By Lloyd Lofton
In March, Tom Brady signed a two-year $50 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after playing for the New England Patriots from 2000 to 2019.
When this happened, many asked whether this was the end of a dynasty, of a dominant and durable team in football history?
Why did Brady leave the Patriots? Was it his age, was it because of the coaching relationship or was it as simple as personal reasons?
In his public statements, Brady stuck to goodwill and gratitude to fans and teammates. Maybe he simply believed at that time Tampa was a better fit for his career than staying put.
Business Intelligence Advisors, a firm that typically uses their proprietary methodology to evaluate the reliability and transparency of C-suite statements released a case study in April into Tom Brady’s public statements about his decision to move teams, “Brady Takes His Ball and Goes South.”
Not only interesting, but insightful in its assumptions and analogies, this case study evaluated Brady’s public statements about New England feeling like home, any possible issues with his coaching relationship with Bill Belichick or the possibility of his sliding from the “leader of the pack” designation.
BIA did this study in a brilliant way, by what I call the reduction method - doing what all highly trained sales professionals should do.
They begin with the broad picture with Brady’s reflections on his career as a Patriot. Next they drilled down and looked at Brady’s view of the opportunities and challenges resulting from a move to Tampa Bay. Then they honed in on one major omission from those public statements that provided insight into Brady’s view of staying with New England.
Finally, they evaluated the issue of Brady remaining the “leader of the pack” as evidenced by a perceived lack of support by the organization.
In their April summary, BIA accurately analogizes why, to Brady, “The Bucs Look better.”
We now know BIA was right and, as the 2020 football season gets underway, we get to watch the result of Brady’s move.
BIA developed and refined its proprietary Tactical Behavior Assessment methodology – a process rooted in techniques developed by the CIA to help clients better understand the psychology of information (according to their website).
Like BIA’s techniques, highly trained sales professionals can become more effective, “hear” what the prospect is “saying” while eliminating objections, and ultimately make more money as they build their book of business.
When we focus on our closes, we’re chasing commissions, not building our business. We spend time with prospects who will never buy from us because we’re afraid - afraid we’ll lose something we don’t have.
I get it - we’re hungry for the commission, especially now. We’ve spent the time, energy and money to get in front of this prospect and we don’t want to lose them.
Here are seven tips to pull prospects in – to have more conversations instead of looking for the close.
- It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. It’s not only the words, script and bullet point you use. Studies have found that 60%-93% of communication is nonverbal. How we say something is more important, sometimes, than what we say.
- Focus on nonverbal communication just as much as verbal communication. Scripts can kill your charisma and credibility. Nonverbal communication isn’t only about body language; it’s also about vocal cues.
Prospects rate us on our vocal variety - or the amount of fluctuation in our voice tone, volume and pitch. Practice putting emphasis on different words, slowing and speeding up your pace, and varying your volume on important words.
- Recognize the patterns of effective sales presentations. Some nonverbal gestures are more important than others:
Credibility. Salespeople who are perceived as having high credibility had higher vocal variety and smiled longer.
Charisma. The most important factors for charisma are hand gestures and vocal variety.
Intelligence. Smiling was the most important factor for being viewed as intelligent. Put that smile in your voice!
- Start your presentation off strong. How you begin sets the stage for the ending of your presentation. Use things like questions, surprising statistics and anecdotes to construct a dynamic beginning.
- Draw your prospect in with an emotional connection. Effective presentations take the prospect on a journey instead of focusing on a product or feature. Effective presentations are also about the process of getting there.
- Focus on one core idea and message. It’s imperative that you have a core idea - the central message that you want them to take away at the end of the meeting. Fact-based presentations deliver facts; stories offer an idea with supporting facts.
- Issue or idea? Idea-based presentations are energizing and captivating. Product-based presentations can be exhausting and create compassion fatigue.
Here are some additional points.
- An issue reveals a problem, whereas an idea offers a solution.
- An issue says, “Isn’t this horrible?” An idea says, “Isn’t this fascinating?”
- Issue-based presentations lead with morality, whereas idea-based presentations lead with curiosity.
BIA was right in their analogy of Tom Brady’s public statements and you can be more effective as you listen to “understand” instead of listing to “respond.”
Remember, perfect practice makes perfect presentations!
Lloyd Lofton is the founder of Power Behind the Sales. He is the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections, voted 1 of the 11 Best New Presentation Books To Read in 2020 by BookAuthority. Lloyd may be contacted at [email protected].
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