Updates from September, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Dean Waye 10:28 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: america, , middle class   

    Could America Have designed A Better Rival Than China?

    Probably not…

  • Dean Waye 12:23 pm on September 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Communications, leadership, pre-sales, presages, Public speaking, sales, Toastmasters International   

    What Toastmasters Taught Me About Selling 

    Toastmasters (great organization, terrible name) teaches people about selling, without them knowing it. It actually teaches public speaking, but the lessons for sales people are powerful.

    I recently moved back into a selling role at my company, after time in the consulting and engineering groups. And as geeky as I am I always feel most at home in Sales. More specifically, technical pre-sales, the geek who works with the actual salesperson. Recent lessons from Toastmasters reinforced the things we forget too easily when we deal with prospects.

    1. Know what the audience should say “Yes” to.

    Public speaking is about persuasion. And you’re only persuasive when you are clear. When you sit down to create your PowerPoint deck or script, you should start with what the prospect should say yes to.

    Maybe that’s an agreement to have another meeting.  Maybe it’s Yes to a trial or a demo. Or maybe they are supposed to stand on the table and say Take My Money. Now!  🙂

    Either way, if you know what you are aiming for, your  pitch will reflect that.

    2. You need conflict, every time.

    Taking a page from Duarte, there’s where you are today, and where you want to be. Your presentation needs to show some sort of gap, a disconnect between today’s business or tech problem and how your company’s solution fixes it. Toastmasters teaches you to call out the difference, and keep the audience interested by including conflict.

    3. Stories, but not what you think.

    It’s common today to hear your Sales VP talk about ‘our story’. But with enough practice in public speaking, you start to realize that your story isn’t the key here. The audience members tell themselves their own story. If you know enough about that story, you can insert yourself into it. And that is a powerful takeaway in a presentation.

    4. The Call to Action?

    Yes, we started with knowing what we wanted agreement to. We included conflict in our pitch. We even worked on putting our company into the prospect’s own story. But did you forget something?

    I was at a client meeting last week in Atlanta, and when the salesperson pointed out (pre-meeting, thankfully) that we hadn’t included a Next Steps slide (what Toastmasters calls The Call To Action), I was embarrassed.  I harass other people about this stuff, but I forgot it myself. What I should have done is followed my own template.

    If you haven’t tried Toastmasters, or you need more practice with public speakers, you can find a club here.

  • Dean Waye 10:50 am on September 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    New Website! 

    I now blog at Men of a Certain Wage. Check it out.

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