Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

Wow! I Didn’t Know That! – Presentations that Promote Your Business without Turning People Off – Part 4 – This is the start of a beautiful relationship

In Presentation Tips on February 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm

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Your Presentation - The First Step in Building a New Relationship

Has this ever happened to you?  You build up in your mind that a particular presentation is going to be THE most important presentation of your professional life.  If you nail this presentation, then prospects will instantly turn into customers and customers will turn into raving fans.  You get yourself so worked up into the importance of the presentation that you have too much riding on the presentation.  In my case, I either get so stressed that I start sabotaging myself by procrastinating my preparation or over researching the topic or over analyzing the situation.  Then I start to worry that I will come off as waaaay too desperate once I get in front of the audience.  What inevitably seems to happen in my case is that the audience isn’t the perfect, career-changing audience that I thought they would be.  And while I work hard and ultimately seem to deliver a presentation of value, I don’t get the amazing results that caused me the great pressure the I put on myself.  But maybe that’s just me.

What I’ve decided though, is that there is no single presentation that’s going to make or break me and my business.  Yes, presentations are an amazing way to speed up the getting to know you phase with a prospect or client.  But I find if I don’t put all the pressure on myself to think of this as my one and only chance, but rather as a step in a longer process, I actually deliver a better presentation that gets me closer to my goals.

Wow, I Didn’t Know That!

The name of this blog series is “Wow, I Didn’t Know That” because one way that we start the relationship is that we provide the audience with something of value.  Whether it’s a new piece of information that they can apply within their business or a new way of looking at an existing problem, we can start our business relationship out best if we are helping the client or prospect more than they expect.   The best place to start with building a trusted relationship is showing good faith by giving away something of your business.

Will everyone repay the trust you’ve given in providing them with value by becoming your customer?  No.  But everyone is not going to be a good customer for you.  Do the right thing by the right people, and when it comes time to make a buying decision, you know that you have behaved with integrity when you land the deal.

Find Ways to Stay in Touch

Once you’ve started this relationship, you want to find additional ways to stay in touch.  Here are a few that I’ve used.  What have you used?  Add your wisdom in the comments box below.

Newsletter or Article

If you offer a newsletter that provides additional value, offer to put audience members on your newsletter list.  I prefer to take the initiative on this.  With the appropriate audience, I will tell them to give me a card and put newsletter on the back.  I also bring along sign up sheets that can be passed around to those who don’t have cards.  I don’t want to count on the audience member to get back to their desk and remember to sign up.  They are busy.  They have bigger priorities.  I want to be the one who does the work because I have a greater incentive to make sure it gets done.

Similarly, I might offer instead to send an article or white paper related to the presentation topic.  Again, I’ll ask for a card or pass around the sign up sheets.  I don’t usually offer both the newsletter and the article in the same presentation.  Sometimes, an article is a more appropriate follow up.   Other times the newsletter makes more sense.  It depends on what’s in the best interest of the audience.

Handout

I consider the handout another way to keep in touch with an audience.  I try to put something of value on the handout so that it makes it difficult for the participant to throw it away.  Key content ideas, website addresses, cool quotes, and reference material are among my favorites.

Once I’ve created the desirable handout, then I put all my contact information on every page of the handout.  That way, if the pages get separated, or if someone makes copy of one of the pages, every page has the ways they can reach me.  I put all the ways they can reach me because different people have different preferred communications styles.  I include my email, phone, website and Twitter name.  I want to make it as easy as possible for the person to find me if I can be of further help to them.

Consolidated and Returned

Occasionally, I will have an exercise in a longer session where I’ll break people up into groups to work on a portion of the material.  If the exercise will provide valuable information to the organization, then I offer to consolidate the individual pieces and send a summary back to the group.  This provides them information of value and me another way to keep in touch.

This Made Me Think of You

The best way to keep in touch is to provide information the audience cares about but didn’t ask for.  When I read an article that reminds me of an individual, I love to send them the article with a note.  Whether it’s electronic or a physical article and note, it just feels good to know that someone was thinking of you.  I know I always appreciate notes sent to me.  It’s a pleasure to be able to send something to someone else as well.

Know – Like – Trust

A presentation is an excellent opportunity for an audience of your prospects to get to know you, to like you and to trust you.  Leave the sales pitch behind.  Talk about what your audience cares about.  Provide them with value.  Tell your stories.  And remember, the presentation is just the first step in building a relationship.  And in this way, you’ll promote you business without turning people off.

 

 

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