There is little doubt that the best producers in our industry are highly skilled in presenting, writes Doug Mathlin
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE increases when a professional presents well.
Consider your own experience when listening to presenters at PD days and conferences.
The ‘amateur’ presenter who bumbles their way through a presentation is more likely to ‘lose’ the audience and not get their message across. The polished professional ‘holds’ the audience and their message is more likely to be received.
What’s the difference between the two presenters? Answer: preparation and practice.
Knowing what to say, when to say it and how to deliver it increases the confidence level of the presenter and increases the chance of the message being delivered well.
Consider stand-up comedians and entertaining presenters. When you see them for the first time they draw you in and allow us to ‘see their stories’ (their anecdotes are usually real). When you see them for the second time, you realise that they are on ‘auto-play’.
They have practised and practised their routine to the point at which it becomes automatic.
We have to effectively communicate our message to our clients and referrers so we have a better chance of building a relationship with these people.
“What message?” I hear you say.
The best way to convey these messages is through anecdotes. Share experiences that are relevant to your clients’ situation and which will help you to ‘sell’ your experience and skill.
Whatever message you are trying to convey, the chances are that if you have prepared and practised your delivery, you’ll deliver it better than if you ‘wing it’.
Face-to-face presentations are one of our highest paying activities. They are as important to your business as a pro-tennis player’s serve or a pro-golfer’s putting is to their game.
So, how much practice do you put into your ‘key messages’ and scripts?
If you’re like most brokers whom I’ve met, the answer is ‘very little’.
Actors learn their lines before they go out on stage because that is the only way the play will work. Except for a small minority of productions, there is generally very little ad lib.
Your clients probably expect the same level of preparation from you.
So, what can you do to improve your message?
Now is a great time to document all the questions you need to ask prospective clients and referrers in meetings. It’s also a good time to document the key messages that you need to deliver – such as your referral program and how you build relationships with your clients beyond the transaction.
This also includes anticipating the questions that you will get from prospects.
My suggestion is to start with a scripts database. Divide your database into categories such as ‘client and referrer meetings’, ‘outbound marketing calls’, ‘inbound enquiries’ and ‘common questions from clients’.
For each case, document all the questions and scripts that you need to deliver well. Review the scripts periodically to refine them, and practise with someone who can critique them.
While scripting is important, ‘knowing your lines’ does not have nearly as much of an impact as showing you understand your clients’ needs. After all, as I’ve said in previous columns, the best salespeople ask the most questions, and ‘listening’ is more important than ‘telling’ when it comes to sales.
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