Yesterday I attended a 6-hour workshop on “Manifesting Your Dreams with Quantum Thinking”. I was excited about learning new ideas and tools for a hobby of mine – Hands on Healing. I had high aspirations and arrived at the seminar full of hope and promise. Unfortunately, my optimism was short lived as the seminar could be best described as painful. I wanted to leave after the first hour, but decided to stick it out. Though the presentation was poor, I hoped that buried beneath the feeble surface were some useful nuggets of information. Besides getting this blog idea, I discovered only two rather trivial tips. It wasn’t that I know it all – I’m far from that. It was in the presenters approach and delivery. To save you from having your audience feel the same way and leaving disappointed, I’ve taken my experience and the 5 mistakes I observed to create this list of 5 Do’s and related them to a sales conversation. Follow these tips to ensure that your meetings and seminars will be a success, and that your audience will leave full of hope and promise.
1. Arrive Early. First impressions can make or break a sales call. You should always arrive early. Whether that’s and hour or 30 minutes depends on what set-up is needed. Five minutes or 30 seconds (yup, that’s what time the instructor appeared) isn’t early enough. Allow yourself ample time to make any room configuration arrangements, place materials on the tables or chairs, and test the audio visual. More importantly, you’ll be there before your audience arrives and be ready to meet and greet, initiating the rapport building process, and making a great first impression.
2. Meet and Greet. The opening words of the sales conversation answers the three questions that people always want to know: (1) Who is this person? (2) What do they want from me? (3) Will I like them? As you meet and greet your audience, smile, make eye contact, and introduce yourself. Also ask their name (if applicable) and find out something about them. If you do that, you’ll have their full attention from the start! Also, include a short audience introduction exercise if applicable.
3. Engage, Engage, Engage. If you are like me, and thought it was challenging from K to 12 to sit still for an hour at a time while the teacher rambled on and on, it’s certainly not any easier as an adult! You’ve been on the buying side of a poor sales person who talked and talked and talked – forgetting to include you. You couldn’t wait to end that experience, right? To ensure success at your workshop, be sure to mix up the meeting with short and meaningful explanations and analogies. You may also want to engage your audience to work in pairs or small groups, participate in a question and answer session, and/or individually prepare a next step action plan.
4. Keep to the Agenda and Timing. Generally you’ve requested a specific amount of time from your prospect, and you are mindful of it. If you realized you needed more time, you’d be sure to mention that and request another appointment time to continue. So, when conducting a meeting or seminar, don’t assume it’s acceptable to go over the designated time allotment, or presume you can go off topic on an unrelated issue just because it’s an interesting discussion to you. Set the agenda and keep to the designated times. That’s respectful.
5. Invite Questions and Concurrence. Before asking for any sale, top performers know to double check with readiness questions. They only want to ask for the sale if it’s 98% certain there’s going to be a “yes”. During your meeting or seminar, continuously debrief each exercise by asking clarifying questions. Also, test for concurrence and seek feedback on the possibility of application. Then, you’ll know if it’s time to move forward with the next agenda item or revisit the content.
Be sure to include these 5 tips – modeled after a good sales conversation – when planning your next sales meeting or seminar to ensure greater success for both you and your audience.
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