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About This Episode
At the heart of nearly every professional sales process is the pitch.
When done right, it’s one of the single most effective tools in a salesperson’s arsenal. When done wrong, it’s like watching the lion hunt the gazelle, because in the end, you just feel bad for the gazelle.
But what if there were a way to know the secrets of the presentation? To really be able to nail the pitch every time, with the confidence of a seasoned professional?
On this episode of The Sales Engagement Podcast, we talk with Brian Burkhart. Brian is the Founder & Chief Word Guy at SquarePlanet Presentations, all about what makes a great presentation, the mistakes that people often make when giving bad ones, and why sometimes you should just walk away from a prospect.
The Power of the Pitch
Most sales professionals have that moment they cna point to. That one moment when they realized that they had the ability to captivate an audience.
For Brian, that moment came in the fifth grade.
Running for student council president, he was a short kid. But he walked up to that lectern, grabbed hold of that goose-kneck microphone, and bent it all the way down to his level, proceeding to wow the crowd. He knew at that moment that this is what he wanted to do forever.
“It was one of those things that I just kind of knew at the moment. This was gonna be my thing.”
As a result, he’s spent decades learning the art of persuasion and rhetoric, and studying the brain science behind what makes a compelling speech and presentation.
We’ve all sat through a bad presentation. Or a bad sales pitch. And at the end of the day, there are few things more uninspiring than someone who isn’t on their A game.
But the biggest mistake that people usually make isn’t one single mistake. It’s a collection of lots of little mistakes. It’s death by a thousand cuts.
- Being selfish
If you’re alloted thirty minutes for a presentation, and you go for thirty one, you’re being selfish. You’re taking someone else’s time that isn’t yours. Time is the most valuable commodity on earth and when you’re taking that from people, it won’t reflect well.
- Inappropriate Resources
How often have you been in a presentation and the presenter will say something like, “I know this chart is hard to see?”
If you knew it was hard to see, why in the world would you make it a part of your presentation?
- Not Considering the Audience
This goes along with being selfish. A presentation isn’t really about you. It’s about your audience. And when you seemingly do everything you can do to make it harder for the audience, you lose them.
Discover Your Values
At the heart of everything you do as a salesperson should be your set of core values. The things that are non-negotiables for you. The things that drive every decision you make.
Once you know what you stand for as an individual, you have to align with a company that believes the same thing. You want to be fully aligned with your organizianot when it comes to values.
It may seem simple, but how many people have actually taken the time to codify the things they stand for? How many have looked DEEPLY at their companies?
Once you’ve aligned your values and your company’s values, it becomes easy. Because your presentations and pitches are based on shared values. If you head into a presentation and realize that your values don’t align with the folks you’re pitching to, that’s a pretty easy way to conclude they may not be the best fit.
The best salespeople on earth are good at a lot of things. But one thing they’re all great at is jettisoning bad prospects quickly. They know they’re not going to waste their time trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
Sometimes what separates a good salesperson from a great salesperson is knowing when to walk away from a prospect. When the venn diagram of values between you, the company, and the prospect don’t align, it may be time to move on.
Want to know more? Listen to the whole interview, and get in touch with Brian via LinkedIn.