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

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

Kit Grant

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

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

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

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 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.

Frustration, Lies and Success

I recently read a couple of friends Facebook messages one title said:

“I’m tired of being lied to…” 

and another that said,

“I don’t like being used by people”

Can you sense that both of these people are frustrated by the way they have been treated.

Can you sense that both of these people are not happy with the relationship with the person who treated them this way.

And can you sense that both of these people are not going to take it anymore. 

I certainly did. And this got me thinking that when someone lies to you, doesn’t do what they say they will, or just uses you for their own purpose and then tosses you aside that they are all acting in very selfish ways.

One of my big eureka’s this past year has been that selfishness is the root of all frustration. Selfishness is the root of all evil. (instead of money) And Selfishness is the root of all sin.

O.K. wait a minute, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking isn’t this blog suppose to be about how to be a more effective sales professional. And you would be right.

Unfortunately, there are a great number of people in the business world and world in general that still think that in order to get what they want and be successful in sales, you need to lie, cheat, use people and generally check your ethics at the door.

Being nice is for losers. Being nice is for chumps. And nice guys (and gals) finish last.

And if this were true, then I would be looking for another profession.

But fortunately it is not true.

The reality of professional selling is that checking your ethics at the door leads to a short career in sales.

Being truthful, coming through on promises and respecting helping others are all key elements to success in sales.

Remember, people will not buy from you is they don’t trust what you say. They won’t buy from you if they don’t believe that your products or services are going to do what you say they will. And they won’t buy from you if they think you are only acting in your own best interest instead of theirs.

So if you want to have a long successful career and make a lot of money then be honest and help a lot of people and they will in turn help you.