Recently I posted an article that really garnered some attention. It was called “Is Speak to Sell Ruining Presentations” and it talked about how ‘over’ the sales pitch the author was. I agree 100%, and I have been shouting it from the rooftops for months.
Stop Selling and Start SERVING
I have been to too many “speak to sell” conferences and seminars where it seems the entire purpose is to break you down through 12 hour days and to make you feel horrible about yourself and your business – then we hear the presenter offer themselves as the ONLY thing that can save you. Or, the other approach, aim the ‘content fire hose” at you and overwhelm you with all that is necessary to succeed so you just have to hire that ‘guru’ to help you. And I have seen it work. It does – I admit it. In a room with over 1,000 people in it, I watched about 10% of the room flock to the back table like little lemmings, credit card in hand. I have have been one of those lemmings…
They bought the Kool-Aid. But then what?
What we do not see is the buyer’s remorse after the glow has worn off. We do not see the looks on their family’s faces when the participant announces that they have just invested all the money they had saved for vacation. We do not see that the promised results are NOT typical, and that selling formulas do not work the same for every personality. We just do not see the long term damage the brand will ultimately endure.
Before you pounce on that, understand, I am all for investing in your business. I am all for taking risks and growth. I do it all the time. But as consumers we are OVER the high pressure sales pitch. We see beyond the “Great and Powerful OZ” to the man behind the curtain. The flash and dash isn’t enough any more. We want real. We want real results, real relationships.We want you to show us YOU. We want relevant, useful content that we can implement immediately ON OUR OWN. Don’t give me the hammer to ‘build my deck for free’, but make me pay an arm and a leg for the nails. It is slimy.
For instance, on my website I give away one of my favourite tools for free. “How to write the Ultimate Speaker One Worksheet”. This is a culmination of years of writing One Sheets, and I believe it really gives people all the tools they need. There are plenty of Word based templates out there if they need free and want to design it themselves, and/or they can take the content to their current designer to have something made. They do not have to buy anything from me to have received value. THAT is a free offer. Now of course, they can contact Pibworth for editing, design, or any number of additional services, but they do not have to. I have served them. Given them access to some of my best stuff for free.
That is how our presentations should feel to participants. We should leave them wanting to know more of us, excited about how much we gave – how well we served. I am not saying do not make an offer. Engaged audience members want us to show them ways to keep in touch, and yes – to work with us; but if you have not over delivered on your promises in a way that made them fall in love, you have not earned the right to ask. You absolutely must earn the right to make an offer, otherwise it will feel like a sales pitch – and it won’t win you any new members of your tribe.
Tribe members stick with you. They are loyal and they turn into raving fans that refer you like crazy. They buy the ‘big’ programs, and not just once. They are repeat purchasers that keep coming back, and they bring friends. They are the long term ‘meat and potatoes’ to your business. Just like anything worthwhile, they take time to cultivate. They take attention and care and they are worth every moment.
Take a look at your presentation from a consumer’s standpoint and ask yourself – how can I stop Selling and start Serving? You will be happy that you did!