As a professional speaker and sales trainer, I am—as you might expect—a member of the National Speakers Association. Which means that last week I was in San Diego for the 2014 NSA Annual Convention.

More than a 1400 of the world’s best professional speakers gathered for four days to learn from each other. The result was a tremendous outpouring of business ideas and insights.

Here, in no particular order, are fourteen of the best:

1. “If you want to sell fire extinguishers, first you have to show the fire.”—David Newman (@dnewman)
People don’t buy products and services. They buy solutions to problems and tools to help them achieve their goals. What’s the problem your product solves? Or what’s the goal your service helps people achieve?

2. “When people meet you, they’re wondering ‘Do I like them? Do I trust them?’”—Christine Cashen (@christinecashen)
Before people will buy from you, they need to feel comfortable with you. That means building rapport. Smile, shake their hand, treat them with respect, ask questions, and—most importantly—listen to the answers.

3. “Building interactivity into your presentation makes it more memorable.”—Judson Laipply (@JudsonLaipply)
The more your sales presentation resembles a lecture, the more boring it is and the more quickly it’s forgotten. Make your presentation interactive by engaging your prospect in conversation and asking them questions. Make it tactile by allowing your prospect to touch your product or materials. Make it an experience by providing food and drink to incorporate smell and taste.

4. “Forget your limiting beliefs.”—Jim Kwik (@jimkwik)
We all are hampered by limiting beliefs, whether they’re about our prospects (“They can’t afford this.” “They aren’t serious buyers.”), our products (“This is too expensive.” “Nobody will like this color.”), or ourselves (“I can’t close.” “I’ll never win a sales contest.”) The key is to recognize them when they run through our head and realize what they really are: negative beliefs that have no basis in reality. Then we can move past them.

5. “It’s not enough to be different. You have to be different in a way that creates, demonstrates & delivers value.”—Toni Newman (@toni_newman)
Your product or service may be different from your competition. It may even be better than your competition. But what does that difference mean for your buyer? How does it benefit them?

6. “Make your message as simple as possible. The more elements there are, the harder your message is to comprehend.”—Bill Bachrach (@billbachrach)
Too many salespeople load their presentations up with every piece of information possible about their product or service. This results in bloated, boring presentations that cause prospects to tune out. Aim for shorter, more focused presentations. What are the key points? What’s most important to communicate?

7. “Write music you can’t play.”—Mike Rayburn (@mikerayburn)
If you want to grow, personally and professionally, you need to create stretch goals. Big goals. Outrageous goals. Goals that both scare and inspire you. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you challenge yourself.

8. “There’s no point sending information until you know what the prospect’s budget is.”—Katrina Smith (@KeynoteTalent)
I’m constantly amazed how few salespeople ask prospects what their budget is. If you don’t know this critical piece of information, you’re wasting your time.

9. “Scarcity and exclusivity are powerful psychological motivators.”—Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
People fear missing out, so if your product or service is in short supply, prospects feel more incentive to act now. Also, scarcity and exclusivity imply high demand, which bolsters buyer confidence.

10. “Great today doesn’t mean you’ll be great tomorrow.”—Scott McKain (@scottmckain)
Markets change. Technologies change. Competitors change. If you aren’t constantly changing, adapting and improving, you won’t continue to be successful.

11. “Just because things could be worse doesn’t mean you don’t deserve better.”—Kat Cole (@KatColeATL)
There’s a fine line between being grateful for what you have and settling for less than you deserve. Don’t get trapped into excusing those things, circumstances and people that aren’t good enough. That goes for clients, employees, bosses and everything else in your business and personal life.

12. “There are more than 300 million executives around the globe with LinkedIn profiles and a new profile is added every second of every day.”—Sam Richter (@SamRichter)
If you sell B2B, LinkedIn is a powerful source of sales intelligence. It’s also a fantastic resource for getting introductions to the people you want to meet.

13. “People will not be moved unless your words touch something inside them.”—Nancy Duarte (@nancyduarte)
All buying is emotional. All. Even B2B and B2G. You may have facts and logic on your side, but if you want to move your prospect to action, you need to tap into their emotions.

14. “How much time are you investing each day getting better at your craft?”—Eric Chester (@eric_chester)
Whether you’re a salesperson, a professional, a manager or an executive, you need to be constantly improving your skills and adding new ones. How much time are you allocating to do that?

For more ideas and insights from these great speakers, click on their names to visit their web sites or click on their handles to follow them on Twitter. (Click here to follow me.)

Need an exceptional speaker for your next event? Check out the NSA website or your favorite speakers bureau. (Or just click here.)

email