Regardless of how many times I have fallen and managed to get up again, I amaze myself at just how much I still don’t know, and how much I have forgotten along the way.
Today’s lesson is one you can benefit from immediately. Learn from my oversight. It is the painless way to go.
The setting is a conference room; the place where I have been making my living for the past 25 years when not waxing eloquent on the Big Stage.
After completing a well-rehearsed program, hopefully to a much appreciated applause, speakers tune into their invisible “Applause-Meter.” The needle on this fictitious device decides how comfortable the plane-ride home will be. Yes, we have been known to beat ourselves up on more than one occasion after a mediocre clap demonstration.
In one particular instance I found myself departing the premises feeling more than just okay. I was feeling “good.” That is until the appraisal forms arrived a week and half later. Apparently, my meter required a small adjustment as it did not sync with the written word.
The categories of content, style, delivery, relevance were all satisfactorily marked. There was no cause for alarm there. But the two items that referred to “questions” and “response to questions” made my stomach queasy.
Once again, the audience hit the nail right on the head. I had left no time for questions. There were no questions. I did not answer any questions. And the reason for this was because I did not solicit any questions.
An old sales lesson then popped into my head. Upfront, early in the relationship, find out what the client defines as a “home run.” Establish the criteria from which you will be judged. This is key. Fundamental. Basic procedure. But too often forgotten or overlooked.
If I knew I was going to be judged on questions, or PowerPoint Slides, or the duration of a mid-program coffee break, it would have been easy to introduce these elements into my program and satisfy these requirements. (I skipped this step and paid the price, resulting in a less-than enjoyable afternoon.)
A very important sales lesson was reinforced that day. Define the “home run.” Then hit one. It is easy to do and the ball lies entirely in your court.
Mike Marchev is the author of the sales book titled Become The Exception and is a popular speaker at industry events. You can receive a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled “Your 12-Word Marketing Plan.” Email Mike and put the number “12” in the subject box. Also, ask about his 3rd Annual Training Cruise coming in November. Mike@MikeMarchev.com.