Category Archives: Sales presentations & demonstrations

Non-verbal communication skills: free book sample from PROFESSIONAL SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

The term, “Non-verbal communication skills” has been getting a number of hits lately on this blog, so I thought it would be a good time to put up a sample on using body language in the sales call (particularly when making presentations or demonstrations) from my little book, SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS.

Today, in this post, for reasons of space I’ll be pulling only a short section from Part Three.  I hope the visuals on non-verbal movements  and subtle communication tips come through

Continue reading Non-verbal communication skills: free book sample from PROFESSIONAL SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

“How ‘Power Poses’ Can Help Your Career”–career tips from the Wall Street Journal

As factors in your career success, it's not just how competent you are, and it's not just about the words you say: no less important are the non-verbal messages you send . . . and read in others.  I cover some of this in my books, but let me recommend "How 'Power Poses' Can Help Your Career"– an excellent article with accompanying video  from the Wall Street Journal.

The article is not–as you might suspect–about being a  phony poseur, but rather about how to pay attention to the body-language and other non-verbal messages you are sending . . . and receiving.

Continue reading “How ‘Power Poses’ Can Help Your Career”–career tips from the Wall Street Journal

Sending sales proposals: key tips

Turns out we need a new roof over the sunroom, so  Susan started calling around for references, then invited contractors in to look it over.  It's not a busy time of the year here, so most came within a week or so.

They all brought ladders and climbed up on the roof, then climbed down and gave us their initial thoughts.  I think we've had five come by now.  One we crossed off almost immediately because of some intangibles.  I'm not really sure why, maybe it was something in his non-verbals. In any case, his price came in close to double the average.

Bear in mind that the estimators dropped by over something like a ten-day span. All but that one I mentioned seemed credible candidates to get our business. 

But then not much happened for several more days; we waited for them to send their estimates.  Now they are finally coming in. But it's hard for us now to put a face with the paper estimate.  Was AlphaBeta Roofing the guy who suggested . . .    Was Aaardvark Roofing the guy who pointed out . . .

On that, these thoughts.

1.  Put your mug shot on your business card, and leave one of those cards  when you make the first call.  Doesn't matter if you're not movie-star handsome or any of that. It's just to help the prospect remember you.  Send another photo business card when you send the proposal (even if that second one is just copied in and attached to the email). 

I first saw photo business cards when I did a couple of consulting projects with Kodak (obviously that was a while back, long before family friend Kodak started the final fall!), and everybody had a photo card.  Even now, when I look at those old cards and  see the faces,a clear memory of the person and how we worked together comes up.

Most of these contractors left us business cards, but generic ones from Staples or Office Depot with their name and maybe an image of a trowel or hammer or ladder– instantly forgettable.

2.  Get that proposal out ASAP.  If you promise "by the weekend," mean it. First, the prospect is paying attention to  your credibility–do you follow through as promised? If you're poky just in getting a one-page estimate off on time, what does that suggest about your follow-through if you get the job?  I've seen neighbors tied up for weeks when the workers leave the materials in the yard and cut off to do another job somewhere.

Another good reason to be fast in sending the proposal: a prospect with a leaky roof may not wait.  By the time  Pokey Joe finally faxes his estimate Speedy Pete may already have gotten the work permit and delivered the shingles.

Yeah, you're busy running around making those sales calls, but maybe it'd be best to pass on one of those calls at the end of each day and use that time more productively. 

Just my thoughts from the perspective of a prospect.

The perks and pitfalls of being your own boss — in India, in the biotech field

Fascinating perspective on career reinvention and entrepreneurship in, of all places, Britain's New Scientist, Myshkin Ingawale, co-founder and CEO of Biosense Technologies. The hook:

"When I was 17, I was clueless about what I wanted to do with my life. Now I'm 27 and I am as clear as I can be – I want to a successful entrepreneur, starting and growing more than one organisation in my lifetime. Sometime over these last 10 years, I'm not exactly sure when, I made the transition from "clueless" to "clear as I can be".

Definitely worth reading on a variety of fronts.  I'll leave you to it.

 Link to article

“Pulling off the ultimate career makeover” — Fortune

When I was starting-up on this blog, I expected the main readership would be among new business start-ups, consultants, new free-lancers, people new to selling and sales.  Why? Mainly because the economy was begining to slide down, and a lot of people were going off on their own— some as involuntary entrepreneurs, others as self- reinventors in advance of getting laid off.

It hasn't been that way, so far as I can tell: most of the readership seems to be professional sales people, folks who already know their way around a sales call, and were looking for fresh ideas.

Yes, that kind of info is here, but also here are a lot of the basics of getting started in sales, or starting up a new venture, finding prospects, and making a convincing case. There are also a lot of free sales training articles drawn from books (Selling 101, How to Sell Face-to-Face Survival Guide, Sales Training Tutorials, and Sales Presentations and Demonstrations.

In any case, for the "reinventors" out there, let me recommend the article, "pulling off the ultimate career makeover" in Fortune, issue of July 4, 2011.   Case studies include,

  • An owner of franchises who sold them off and is setting up his own franchise operation, Yogurt Mountain. (Full disclosure: I have not, repeat not, received any free samples!)
  • A sales executive formerly with the likes of Intel, Dell, and NetApp who, after being down-sized, first became a free-agent, then was hired as director of marketing of a social media operation.
  • A lawyer, downsized after the media burst bubble burst in 2000, who turned around to become a contractor with the same firm. That led to a further reinvention as she set up what's best described as a legal firm of part-time lawyer contractors, many of them women juggling work and school-age kids.
  • A director of strategic development and communicaitons who got cut when that company was acquired. He then did what any good consultant and strategist does, develop his "brand" after an analysis (which makes very good reading) of his passions and skills.  Now he's consulting full-time.
  • Another lawyer who left the practice (good for him!) to become an author of mystery novels. (First reinvention.) Then when the market for paper books started sliding, he moved into the e-book field and took on self-publishing his backlist for Kindle and the like. (Second reinvention.)    By the way, as a "reformed" lawyer myself, I can't resist giving a plug to another lawyer who found "real work," hence this: his name is Paul Levine and you can read more about his mysteries at  Website of Paul Levine 

Fortune article: Pulling off the ultimate career makeover, by Douglas Alden Warshaw





“Best presentations ever” — see Squidoo

Sales presentations– I'm doing my homework before branching into Squidoo, and part of that homework involves seeing what's out there.

This "lens" on Squidoo is titled "Best presentations ever" . . . and it's very good.  It's actually a sampling of what the author thinks are the best.

Maybe most interesting is a young Steve Jobs, wearing suit, white shirt, and long hair(!) doing the introductory presentation for the first Mac, back in January 1985.

Anyway, here's the link to "Best presentations ever," via Squidoo