Stickler for the minimal and essential
SIMPLE - Stickler for the minimal and essential
“Restaurants have opened” said Viswas, holding up a thumb “Book a socially distanced table for two. We rocked them. Didn’t we? 20 slides bursting with details” His colleague Ranjit pursed his lips and said nothing for a minute. “Our product is critical for them to economize costs after restarting operations. My guess is they will issue purchase order next week” said Viswas.
Ranjit shook his head. “Hang on Vishy, my friend. Not so fast. You were so taken up, detailing machine specs, you didn’t notice what was going on”
“Hey what are you saying?“ This was an order evaluation group. It had all their biggies in attendance”
“The CEO seemed distracted on and appeared to be doodling after the first 3 slides. The CFO was busy stealing glances at his phone”
“What went wrong? My slides couldn’t have been more thorough”
“That’s exactly the issue Vishy. It should have been very different, sophisticated”
Master salespersons are champions of simplicity, in their conversations and presentations, which win deals because they are so compelling. How do they do it?
They follow 4 essential rules:
(1) They make tireless efforts to ensure relevance – They (i) Carefully assemble facts and information, (ii) Sift them for relevance to the audience (iii) Rank them by priority to create maximum impact. If Viswas, in our story, had done a rigorous relevance-check, applying the above 3 pointers, it might have helped him simplify his presentation and influence his audience
(2) They structure their content – They know smart structures stand out, with little reinforcements. Audiences then understand ideas faster and retain them longer
(3) They focus on ‘clincher’ themes – Picking not more than 4 or 5 themes to elaborate. Celebrity speakers, world over, follow what is called the ‘rule of 3’ and present their ideas in groups of three
(4) They leverage the ‘3 De’ effect - They (i) De-jargonise – If technical terms are used, they expand and explain them (ii) Demystify – Keep things simple and easy to understand (iii) Deconstruct – ‘Unpack’ complex ideas by deconstructing and organising them in clear, logical groups
Simple is never easy because it takes knowledge, empathy, and communication skills to be simple. And sales masters excel in the sophisticated art of being simple!
Action Question: How can you make your next sales presentation simpler?
Related Reading: Mercuri Insight on What does it take to deliver high impact presentations?
About the series: This is the 21st in a series of 100 Posts that purport to build your #Sales Resilience.. as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.
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