The Problem with Most Sales Presentations

September 25th, 2013

Problem with Most Sales PresentationsIs your sales presentation as strong as it could be? Or are you doomed before you even open your mouth?

Most sales presentations suffer from a fatal flaw, causing prospects to check out and move on. But if you know how to avoid this critical mistake, your presentation can blow everyone else’s out of the water!

Want to know what this common problem is and how to avoid it? Listen to my interview on the Communication Nation radio show with Jill Schiefelbein.

In this hour-long program, Jill and I discuss the secrets for transforming your sales presentations from awful to awesome!

To listen, just click on the link below. If you’d prefer to download the interview as an mp3 file to listen later, you’ll find the option on the page that opens.

The Problem with Most Sales Presentations: Don Cooper on Communication Nation

What other problems have you seen with sales presentations? Share them in the comments below!

Sales Lessons from The Big Kahuna

September 19th, 2013

I recently saw the movie, The Big Kahuna again. It’s a terrific movie that should be required viewing for all salespeople, sales managers and professionals.

It’s the story of three industrial lubricant salesmen (two grizzled veterans and a kid from research) trying to land a big account at a trade conference. Throughout the movie, they struggle with the hotel, their competition and each other.

While there are numerous ideas and insights (as well as laugh-out-loud moments) spread throughout the film, the most powerful occurs near the end, when Phil (Danny DeVito) lectures the young Bob (Peter Facinelli):

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or ‘How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down.’ That doesn’t make you a human being. It makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are—just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it’s not a conversation anymore; it’s a pitch. And you’re not a human being; you’re a marketing rep.”

Phil is dead on. Too many salespeople are so busy pitching, they have no idea who they’re talking to, much less what their hopes and dreams are. Which causes prospects to feel like revenue sources, rather than human beings.

If you’re a salesperson, business owner or professional, rent or buy this movie ASAP. If you’re a sales manager or VP, do a screening of it for your sales team. (Bonus points for providing popcorn.)

If you’ve seen the movie, what did you think of it? What were your biggest takeaways? Share them in the comments section below!

How to Boost Your Year-End Sales

September 11th, 2013

Boost Year-End SalesBelieve it or not, we’re already approaching the last quarter of the year. How are your sales coming along? Are you on track to hit your annual goals? Are you ahead of schedule? Behind?

Whichever the case may be, if you’d like to finish the year on a strong sales note, listen to my latest interview on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price.

In this hour-long segment, Michele and I discuss:

• The biggest myths about selling in the fourth quarter
• The first thing you need to do to boost your year-end sales
• Ways to take advantage of the year-end holidays
• The fastest, easiest way to increase sales
• How to close prospects that are sitting on the fence
• The one thing you shouldn’t do
• The best investments you can make to boost your year-end sales
• And more…

It’s like an hour of free sales training! To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the interview to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

How to Boost Your Year-End Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I strongly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

One Agreement Phrase You Should Never Use in Sales

September 4th, 2013

Agreement Phrase Not to Use in SalesA while back I listed 59 Ways to Agree with Your Customer, enumerating 23 words and 36 phrases that help you build rapport and trust with your prospects and customers. However, one phrase was conspicuously absent from that list. And while it’s a phrase that salespeople, professionals, managers and CEO’s use frequently, it actually does more harm than good.

The phrase?

“I know.”

We use this simple phrase a lot because it seems to communicate agreement. Unfortunately, it communicates other messages as well. Messages that are contrary to our intentions.

Words and phrases have subtexts. The subtext to a phrase like “I   understand,” “That’s true” or “You’re right” is:
• “I’ve heard what you’ve said.”
• “I care what you have to say.”
• “I’m in agreement with you.”
• “Your point, idea or feeling is valid.”
• “You’re smart.”

It’s the subtext that communicates your acknowledgement, support and empathy. Which in turn causes the other person to feel understood and valued.

By contrast, the subtext to “I know” is:
• “I already knew that.”
• “I’m way ahead of you.”
• “I’m smarter than you.”
• “You’re not telling me anything useful.”
• “What you’re saying has no value.”
• “You’re wasting my time.”

In this case, the subtext causes the person to feel unimportant, thus shutting down communication.

Of course we don’t intend to communicate those negative messages when we say “I know”—but that’s the subtextual baggage that comes along with the phrase.

So work to eliminate the phrase “I know” from your vocabulary. Whether you’re dealing with prospects, customers, subordinates, bosses, friends or family members, substitute the words and phrases from the above-mentioned list of 59 suggestions.

When you use the right words, your ability to connect, communicate and influence increases significantly. Agree?