"No pressure. No Diamond."



Those of us in sales are challenged in today’s environment to build a case that passes the “So What?” test and the mode of message delivery is very  different depending on the generation of our audience.  According to Terri Sjodin, author of Small Message, Big Impact, most of us are still delivering our message like we did in the days of bell bottoms, polyester pants and platform shoes and “the 70’s called and wants their presentation back!”


She says we’ve become ‘philanthropists at handing out far too much information and our recipients are using the information to negotiate the best deal they can for themselves, with someone else.’  


 Instead, we need to up our presentation skills and learn that in sales, the ability to persuade always answers the question the client is silently asking:  “What’s in it for me?”   What do we want?  The answers may surprize you!

In 3 minutes or less, we want to understand from a sales person:

  • How they’ll save us time
  • How they’ll save us money
  • How they’ll help us retain our mental sanity
  • How they’ll allow us to feel safe with our decision
  • How working with them will have a fun factor
  • How we’ll simplify their life and make us easy to work with
  • And perhaps, all of the above


While there is an element of information that we provide when selling, our job is first and foremost to persuade someone to use us.  Then comes the finale.  When it comes right down to it, many of us overcomplicate the process and at the end of making our case, simply fail to close.  I sat and listened to Terry for two hours this morning and had so many blinding flashes of the obvious that there were spots in front of my eyes for an hour after her presentation.


In case you’re thinking that your presentation skills are good enough and you’re looking for support for that decision, she told a great story that bears repeating.   If you go crabbing and you are fortunate enough to be successful in catching a crab, you will only need a lid if your bucket has only one crab in it.  Why?  That crab will fight to the death to climb out of that bucket.  However, if you put several crabs in a bucket together, you need no lid.  Why not?  Because the other crabs will pull down any crab who tries to get ahead of them and escape.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be sitting in a bucket of crabs.


Reading her book and putting her ideas into practice may well make you an ‘unstoppable force’ in 2012. You can find more information about her at  http://www.sjodincommunications.com/

It will take some practice, hard work and perseverance to learn a new skill set but as Terry said, “No pressure.  No diamond.”                                                                                          Sell well.  -Kate Wilson

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