When Trying to Persuade Your Audience, Try Using the Tools of the Ancient Greeks

Category: Sales, Visual Aid When trying to sell a complicated idea, most business people fire up their PowerPoint and start creating slides and charts. I ask myself, “What would Aristotle do?” That’s what I did recently when I worked with Chris, a consultant who had invented a 17-step process for dramatically shortening the amount of [...]

Learn to Sell Ideas Like the Girl Scouts Sell Cookies

Category: Networking, Sales It’s Girl Scout Cookie season. And if you want to sell ideas during a presentation, take a lesson from those sash-wearing hoards that are hawking Thin Mints door to door. You might want to use what I call the Girl Scout Cookie Theory of Persuasion. Let me explain. When my daughter [...]

Checklist For a Winning New Business Presentation

I recently read surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande’s bestseller “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.” It’s about the amazing power of simple checklists. For example, a five-step checklist saved 1,500 lives and $200 million by reducing infections in Michigan hospitals. The first step on that checklist was that the doctor must remember to [...]

How Does the 80-20 Rule Apply to Presentations?

In the late 1800s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 20 percent of the peapods in his garden yielded 80 percent of the peas. He also noted that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. So was born the “Pareto Principle,” sometimes called as the “80-20 rule”. [...]

How One Question Can Improve Your Sales Presentations

Too often, when a potential client calls and asks for a sales presentation, the potential vendor is so pumped for the opportunity that they get off the telephone as quickly as possible. But before you hang up, there is one question that you can ask that can dramatically increase your ability to win the business. Here’s [...]

Learning from Your Dentist: The Keys to Delivering Bad News

Many of us have to deliver unwanted messages. For example, my dentist recently told me that some of my old fillings were deteriorating and needed to be replaced.   “They’ve served you well for many years,” she told me. “But those old fillings don’t last forever.”   That was an unwanted message. And yet I was [...]

Solutions + Stories = Great Sales Pitch

When you’re selling services and other intangible things, it’s important to include a proposed solution to the prospect’s challenge and a story about how that solution has worked in the past. That solution coupled with a story is one of the only ways for a prospect to get a true feel for what they’re buying. Think [...]

Asking for Small Commitments in a Sales Presentation Can Pay Off with Big Orders

Call it the small commitment paradox. You’ll make more sales if you ask for less at the end of your sales pitches. That’s right. Asking for less yields more, according to a study detailed in “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive” a book by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. [...]

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