Is it a pitch or a presentation?

There was an interesting conversation this morning on Facebook between three excellent professional speakers (I would highly recommend each one of them) about the difference between sales pitches and sales presentations.

Prospects hate being pitched to

Kelley Robertson

 http://www.kelleyrobertson.com/

It’s a sales presentation, not a pitch!! Pet peeve of mine!!

Kit Grant http://kitgrant.com/

How well you do it is more important than what you call it. Companies who start calling customers guests under the premise that this somehow creates better service are kidding no one except themselves. I don’t mind being “pitched” if it’s done well.

 Kelley Robertson

Point taken, Kit. However, in my opinion the vast majority of sales people “pitch” with very little effectiveness.

Kit Grant

You got that right.

Richard Elmes http://www.richardelmes.com

I think the key thing is the intended benefactor.

If your intent is for you to benefit… its a sales pitch.

If your focus is on how your prospect will benefit… its a sales presentation.

If they feel like you are pitching to them then you create a lose-lose situation.

If they feel like you are presenting solutions then you create a win-win situation.

Kelley Robertson

Great perspective Richard!
So next time you are offering your solution focus on how your prospect will benefit because they will know the difference.
If you want to learn how to turn your sales pitch into an effective customer-focused presentation that will secure more sales, contact me @ 519-820-6207 or richard@richardelmes.com

Dating and Sales – It’s not that different

I think we have another convert to the Sales Dating philosophy.

Here is an article by Greta Schulz.    http://www.b2bsalesplaybook.com/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=2173&pubmenuoptID=24674  Greta Schulz is the President of Proactive Training.

Dating and Sales – It’s Not That Different

Remember when you were dating, and you went out with someone for the first time? For example, let’s say you’re female (though the principle applies to both). You really felt from your first meeting with a gentleman that he was charming, romantic, seemed to love kids … you know, different from other guys.

Then you go out on a date. He takes you to a nice dinner at a beautiful restaurant. After you order the meal, he starts the conversation and it sounds something like this:  

“You know, I’m really glad we had an opportunity to get together. I’m so busy with my career that I don’t really date a lot. It’s a shame because I’m really a romantic person and would love to share that side of me more often. I can’t wait until the day when I can settle down and have a family. I would love to have kids and spend all of my time with them. I really want to be a great dad …”  

At this point in the date, if you have half of a brain in your head, you’re ready to bail. Why? These are all of the things you want in someone, right? Right. But this guy is probably none of them. He just told you he is all of these things and more, so why don’t you believe it?  

Because when someone tells you how wonderful he is, especially right up front, do you believe it? Of course not. Besides, if these things were true, he wouldn’t say them. He would demonstrate them. And a wonderful way to do that is to ask about you. He needs to find out what you like, get you talking and stop telling you about him.  

Selling works the same way. Until we start selling to robots, we’re dealing with humans. Human nature is the same, whether it’s personal or business.

“People often make decisions and assumptions from the things we don’t say, not the things we do.” – Greta Schulz  

Am I suggesting you just sit there without talking? Actually, yes. At the beginning, you need to ask and not tell. No one believes how wonderful and terrific you and your product are until they trust you and your word. You have to build credibility.  

Credibility isn’t something you establish by telling someone how great you are or how great your company is. Most of you are saying right now, “Greta, I don’t do that.” Really? Let me demonstrate.  

“So John, why should we go with your product when we have been using ABC’s product for so long and it has worked fine?”  

“Well, Mr. Jones, one of the reasons we stand out is the blah blah blah, and we also have superior customer service and blah blah blah …” Sound familiar? So many of you do this. This is exactly what I’m talking about. You gain credibility by listening. So shut up and listen! Ask some good, solid questions and listen to the answers. Listen for some things that you may be able to help with, then when it’s your turn, use the answers your prospect gave after your questions to compare back.  

Let’s go back to our dating example. What if you went out with this same guy (in this case), and, after dinner, he asked you a few questions.  

“So, you said you’re an attorney. Do you enjoy practicing law? How long have you lived here? Do you have family here? Yes, mine is up north, too. I love it here, but I do miss them sometimes. How about you? I hope to have my own family some day.  

You say: “Really, do you think you’ll be a good dad?”  

“I don’t know, but I hope so.”  

Sound better? Yes, of course. Did you learn something? Sure did. Do you want to learn more? Ask and listen, don’t tell. This is for both on a date and in a sales call. Remember, it’s just about people. Relax, learn, ask and stop selling!

 

We got lucky!!! Update on Mom’s condition after the stroke

First off thank you to everyone who expressed their love and kept my Mom in their prayers, in person, on the phone or online (on Facebook, through Email or on this blog) during this challenging time.

A week ago, my Mom suffered a stroke. (To read more about it check out my previous post titled: The High Cost of Waiting https://relmes.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/the-high-cost-of-waiting/

But we got lucky!!!

The reason I say “we” is because instead of wondering what might have been, we are wondering what is next, and instead of thinking what we could have done in the past to help her, we are thinking of how we can help her in the future and instead of planning a funeral, we are planning her rehabilitation.

As I mentioned in the last post, when the stroke hit, she recognized she was in trouble and she called for help and getting there saved her life.

But as she realizes now, her life in the future will be different.

She is lucky that the damage of the stroke appears to have effected her vision and her memory.

At this time she has lost her right side vision from one o’clock(if you think of looking straight being twelve o’clock) to the right everywhere except on the bottom. This may or may not improve over time.

Her memory has also been effected.

I describe it this way: If all of her memories were on sheets of paper, all categorized and files for easy and quick retreaval, the stroke messed up that filing system and scattered all of the sheets on the floor.

In the first days following the stroke, she had trouble recalling her last name, her telephone number and even the names of her family members. However, she has improved this by studying her “cheat sheets” in order to re-learn these important facts.

Her short term memory has also been effected, because I can have a conversation with her and a few minutes we can be talking about the same things.

A few of things that I have taken away from this learning process;

If you want to learn and anything is possible. Mom has told me many days she will find herself waking up at night and she will invest the time in studying. She view this as a challenge and I am confident that it will pay off. (I have witnessed her improving every day)

Forced learning doesn’t stick. Mom said that when she is trying really hard to remember something it doesn’t come to her, but when she is relaxed things come much easier. Although I give her credit that her frustration level has been incredibly low. I know if I were in her situation I would be incredibly frustrated.  Just think of how much you retained after cramming for exams in school.

Progress happens when it is enjoyable. Although it has been a tramatic experience for our whole family, I for one have thoroughly enjoyed the time that I have spent with Mom this week. We have laughed (Thank heavens she still has her sense of humour), and we have hugged (she instituted a new family rule that we have to hug each other everytime we see each other) and we have just appreciated the time together.

I know that in my training or coaching sessions I often use laughter as a way to open up the doors of learning, in order to help make the message stick.

As of the time of this post, my Mom is still in the Stroke wing at Grand River Hospital http://www.grandriverhospital.on.ca/ and will probably be there until at least Friday. Then hopefully she will be able to go home, where she will face a whole new set of challenges.

But if I know my Mom, she will continue to face those challenges with the same sense of adventure and humility that she has demonstrated to me this week.

I will keep you posted on her progress. But in the meantime, keep those prayers coming, because I am convinced they are the reason we are all lucky.

Motivational Quote: Conversation

“Next time you are having a conversation ask yourself if you are really communicating or are you just taking turns talking.” – Richard Elmes

How to create Powerful Introductions

I asked him, “So what do you do?” and he replied, “I sell insurance.”

How boring!! In a previous post (you can check it out here https://relmes.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/how-to-become-more-effective-at-networking-events-part-9/ ) I wrote about how to develop your audio-business card and why doing so in a way that differentiates you from your competition can positively impact how you are perceived.

Remember, “Your customer’s perception is your reality.”

I am currently reading an excellent book titled: Becoming Preferred – How to Outsell your Competition by Michael Vickers. http://www.michaelvickers.com/ 

Here is what her wrote (I love, this section) about Creating your Introduction.

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Your Introduction

The most important thing you can do in formulating a powerful introduction is to first define the benefits of what you do rather than simply describing what you do. For example, let us say that I sell insurance. You meet me at a local watering hole and during the course of our conversation you ask me what I do for a living. I reply,

“I sell insurance.”

Do you need any more information?

Do you feel like introducing me to all of your friends?

Do you get an overwhelming urge to invite me home for dinner and develop a relationship with me?

I don’t think so. Let’s face it, there is nothing wrong with selling insurance, it is just that you have been there and done that! Saying you sell insurance does not create excitement not does it create interest.

A number of years ago i was in a golf tournament. During the course of the tournament I struck up a conversation with a professional looking gentleman whom I had not met before.

The initial conversation was polite and then I asked him what he did for a living. He replied,

“I am a golf fund specialist”

That caught my curiousity and I replied, “What do you mean a golf fund specialist?” “Well, ” he said, “I help executives enjoy the game of Golf today and well into their retirement.” “How do you do that?” I asked, He then stated, “I would love to show your how I do it. If you give me your business card I will be happy to give you a call and perhaps we can continue this conversation over coffee.”

Am I interested in meeting with this person? Absolutely.

Guess what he does for a living?

He sells insurance!

The products he sells are financial products, but the benefit of what he sells is financial security. His marketing target is the business professional who golfs.

The market has thousands of insurance agents and financial planners, but how many “golf fund specialists” do you know?

“It is not what you do that counts, but the benefit of what you do.” – Michael Vickers

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Now that is what I call a sexy introduction!!!