Focus on the Present and Analyze the Trends

The secret of success is in the quality of your focus. Like a surgeon precisely removes the damaged part, you must replace what is not efficient with something that is. Do not focus on the past except to learn from it. What you do now will determine the success or failure in the future.

Focus on the present to prepare for the future. Focus on the past to learn from your mistakes and successes. Focus on the trends so you can ride them to success. Focus on new developments to take advantage of them. Analyze everything so that you can weed out inefficiencies and keep going at full speed to reach your goals.

One thing often overlooked is that if you keep on doing what you have been doing, you will keep on getting what we have been getting. It is insane to expect different results with the same action. If you are not getting good results, you must change what you are doing. Here is where the precise part comes in. You usually do not have to change everything, just the inefficient part.

The problem is that you probably do not know which part to change. This is what focus is all about. You must develop a method of analysis to determine what is efficient and what is not. Sometimes you simply have to change something and see what happens. It is a matter of discovering what does not blend in with your system. It is a process of elimination to remove what is not efficient.

Success is often a matter of timing. What will work one time, may go belly up another time. Businesses often move gradually to a peak, hold steady for a while and then begin to decline. The same goes for products that businesses sell. They are popular for a while and then decline, depending on their quality and the quality of their competition.

You have to have a feel for what is hot and what is not. You have to know when to get in a business, how it is doing, and how to make it more efficient. You have to know how and when to get out if time changes have outdated your business.

This is where your focus is critical. How well you do, depends on how you read what is going on. You must not only focus on the present, but you must have a gut feeling for which way things are going. This requires analyzing trends. You can get better as you gain more experience. If you are sharp enough to anticipate changes in the trends, you can get a jump on the competition. If you guess wrong, you will lose ground.

How fast you rise to success and how long it remains to a peak, depends on the efficiency of your focus. You must sell what is hot and drop what is not. You must keep up with new developments. New technology may threaten your business unless you see it coming and take advantage of it. If you do not keep up with changes in the times, you will be left behind.

Successful Sales Presentations – If You Solve It, They Will Buy

Remember the movie, “Field of Dreams”? The movie’s mantra was, “If you build it, they will come.” Along those same lines, in a persuasive presentation, if you SOLVE their problem, they will BUY. Let me explain.

Many of you have heard and read my “bespeakism” turn your focus 180°; imploring you to put yourself in the audience’s seat. Once you’re there, ask yourself, what’s bothering them? What’s keeping them up at night? What’s a PROBLEM they have that your product or service can SOLVE? Once you figure that out, you’re ready to begin building a presentation that will truly persuade them.

Begin by illustrating for them what their “Picture” looks like; where they currently are. Include in that picture, a crystal clear view of their problem. Now ears have perked up; heads are nodding. They’re listening because you’ve shown them that you “get” them. More important, you’ve just brought out in the open the thing that’s keeping them up at night! “Yes!” they’re thinking, “That’s exactly where I am! If only someone could help me with this problem.”

Enter YOU and your proposal for solving this problem. (By the way, this kind of intro works just as effectively for informative presentations; you have to give the audience a compelling reason to listen and learn − illuminating a problem they’re facing that your information will help them solve is the best way to capture their interest.) For those of you in the selling business (and who isn’t?) this is when you tell them in PLAIN English (think smart savvy 11 year old), using BIG BOLD BRAVE words what your solution is.

Next, you illustrate the payoff; the BENEFITS to them of adopting your proposal. These are NOT bells and whistles, doo dads and super duper gadgets. These are the what’s and how’s their lives will be better, easier, safer, richer, more carefree, etc. once they begin using your product or service. The better you know your audience and understand their problem and how you solve it, the more easily and compellingly you can communicate this to them.

Now you have to use your knowledge of them to bullet proof your idea. This requires you taking the time thinking as though you are they and asking, “What will their objections be? What will they still be doubtful about? What may I need to disabuse them of?” Bringing these things out into the light and knocking them down one by one will seal the deal. You will have addressed their doubts before they’ve had a chance to voice them.

Next you paraphrase what you’ve said thus far. Briefly recap their problem, your proposed solution, the payoffs to them of adopting it and the proof they need to dispel any misconceptions or doubts that your solution will work. One piece left; the prompt.

This is CRITICAL and yet many many persuasive presentations are missing this important element. Tell them what they’re NEXT STEP is! Don’t be afraid of being “pushy”. You’ve just illustrated very clearly and compellingly to them WHAT their problem is and HOW you can solve it, as well as telling them the GREAT things they’ll enjoy by adopting your solution. You’ve even illustrated possible objections and debunked them. At this point they’re DYING for you to tell them where they sign, what line they get in, who the check’s to be made out to, etc. You’re their problem solver! The answer to their prayers! Don’t stop after you’ve told them how you can solve their problem; tell them the steps they can take to get started.

Before your next presentation, sit down and ask yourself, “What is my audience’s problem? How does my product or service solve it? What is the result of that solution? Then follow the structure I’ve described above

(also known as the bespeak presentation method) and you’ll be giving persuasive presentations that assure that you’ll be heard and get results. And who wants to give any other kind?

Keeping Your Audience in the Palm of Your Hand During Presentations

Most business people face the inevitability of having to deliver a presentation at some point. Of course, there are several ways in which you can accomplish that; however, at some point, you will probably use PowerPoint, which can be a really good thing. You need to find a way to really engage your audience and to keep them in the palm of your hand.

The most effective tools to use in your presentation–leveraging PowerPoint

When it comes to delivering a presentation, your goal is to engage your audience members and to get them to participate in a discussion with you and with other audience members. Your presentation is only the launching-off point. After that, your hope is that the people with whom you interacted at your presentation will want to continue to interact with you in some form indefinitely after that.

If the people who originally attended your presentation want to continue interacting with all of you (or just you), that will give you your opportunity to work on relationship with the other people and your ultimate goal, once you relationship has developed and become very solid (after building trust, credibility, positioning yourself as a subject matter expert, and building trustworthiness) is to be in a position of selling your offerings.

When it comes to your relying on PowerPoint to help you deliver your presentation effectively, there are ways to use it that will yield very positive results.

  • Get your audience members to engage with each other and with you: As you are presenting your material, it is very important for you to encourage the members of your audience to interact. If you manage to make that happen, using PowerPoint becomes much less of a crutch. Instead, it becomes a nice tool to help you along. However, the real catalyst in that situation is the actual discussion itself. You should use your slides as discussion points. They will help you to keep your thoughts organized and it will drive your discussion in an organized fashion.
  • Asking thought-provoking questions is an effective approach: Your questions (as long as they are interesting) will be a starter for your discussion. Everyone likes to feel as though their opinion matters to other people and that is exactly how you make them feel if you ask a question and make it clear that you value whatever they share with you in response. In fact, on the opposite side of the coin, there is nothing worse than asking a question, hoping to engage people and get them to respond to what you are saying, and they say nothing at all. It makes you feel as though they have absolutely no interest in what you are doing and in what you are sharing with them. It makes you feel as though they don’t value you and your business.
  • Use PowerPoint in your Web-based presentation: It is certainly not uncommon for you to give a presentation in a WebEx or some other Web-based meeting. In that case, you can make your meeting interactive, just like you would have an interactive meeting if you were in the same room (physically) with your audience. However, the one limitation that you will have in that particular environment is that because you can’t see your audience in person, it may be more difficult to figure out how they are feeling (and thus, reacting) to whatever you are saying. That is about the body language. It is totally acceptable in that situation to recognize and work around the limitation of your audience not actually being in front of you in person. It is probably best not to wait until the end of your presentation to ask your audience if they have any questions or comments.
  • Make use of PowerPoint’s interactive capabilities: Just because when you use PowerPoint, you present slides to your audience does not mean that it has absolutely no interactive capabilities. In fact, what you can do is embed links that lead to other information from your LinkedIn presentation. That is extremely easy to do and you can get a great deal of mileage from using back links to other valuable content. If you can manage to establish an interactive relationship and build that aspect into your presentations, you will be able to solidify your relationships and you will see positive results before too long.

Conclusion

Delivering presentations is an important and necessary part of your business (at least, in most cases). It is important that you recognize the significance of your presentations being compelling and engaging. Your short-term goal is to engage people. Make sure that your sincerity and your genuineness comes through every time and that you give your audience a clear idea of what they will gain by attending your presentation. It is a wonderful incentive for them. Your long-term goal is to eventually sell your offerings to those people with whom you have been able to establish a connection.