Sales Management Digest

10 Tips to Boost Your Sales Conversations and Presentations
Selling Power Editors
As a salesperson, the words you use with prospects and customers can make or break your relationships and your career. Here are 10 tips to improve your sales conversations and presentations.

Tip #1: Use metaphors.
Metaphors create a picture or explain a complex topic. Metaphors can create hard-hitting imagery that helps your prospects "get the picture." For example, saying, "The competitor is a hungry shark" paints a picture in the prospect's mind.

Tip #2: Use terms your prospects will understand.
Speak the language of your buyer. If your prospect doesn't play tennis, he or she won't understand a tennis analogy. You need to know your prospects and what makes them tick.

Tip #3: Avoid empty phrases or words – use stories instead.
For example, anyone can say his or her product or service is "amazing," "outstanding," and "remarkable." However, using too many superlatives can, ultimately, destroy credibility. Instead, use compelling stories and examples to demonstrate that your product or service is remarkable – making the listener think, "This is outstanding."

Tip #4: Use "power lines."
These are compelling, memorable, artful, and unique brand promises. Power lines tell a compelling story that has a lasting impact, they are credible, and they hold the power of sound. The brain is wired to seek out the unusual phrase that describes something it should be aware of, and it ignores phrases that seem ordinary and unimportant. If you are different, say so and say how. Find two or three elements that make you or your product stand apart, and talk about those.

Tip #5: Say less, not more.
Don't try to cram everything into a single conversation or presentation. Cut out anything that doesn't add to what you are trying to say. Every word must be worth saying.

Tip #6: Be credible.
There has to be real news in what you say. Whatever you put on paper or online – or even speak – has to be credible. Too many sellers and marketers throw soft statistics, research, and numbers at prospects and hope something will stick.

Tip #7: Use specific examples and numbers.
Don't be vague when you can create a picture in the prospect's mind using specific examples and numbers. For instance, instead of saying, "Our service can increase productivity in a short time," say, "Our service increased XYZ's productivity by 75 percent in 32 days."

Tip #8: Be entertaining.
Your speech should create excitement and positive feelings. Life is serious enough, and people often learn more by being entertained. If you make people smile, they'll remember you. That alone will give you a leg up on all the competitors.

Tip #9: Use inflection, tempo, and rhyme.
Sound can help our brains remember important points. Inflection, tempo, and rhyme are three major elements of sound that make the brain pay attention. Just be sure not to sound like Dr. Seuss – instead, use inflection in your voice to emphasize the benefits to the customer, or slow your rate of speaking right before getting to your main point.

Tip #10: Repeat your value proposition at every turn.
Once you determine what sets you and your product apart, state it at every customer touchpoint.

Words are powerful. With carefully selected words, you can grab your listeners' attention, inspire them, awe them, and even motivate them to buy.
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