The Worst Way To Start Your Presentations

Have you ever thought of why you are closer to some people than others? Chances are it’s the way they interact with you.

Imagine you are out on a date. You sit down at a restaurant and order drinks. Then the conversation begins.

If your date starts out listing his good qualities, what he did today, what his goals are, “blah blah blah”. You’ll quickly find a way to bring this date to a close.

What makes a great date is the interaction and the equal care and concern for you as well. If the same person started with a question instead of listing his good qualities, you’ll be more engaged and more willing to open up and find out more about his person. “How was your day?” can go a long way.

When it comes to dating and building friendships, most people understand the rules of engagement. They understand the give and take concept.

But when it comes to the business world, it quickly falls apart.

Think about what many websites, brochures and marketing pieces do.

Here’s our mission statement.
We were founded in 19xx.
Here are our clients.
We’ve grown xx% over the last five years.
We have xx employees.
We have clients in 25 countries.

Yep, they completely focus on them. And after a few minutes of looking at this, a new potential client can’t back out fast enough.

Your details are important. But they are only important when the client thinks they are important.

The only thing a new potential client cares about is what you can do for her. She wants to know if she’ll love her final photographs. She wants to know if she’s getting the best value for her money. She wants to know how well you’ll work with her family.

If you meet your potential customer at a café, she doesn’t want to hear about your company and your prices when you first sit down. She wants to share her needs and desires. Never start out with comments about you; start with questions about her first.

If she grabs your brochure at an expo, she doesn’t want to read all about you. Instead she wants to see your work and see how she fits into your vision. Can she see herself in your photographs and stories?

What To Do Next

Lets jump into how you should change your presentation skills. If you’ve wanted to adjust how you meet your prospects and to try and convert more into paying customers, follow these three steps.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: You have two ears and one mouth; use them in that proportion.

If you step back and listen to your prospects, they will guide you into “what’s next”. Start by asking questions. Then sit back and take notes.

“Tell me about your wedding.”
“What are you looking for in a portrait?”
“Who will be buying your products?”

The idea is to get your prospect talking about what they love the most. Help them think in more depth about what they want and how you can help them.

Once they’ve stated their intentions and desires, don’t immediately jump into a sales pitch. Affirm with them what they are looking for. Use words like “you mentioned”, “I noticed” or “I’m curious about” and continue the conversation.

“You mentioned you love details and have been planning your wedding for quite a while now. I’m curious if you have thought about how you’ll remember them all after the event is over?”

This shows you are listening to your prospect. It will also give them more to think about and bring the line of conversation back to you.

Once you have them excited about the process, then its time to bring it back to you. They know what they want, its your job to show how you fit into the picture.

“I know you said details are important. What if you had a storybook filled with all of the details you spent so much time on? Let me show you what we did for our clients Justin and Sarah…”

See how you’re confirming what the client already knows? You’re acknowledging her and giving her the next step in the process. She’s already bought into your ideas because you listened to her and are helping her move to the next step.

Practice this method of sales again and again. Remember it doesn’t have to be all about you. Its all about them. People are much happier giving you their money if they feel its in their best interest.

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