A friend/prospect and I talked about his national sales meeting that was held last week. I was following up with him because his company had “gone in another direction” (euphemism for we want a speaker but not you) and he told me how disappointed he was with the presentations his team did at the meeting. He thought that maybe, starting with the new CEO and on down, we might work together to train them to be prepared, passionate and purposeful.
His company had worked out a really interesting case study to replicate real life drama. The sales teams, broken down by region, were each to consider themselves the current vendor in the case study, and they needed to presen a 5 min pitch to a (real) customer to keep the business. Could they? My friend was pretty much not happy. He said one team got the business but two gave it away (and what a rotten way to lose business, don’t you think? Not having what the client wants is one thing; not being able to present it successfully is another). They lost the business because they couldn’t present a cohesive, clear, compassionate message in a compelling manner.
Can you? If you had 3 or 5 minutes, what would you say to re-earn the business?
Most people either start blabbering about how much they want to keep the business, how hard they’ll work, how much it means to them to partner with the company (ding, you’re out), or they start spewing facts, figures and hard data to support the logical reasons to maintain the existing relationship (ding, you’re out, too).
Set yourself apart and get your point across in 3 minutes by having a story to tell. Think SuperBowl commercials or any of the other great ads (the puppy who protects his bone) that tell a complete story, with a punchline (the product or service) in less than 60 seconds. What’s the most compelling story you can tell your customer? Forget selling and go for telling. Tell your story to connect on an emotional level and you’ll make those 3 minutes persuasive, powerful and profitable.