Selling is all about memorable performances – especially in person.
Don’t Be Forgettable
While watching an incredibly boring episode of American Idol, one of the judges critiqued another generic singer. All of the contestants seemed to blend together, giving the same lackluster performances, one after the other.
The judge said, “The problem is that you are completely forgettable.”
Exactly. Although there were thirty-six finalists, and maybe three of them were memorable. This was bad news for the other thirty-three and really bad news for the show.
Here is the deal—when you are on stage you have to put on a show. The performance must be outstanding. You must be memorable!
The same is true for the sales profession. Selling is all about memorable performances—especially in person. Unfortunately, just like American Idol, only about one in ten of us puts on a memorable performance when we have the opportunity. As a judge recently said to a contestant, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m afraid that you’ve blown it.”
You Are On Stage
If salespeople heard this more often from either their sales managers or their clients, we would see real improvement. Because, unlike the contestants on American Idol, we get “once in a lifetime” opportunities all the time in front of career-changing prospects, our “judges”. Without the right dedication to certain aspects of your presentation, and without the knowledge that you are on stage, giving a performance, it is easy to blow it with prospects time and time again.
4 Tips For Winning Sales Presentations
Here is what you must do the next time you have a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of a very important prospect:
Spend less time on the content of your presentation. You can create the content in your sleep and no one really needs to see a better set of PowerPoint slides. Remember, a sales presentation is about your performance. If your prospect is paying more attention to your PowerPoint slides, you’ve lost their attention and most likely their business.
Pick out a really great outfit. Ask somebody with style to give you some advice on an accessory that adds flair, but stay away from goofy stuff. Make sure you are dressed professionally in clothes that fit properly and that you are well-groomed. Appearances matter when giving memorable presentations.
Work on the dynamics of the presentation to make it different for the prospect. Here are some ideas: Add some music to your show—recorded is good, but live is better. Think about using an appropriate and memorable quote, or have a unique ‘leave behind’ that will spur memories of your performance. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant, just aim to set yourself apart from the competition and stay top of mind with your prospect.
Do a complete dress rehearsal in front of an audience. Selling is a competition. To win more frequently, you must be more memorable. Winning takes practice, and so do performances. If you wing it, you will blow it.
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About the author
After a 20-year career in broadcast sales, Tim J.M. Rohrer wrote a book, Sales Lessons…