Partners in Performance Blog

Presentations: Do Your PowerPoint Slides Annoy People?

What are the top 3 things that annoy you in PowerPoint presentations? Dave Paradi, author of The Visual Slide Revolution, asked people this question in his research study. Here’s what he found:

Speaker reading slides – 73.8% Full sentences on the slides – 51.6% Text too small – 48.1%

If you want to use PowerPoint to your advantage then you need to:

Learn how to design slides for maximum impact on the audience Learn how to speak about your slides and … Read More

Pitching Disguised As Questions

In the work I do helping sales people to become more effective, we focus a lot on questioning skills. Let’s assume it’s your intent to ask questions in order to uncover your customer’s needs, likes, dislikes and perspectives. Here’s a typical question that is used by many sales professionals.

“If I could show you a way to easily solve your problem, would that be of interest to you?”

Let’s look at this question and examine why it isn’t effective.

Here are just a few reasons:

The intention behind the question is … Read More

Favourite Client Stories: How Jim’s Success Almost Got in His Way

Jim Bentley (name changed) is a well respected, seasoned sales professional with solid expertise in the financial services industry. He has long standing clients, with whom he enjoys excellent relationships. He is one of the top sales producers for his company. In spite of his sales success, he almost missed out on solidifying one of his best client relationships.

Jim participated in the Intentional Selling™ program as part of a company wide initiative. Part of the training process includes identifying limiting assumptions that might unconsciously block sales success. … Read More

Top Sales Errors: Why Pitching Product Doesn’t Work

Questions will help you persuade more powerfully than any other selling behaviour. Yet the number one error that I consistently see sales professionals make is not asking enough questions to clarify the needs of their clients.

In my sales training and coaching, I’ve seen even seasoned sales professionals lead with their product, solution or ideas rather than leading with questions. Pitching product (showing up and “throwing up”) is hoping that if I talk about my product enough, something will stick. But it will annoy, overwhelm and cause your client … Read More

Presentations That Persuade – Create Word Pictures

Storytelling is both an art and a skill. Our guest author Dr. Patsi Krakoff wrote about this in “Presentations That Persuade: Stories Drive Action,” last week.

For me, there’s nothing more compelling than watching a masterful storyteller in action. It is magical. Ever since primitive tribes sat around a fire to tell their adventures, we’ve become fascinated by stories. But how do your become skilled at this when making a presentation?

Here is one technique that will take your storytelling game to the next level and … Read More

Sales Not Working? Try Different for Sales Success

I’d like to challenge you to try something different this week in your sales process. For example, to improve your sales success, you could change your opening question. Be surprising. See if you can wake up people – and yourself – by saying the unexpected. See if you get better sales results.

A blog post by marketing expert Seth Godin reminds me of a best practice that has worked for me consistently through my sales and personal life– to ‘try different’. Not try harder, but try different.

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How to Avoid Sales Sabotage

In a previous post I told Jim’s story about how he self-sabotaged his sales with a client. Jim was a client of mine who was already successful in sales. He had doubts that the Intentional Selling™ program could add anything new to his sales results. But he gave it a good try anyway, with much encouragement.

He ended up gaining new respect – and new sales – from his client. Had Jim continued to work under his previous assumptions about the client’s needs, without delving deeper into the discovery process, he would have missed a big opportunity.

Anytime you operate … Read More

Smart Sales People: A Common Mistake Even They Make

Sales professionals clearly understand the need for structure and process for the delivery of their products and services and yet, many of the smart sales people I talk with don’t have a clear process for selling. Having a clear sales process is very important and here’s why.

A clear sales process allows professionals to be who they are and to demonstrate their expertise during the selling process. For example, in all our sales training we incorporate a 6-step process that easily aligns the selling process with your identity as a consultant.

The 6-step sales process is a framework that guides … Read More