There are many kinds of “sales & presentation methods” and most of them are bad.
Toastmasters … ………………..terrible.
Just be yourself ………………..horrible.
Has anyone recently told you, “hey, just be yourself, just tell them the facts and you’ll be fine”?
If someone has, give me their number. I’ll call them and tell them never to talk you again. Why?
Information-based selling is dead. And “winging it” is unprofessional.
The broad conclusion I have drawn is that buyers come to hear your pitch for one reason: curiosity. This is true of investors, purchasing agents, CEOs, etc.
So I have made a point of learning to think like the buyer, to be curious like the buyer, to feel the needs and pains and hopes and dreams of the buyer.
I’m going to be talking about this for a full hour next Thursday at the Infusionsoft ICON16 event. If you plan to be there, email me and we can arrange to say “hi” at the book signing.
If you’re not going to be at the event, here’s a quick and easy way to approach your next presentation –
Imagine for a moment “Tommy”, an average 10-year-old watching an average action movie, like Indiana Jones. There’s a car chase. Then a shootout. Then the heroes are making a desperate escape plan.
It’s all very interesting, exciting and curious … and engaging.
WHOA. What is this now …
A romantic scene with … what the hell …. kissing?!
Time to go to the kitchen and put a Hot Pocket(tm) in the microwave.
See, for a 10-year-old boy there is absolutely no reason in any action movie ever to watch a romantic scene.
Love-making, kissing, cuddling, hand-holding while walking on the beach in the rain … it doesn’t matter.
It adds nothing to the story.
At least not in the way that Tommy cares.
Your buyer is “Tommy.”
He wants key information that is –
– satisfying to his curiosity
I don’t know what business you’re in (you can always email me and tell me, you will get a response)
But I do know what business I’m in: investment banking.
So take a free lesson from my experiences with the most iron-fisted, cold-hearted and emotionless investors on earth:
These things are considered ACTION:
1. What is rapidly changing in your industry and what you think is going to happen in the next 12 months
2a. The very difficult problems you can solve with your product
2b. And why those problems are so hard to solve
3. The key features of your product/service (KEY FEATURES, not a laundry list of all the various things it can do)
4. A very brief demo (if possible)
5. The economics the investor will receive
6. The financials with a focus on revenues and actual year-over-year growth
7. Customer logos, customer contracts, user growth, renewal rates, gross margin, net margin, operating margin and ebitda (or NOI)
8. A reason to act now
And these things are considered ROMANTIC (and therefore not worth listening to)
1. The history of your company or any kind of sob story like is common on Shark Tank
2. The resumes of your team of advisors and “excellent” management
3. Your marketing plan (unless there are hard advertising dollars attached)
4. Reasons your competitors can’t do what you do (because in reality, they can, they just don’t want to)
5. One of those useless charts comparing your features to the competitors (useless because your competitor has the exact same chart showing that you don’t have any good features)
6. A list of products you will be coming out with in the future when you are a bigger company
7. A list of companies who have said they “love what you are doing” but haven’t purchased anything
8. Research about the size of your market
9. Features of products that haven’t been half built
10. And fifty other similar things
In summary, yes, do think of your buyer as a 10-year-old boy. He is curious. He is impatient. He wants solid information, and has other things to do. And he’s hungry for a Hot Pocket(tm).
Next, do me a favor. Send this to someone you know. Together, build your own list of “Romantic” items, eg things to take out of (or never put into) your own presentations.
Here are some administrative items:
– Again, I will be at Infusionsoft ICON16 next Thursday, stop by to say ‘hi’.
– If you’re working on raising money or selling your company, let me take a look at what you’re doing, I’m here.
– You can download my brain here, it costs a few bucks but is worth it.