Salespeople are trained to convey facts about what they sell, and they are commonly referred to as “cold” and “hard”, but they are neither. Certainly facts have their place but they don’t evoke emotion in buyers. You will be more successful in moving prospects and buyers to take action if you weave some storytelling into your conversations, which morphs the sales profession from a science to an art. That probably won’t be a part of your company sales training, meaning you will be on your own to develop and include those skill sets.
The quickest and least expensive way to develop those skills just mentioned is by subscribing to Doug’s FREE Selling Point weekly newsletter and getting a copy of Doug’s book, Sell is NOT a Four Letter Word ($16 with FREE SHIPPING). That said, let’s get back to this week’s topic.
We have all heard many faux pas that could be labeled as problematic in sales presentations, but in this post I’m picking five to mention, the ones that seem to be the most common and glaring.
– Aim that’s Poor – One symptom of this mistake is that the audience does not know where they fit into your story. If the audience does not understand the role they play in the story, you will lose their interest. Part of an effective presentation is that we make complex ideas easy to grasp, and part of following the narrative is knowing our place in the story.
Alternative: In your story, the buyer is at the center; s/he is your hero, or protagonist. (The seller is not the hero. The seller is merely the narrator.)
– Advantages that are Inadequate – Whenever we listen to a story, we try to associate how the message relates to us. If the message is not easily relatable, or if the audience does not clearly see what’s in it for them, they will not engage.
Alternative: It is the presenter’s role to connect the dots for the audience. There should be a “so what?” message to your story. This goes along with making the complex idea easy to grasp.
– Arranged Badly – This means that the story itself, or the progression of events is hard to follow. When we are not prepared to tell a story, we tend to bounce around in the progression of events, and that makes the audience work hard to keep up.
Alternative: Today’s audiences were raised on TV and are accustomed to having stories that are easy to follow. When telling a story, make sure that the events are somewhat cause-and-effect, or at least have a reason for being positioned in the order in which you are telling them.
– Anal Aspects Abound – Too much detail weighs a story down. When we have far more information than we need, the narrative becomes hard to follow. Too much detail slows the story down.
Alternative: Get to the point. Include necessary details, but no more, and no fewer. One key to making a story easy to process is filling it with action.
– Agonizing Content – Shakespeare said that “brevity is the soul of wit.” When we take a thousand words to say what could be said in ten, we exhaust our audience.
Alternative: Say what you need to say in as few words as possible—without sacrificing your meaning.
To create a compelling narrative, you should take the facts and circumstances you have gathered and craft a story that makes complex ideas easy to grasp; that means avoiding the five most common sales proposal errors.
You should keep the buyer engaged by having a clear purpose, establishing the benefit, developing a clear story, and getting to the point in as few words as possible.
©2016 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC