership Mastery Introductory Workshop: Generate More Sales Fast By Exploding Your Ability to Sell and Communicate.” For more details and to register for this workshop, click here.