When I was a baby radio DJ spinning records on station K104 while still in high school in the 1990s, I aspired to one day make it to New York radio.
I befriended New York radio personalities at the time, like Kid Kelly (Z100) and AJ Hammer (WPLJ), who always gave me words of encouragement and advice. It was Hammer, whom you might better know from his TV stints on Court TV and HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight,” who shared with me the three principles for a great radio show: Preparation, moderation and concentration. By the way, I think he might have learned that from radio legend Scott Shannon.
While my radio career never quite took off to a major market (only made it as far as Albany), these are three words that drive my own successful sales presentations – and have helped me grow my agency.
Before meeting with a prospect, do your homework and be prepared. If you have the opportunity to get in a room with a decision maker, don’t just do your “usual schtick.” In fact, if you even have a usual schtick, you are not giving your best. Research them, even their competitors. That way, you can tailor your recommendations to the client. Company executives will be impressed you did your research and know specifically how you can help them, and what their competitors are doing to stay ahead of them.
Moderation in your sales presentations is important. You don’t want to go so far over the top – or oversell – that you can’t deliver on the promises you make. You also stand to lose credibility when you boast. For example, my firm helped one client grow revenues more than 20 percent the last two years in a row. While filming a testimonial video for my company, my client shared that success. You would think that’s great, and I should scream this accomplishment from the top of the Catskill Mountains. In reality, most people would not believe it, or would be skeptical. So that part of his statement didn’t make it to the final video, but we included more moderate comments to maintain credibility.
The prospect sitting in the room with you needs to hear your A-game. Sleep, prepare and, quite frankly, do whatever works for you – and make sure you concentrate when presenting. Don’t talk at your meeting participants, have a conversation and listen to them. And when they share their concerns or thoughts, they will be able to tell if you are not truly listening and you’re only thinking about if a contract will get signed. I’ve seen this before, and it does not work out too well.
I’m not sure all will agree with my style of presenting, but preparation, moderation and concentration are all vital when seeking to be credible in sales presentations and close deals.