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Be Brave at the Front of the Room Part 1

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no one else

Be Brave at the Front of the Room Part 1

Years ago, in an excellent course my team and I learned some great presentation techniques. Two of them almost never got used; apparently because the presenters were uncomfortable with them.  Let’s have a look at them, the reasons we hesitate to use them, and the power when we do.

1)      No One Else

2)      What Do You Think?

We’ll start here with Number 1.

(This article is written in context of a presentation, or demonstration, done for the purpose of selling.)

1) No One Else

This statement has great power.  It sets us apart from the competition; and the audience tends to remember it.  Things we definitely want.  The goal is to point out our unique benefit, feature, fact.

And let the audience know we are the only ones who can deliver this.

 

First.   NEVER lie or misrepresent.

This-is about some basics:

  • Know Your Product
  • Know Your Competition
  • Know Your Customer

 

When you know these three things, you’ll know where you give unique value.

When you know that, state it:

  • Clearly
  • With enthusiasm.

 

Here’s an example in the software world:

You know that your customer really cares about security. Your product has been endorsed by the Chief Security Officer of a government body. Your company is the only one with that endorsement.

Now tell them!

We are the only company who can provide what you need and are endorsed by { }.

“We are the only” stands out and is remembered. If it’s a benefit that’s of significant importance to the audience, it can be key to persuading them to buy.

 

I recall watching a Technology Presales Consultant presenting to a prospective client.

Twice he pointed to a statement on his PowerPoint presentation and said “Only we do this.”

Afterwards I realized I didn’t even remember exactly what those two points were, but I remembered there were two things only we could do.  Chances are, at least some members of the audience were the same.

That presenter knew his stuff. He had done excellent discovery so he knew which particular benefits and features mattered to this prospect. He knew his industry, his competition; and he very definitely knew his product. And he was brave at the front of the room.  So it takes work, certainly.  But It’s very powerful.

 

So why don’t more people use this technique?  Especially people who had just been trained on it?  My theory is:

FEAR

 

We’re afraid we aren’t correct and that the audience will call us on it.  There are two ways to handle this.  The first one is critical:

  1. Do the necessary work.
    REALLY understand your customer.
    Research your industry and competition.
    And know your product/service/solution inside out.

There is no substitute for hard work on this one.  But that’s true of any good presentation; so it shouldn’t be a problem here!

 

  1. Use words that help you. You could say ‘After extensive research I believe we are absolutely the only solution….”

Just make sure you keep the statement strong and focused on highlighting where you’re unique.

  1. Know Your Strengths and Use Them

When we work from our strengths we do better, actually we do our best, in everything!
For example, if one of your signature strengths is Humour, then by all means use humour in this part of your presentation where appropriate.

 

When shouldn’t you use this technique?  When it’s not true.  This discussion does not recommend “Fake it till you Make It”.

 

If you just can’t come up with anything where you can use this technique, you’re in the middle of a learning experience.  How can you effectively present for the purpose of selling if you can’t think of ANY good reason for the prospect to buy from you rather than the competition?

 

Be brave at the Front of the Room.  Tell everyone why you’re great!

 


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