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

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5 steps in responding to sales objections and questions

This five-step model approach in responding to objections and questions: Explore, Listen Well, Restate (if appropriate), Respond, then Move on.

1.    Explore. Ask questions to get the person talking about what they really mean by the objection, and why it's important to them.  (Why do you feel that way? will do if nothing better comes to mind.)

2.    Listen well to their response.  You may have heard this objection a dozen times already this week, but this person may put a different twist on it.  Don't be too quick in cutting off the

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“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.

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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.

Low Cost Ways to Guage Demand for your Start-up: Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal just posted an extended article, actually the product of four interviews, with four start-up coaches.  I won't try to echo their advice, just give you the link.

The relevance here, to this site, Selling Face-to-Face, is that a lot of readers of the blog, and of my how to sell guides, are people who are already engaged in, or considering undertaking, new business start-ups.  Reinventing your career (voluntarily or involuntarily)?  Considering self-employment? Got a new better mousetrap– or better App– you think (hope?) the market really, really needs?  You'll find some savvy advice in this article.

Link to Wall Street Journal article "4 Low Cost Ways to Guage Demand for your Start-up"

NYTimes article: “If These Moms Can’t Find It, They Invent It” . . . and then market it

What better way to come up with a great  and marketable idea than to invent it out of necessity . . . as the Moms in this article did.

What gave them the advantage is that they started with a known need (their own) and then found the best way to fill it: their  invention.

Stating the obvious, I suppose, but the point is that instead of thinking up a "Great Idea," these Mom-preneurs started with a specific need . . .and then realized that others in the target audience likely had that same need.

According to the article: ". . . the  term “mom inventors” yields about 290,000 results on Google"

Go to NYTimes article on "Mom inventors/marketers"

“Matching life experience with new careers” — article in NY Times

"HEALTH navigator? Conflict coach? Pollution mitigation outreach worker? These
emerging jobs aren’t household terms yet, but they are a natural fit for older
people looking for new career opportunities, said Phyllis Segal, vice president
at Civic Ventures, a nonprofit research group based in San Francisco."

— That's the opening paragraph in Elizabeth Pope's article in the New York Times.

You might ask, "What does it have to do with the subject of this blog—Selling Face-to-Face?" 

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Are you a contract employee, free agent, consultant? Better read this from NYTimes

If you're a reader of this blog who is selling services, particularly consulting or other kind of contract work, then — alas — one of the objections you need to be prepared to respond to is this one:  "The IRS (and state tax people) look very closely over our shoulder when we try to work with contractors.  The IRS prefers that we just put people on the regular payroll, so it is easier for the tax people to be sure we've paid all the taxes and such. So, sorry, we just can't risk buying your services."

So, given that objection, how do you respond?  My suggestion: read this article in the New York Times Small Business Guide section. It's by Katherine Reynolds Lewis, and it links to some other comments and related articles. 

Link to the article: "Hiring contractors without getting into trouble"

The article is written to advise the businesses that may take on contractors; that tells you the concerns and hot-button issues, which you can turn around to your own situation.

One comment: I can't find the reference right now, so am relying on memory, but seems to me there was an article not long ago that the IRS was in the process of hiring 6,000 new agents, mainly to police this issue, of firms seeking to take on contract employees as the economy was so weak they couldn't risk taking on payroll employees.

The good news? That's 6,000 new jobs!Great news in the headlines!

The bad news? Let's not  even think about all the contractors, consultants, free agents and free lancers who are not working because of the shadow of a potential IRS audit hanging over the process. 

More bad news? Let's not think about the work and productivity that could flow if businesses didn't need to "invest" so much in fighting and avoiding audits.)




back, once upon a time,  I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew
up, so  went to law school. (Like a lot of people who didn’t know what
they wanted to be.) I made it through some bar exams, and found myself
admitted in NY, VA, and DC

did learn a lot of Important Stuff in law school, the most important of
which was learning that what I did not want (now that I was grown up)
was to spend my life practicing law and fighting other peoples’ Zero-sum

I  segued into management consulting, and found my niche. As a
consultant, I got paid to explore (vicariously) varieties of careers and
organizations, some in the business world, others in government.

specialty was open-ended: discovering why organizations and the
individuals within were under-performing, and crafting methods to help
them function better. Which meant that I got paid to do a lot of fun
stuff (fun to me, at least). Meeting with people on all rungs across
organizational  charts, from Top Dog to New Kid (and comparing different
perspectives and skills). Riding with the best (and worst) performers
and figuring out why the difference. Developing and presenting
workshops: some for sales managers and reps in organizations including
Xerox, Kodak; other workshops for overseas officers for the U.S. State
Department’s Foreign Service Institute.

as well as two others coming out in late 2012. I also took what I had
learned from my own marketing efforts, as well as from some of the
workshops I developed for clients, and produced a series of practical
sales-training guides: SELLING 101: Essential Selling Skills; SALES TRAINING TUTORIALS; and SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS Handbook.

But it was not all management work. Early on, I’d been fascinated by the work of Captain Cousteau (THE SILENT WORLD)
and others exploring in the world beneath the ocean surface. (At one
point–still figuring out what to be when I grew up–I even gave serious
consideration to becoming an oceanographer.)

a way, that early fascination with what’s hidden in the depths beneath
the ocean surface transformed into a new fascination: to explore the
as-yet-unrecognized deeper potentials latent within human beings.  Are
we just melanges of chemicals and synapses, or are we “transformers” (if
you will) of other energies still mostly dormant within us?

sense is that we are on the verge of breakthrough discoveries in the
world of what I term, not “the para-normal,” but rather “the
dormant-normal”. I’m exploring those possibilities in a series of
technothrillers:  A REMEDY FOR DEATH; A CERTAIN POWER; JOINING MIRACLES (not really a thriller, more a parable); and another in progress.