I have recently had an email from Steve who has recently purchased The Persuasion Skills Black Book. He has raised a point that lets me unpack a whole raft of ideas for drawing people into your presentation especially if you are worried about interruptions and objections.
Sales Presentations and Persuasion Techniques
Here is the email in full:
Received from Steve; Thursday 25th December
I recently just started reading your book. I down loaded it onto my laptop so that I can carry it with me. I work third shift so i have very little time to read it. I am off and running with other work from the time i get off work until I go home to sleep for my night job.
But, I do plan to use it to get the ability to deflect any rejections from people that I approach about membership plans that I present to them. I don’t want to force them into anything, I just want them to not stop my presentation until I have finished. And then let them decide if what I have to offer is to their liking or not.
Here is my response with some ideas about controlling your audience whether it is an individual or a group.
Thanks for taking the time to email. Here are some thoughts for you. Please accept the fact that I have little or no information so may be way off beam, but I thought I would write just in case some of these scattered thoughts might help.
Okay assuming you are talking to a group and are often being asked questions or driven off track by your audience consider the following.
Pre-framing the Benefits to Control Your Audience
If you know the types of objections that are likely to come up deal with them at the beginning of your presentation as an open loop. Let’s say your most common objections are “it’s too expensive” and “I don’t have the time to maintain this programme” just for example. At the start of the presentation I would tell a story, something like this:
“My most avid client is a guy who signed on last year. At the time he was thinking that the programme was too expensive and that he wouldn’t have time to maintain the programme. Amazingly this programme has saved him (x) amount of money and he also got several hours free time a week back by putting some simple strategies in place. As part of this presentation I will explain exactly how he did this.”
Obviously you need to be able to say these things about a client and also make good on the promise to share that information with the audience, but this is a great way of deflecting questions and comments through your talk. A lot of the objections won’t come up because they know it is in the presentation.
There will be a few impatient types but anything that vaguely relates to those two objections you can just tell them it is coming in a later part of the presentation.
This also works with individuals but you might want to be less formal and structured about it.
Using Patterns from The Persuasion Skills Black Book
Spontaneous questions and points that you want to deal with later or give your self room for are easily dealt with an (x) to (y) redefine as you are learning in the book. i.e. The issue is not the one that you have brought up but the one I am going to discuss with you now.
For added emphasis make the (y) a big benefit statement and end with asking them a question e.g. “The issue is not the point you are bringing up but the huge amount of money you will make from this plan. The money will be useful, right?”
To make this work even better add an agreement frame at the beginning and a commitment frame at the end. All of these are in the book and here is how that might look:
I agree you have this issue (x) and the issue is not that but how you will make a lot of money by investing in this programme (y). What do you need from me to understand how much benefit you will get from this programme?
The formula for creating this sort of pattern, how to build it up and practice it until it is instinctive is all in The Persuasion Skills Black Book.
My final thought before I leave you alone is consider questions and observations as opportunities to elicit more information, bind their thoughts towards the direction you want and seal more commitment from them. Here is a real blatant commitment sealer:
“If I can answer your question will you act on the information about how much money you will gain from the programme today?”
It is not one I would use, but just wanted to show you that you can use anything they give you to seal a commitment if you chose.
Anyway I hope this helps.
Eliciting Values to Control your Audience
Another approach to the issue might be to become more interactive with your audience whether it is an individual or a group. So for example you have just started presenting information to an individual and they stop you with an objection. The objection I am going to use for this hypothetical example is “not enough time to read and learn the information from your book”.
My first objective is to move the conversation into eliciting information from my audience. So from The Persuasion Skills Handbook comes an agreement frame and a redefine followed by a question geared to elicit their values. This might look something like:
“I agree time is short and the issue is not about time but what you are losing by not having these skills in place. What would you do with a few extra hours a week?”
Those of you that are on the Advance Persuasion Patterns Programme will be seeing this as building up to elicit values. For the people not on that programme values are deep drivers and motivators that we all have. At this point we would be taking our prospect though a series of questions to bring these values out and then bind them gaining extra time and following through by connecting the whole thing to saving time through persuasion skills. The final statement before continuing with my presentation would be something like:
“So can I show you how you can fulfil your (deepest values) through learning persuasion skills?”
Perceptual Positions – Think About Your Prospect
Think about this from the prospect’s perspective for a moment. The prospect has started by saying they don’t have time, they then think about some of their deepest motivations which are then linked to the subject at hand and then someone is going to show them how to fulfil those values. This is a very powerful persuasion technique and should be used with care.
If you want to learn how to use powerful persuasion techniques then The Persuasion Skills Black Book is a great place to start.