You don’t want to wonder if your prospect is thinking “Who cares? What’s in it for me or our company?” during your sales presentations.

I hate to tell you, but many of them are.

Selling is not about you or your products; it’s about how the prospect will benefit. To be persuasive, you need to appeal to the other person’s rational self-interest. People make decisions for their reasons, not yours. Use this list to help them make those decisions in your favor.

Forget your company history or industry jargon which might be the biggest “who cares” of all.

You have heard the expression “A confused mind always says no.” Here is one of my Frippisms: “A bored mind gets distracted and cuts your meeting short.” Use a phrase like, “Based on 15 years of helping clients with businesses the size of yours, I have learned . . .” Or, “With my last five clients in your industry, I have found . . .” You can work that information into your presentation without belaboring the point.

Simplify and clarify how your prospects can benefit from your product or service.

At the beginning of the relationship, when you are discovering if they have a need or how much opportunity there is for you to help, they need to do most of the talking.

Take notes on what they say.

When appropriate, repeat their words in your conversation and then in your proposal. Our prospects never disagree with themselves!

The key to connection is conversation and the secret of conversation is asking questions.

The quality of the information you receive depends on the quality of your questions. In your presentations, even if you know your discovery questions backwards and forwards, write them down. If you are part of a team, collaborate with your teammates and add to your list. It is easier to be creative with a couple of minds working on the challenge.

The key to connection is conversation. The secret of conversation is to ask questions.

Depending on what you are selling, it may be a good idea to start asking a prospect what is working for them right now.

This way you are getting your prospect talking, getting them in a good mood, and learning more.

Above all, keep your sales questioning conversational; it’s not an interrogation.

Whenever possible, answer the prospect in a way that brings in your experience with other similar clients, but keep the focus on getting information to understand how they can benefit from a relationship with you.

These 6 Wonderful Ways to Solve “Who Cares” Syndrome will help you in your upcoming sales presentations.

“To watch how our veteran group of salespeople became involved in your Storytelling to Increase Sales was impressive. We are excited to continue your training with FrippVT Sales.” Jeff Walters, Vice President, North American Sales, Peak-Ryzex

Increase your sales results!

 

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Even the most hardened prospect can’t resist a good story when it is well told.

Keep in mind, the reason you tell stories is that your prospects will not remember everything you say. They will, however, remember what they see and feel while they listen to you speak.

Rely on three powerful story formulas to convey your message. They work together in harmony.

Client stories are a great way to sell. Begin with their situation.

Formula 1: Situation, Solution, Success

 Situation. The client’s situation is their problem, their pain, and its similarity to the prospect company you are talking to. Think for a moment of one of your satisfied clients. How did they articulate their problem to you?

  • “Help! My teams are not productive.”
  • “Help! Our current supplier of office equipment is costing us too much!”
  • “Help! We are not compliant.”
  • “Help! We assumed experienced technology professionals would be able to tell our story effectively!”

Solution. Explain your process so that your prospects can see what it is like working with you. Use phrases such as, “What Diane benefited from is our usual three-step approach with each new client. First we . . .”

 Success. This is the end of the story, the happily-ever-after: How did you improve their condition?

Just as with the situation, this needs to be in the client’s words. You can repeat their glowing comments. When you use their words to talk about your product or service, they can be more glowing than what you would say about yourself. An example:

“Patricia, if Diane were here, she would tell you, ‘When I first talked to the people at Profit Factor, my accounting was in a total mess. My last bookkeeper had dropped the ball which resulted in $3,000 fines and penalties. Within three weeks of hiring Profit Factor, not only did I get my $3,000 refunded, but they also found me additional legitimate write-offs that resulted in another $8,762 refund. In the first two months, their efforts paid for their services for the next four years. They have my loyalty for life!’ In your portfolio, you will find her letter and those of two dozen other clients who have businesses of your size.”

This is social proof, or what I like to call “taking your satisfied clients on your sales calls.”

Formula 2: Character, Dialogue, and Dramatic Lesson Learned

Hollywood knows how to tell a good story. Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind

Character. The secret of awesome storytelling is to populate your stories with flesh-and-blood characters that your listeners can relate to. You are the salesperson. They are the potential buyers. They relate to the people in your story who were in a situation like theirs.

Start by giving your characters a back story as simple as their title and years of experience. For example, if you spoke of “a human resource director with 23 years’ experience,” the subtext — the content underneath the spoken dialogue — is that someone with 23 years of experience knows how to make wise decisions. Your prospects often reach their conclusions based on the information they hear from “one of your characters who is like them.”

Dialogue. It is important in your example to have the actual words of the client state the problem and then state the success. Their words are often edited and sometimes dramatized; however, the emotional context is accurate. An example:

Nutanix hires Patricia to coach their brilliant, content experts.

 When Vice Presidents of Marketing are planning their customer conferences, they often ask something like this, “Patricia, we have brilliant engineers who know our technology and do interact with our customers. However, they are not used to speaking to 500 of our customers in a breakout session at our large conferences. How can you help?” I reply, “If you were to ask Greg Smith, Vice President of Marketing at Nutanix, he would tell you, “We consider the investment in Patricia’s coaching a ‘must-have’ part of our events. Since Patricia has been working with our expert technical presenters, our customers rate their performance superb. Now speech coaching has gone from required to requested.”

Dramatic Lesson Learned. Can you see what I did?  No way could I say, “I am the best speech coach you could find.”  By using Greg’s words, it was as if my satisfied customer were with us.

Formula 3: Take a Page from Hollywood

Hollywood knows how to tell a good story better than most salespeople, and you can gain an advantage by using a common screenplay structure.

A day in the life. Early in any film you soon come to understand a day in the life of the main character, the protagonist. Let’s look at Joe, a sales manager in a high-end hotel, well dressed in a crisp shirt and great silk tie. We know there are no casual Fridays for the sales staff at a San Francisco luxury hotel atop Nob Hill.

Something happens! Joe, the character with whom the audience empathizes, runs into a problem: the antagonist or bad guy. In this case, it’s not a person, but rather the job to deliver a standup presentation to a large group of influential decision-makers. He is nervous and afraid he will lose the $500,000 sale.

As a result of that, Joe calls his friend Fripp, the speech coach.

As a result of that, Fripp tells him what to say and why it will work. Emotional and intellectual connection.

As a result of that, Joe makes the sale, and Fripp’s advice pays off once again!

Is using Hollywood-style strategies overkill? No, even the most analytic of your prospects enjoy being entertained. Make your stories come alive, and they will be remembered and repeated.

The great movie director Alfred Hitchcock said, “A movie is like life with all the dull parts taken out.”

This is what we are doing with these three simple formulas: shrinking your time and conversations to a nub for maximum impact.

When you use stories in your sales presentation skills you are more likely to drive sales. Have you ever wondered…

 What Do Poor Sales Presentations Cost You?

A good story really helps.

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Does yours add to or distract from your message?

Is Your PowerPoint Terrifying?

When I ask my clients, “How long is your sales presentation,” it scares me when they answer, “12 slides.”

Or if I ask, “How do you design your sales presentation,” it’s downright terrifying to hear them say, “We get the slide deck.”

If you start creating your sales presentation by organizing your slides, you may be sabotaging what could fundamentally be a great presentation.

PowerPoint is a valuable visual aid but a poor scripting aid.

Designing a sales presentation is a creative process, best accomplished on a flip chart, whiteboard, or legal pad. Once you have the outline of your new, improved sales presentation structure, you can ask yourself, “Where do I need help telling the story?”

How can you visually demonstrate what you are saying? Charts and graphs and diagrams are perfect in this medium. If your slides are complex, take the elements apart and put them together in a way that simplifies them.

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The Quality of Information You Receive

Depends on the Quality of Your Questions

As a seasoned sales professional, you are familiar with the importance of asking good questions in order to discover how a prospect can benefit from your product or service. The right questions give you good information that will move the conversation and process forward.

The Not-So-Basic Openers

The first priority is to learn as much as you can about pain points and about your prospect’s current environment.

  • What is your biggest challenge, and what do you think is the cause?
  • How long has it been going on?
  • Are you doing anything about it currently, or have you in the past?
  • If you could solve it, what would that be worth?

Staying on Track

While you don’t want to control the conversation too overtly, you need to focus on gaining an understanding of how they can benefit from a relationship with you. Use follow-up questions such as these for clarity:

  • Can you give me a little more detail about that?
  • Could you give me a specific example?
  • How often does this happen?
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Learn These 8 Steps to Outstanding Sales Structure

The structure of your sales presentation is the skeleton under the flesh of your words. These eight simple, powerful steps to your sales presentation increase your chance to make the sale.

Delivering a Sales Presentation seminar for the Prosperity Series.

Even if you have made a compelling presentation, it often takes weeks or months before you get a response. Consequently, the goal is to burn vivid examples and key ideas into your prospect’s mind. You don’t want them to forget what makes you different from your competition. This is especially important if you are one of several individuals or teams competing for the same business.

The challenge is to design and deliver your presentation to be remembered and repeated.

Unfortunately, the average presentation structure reminds me of old-world selling.

“Hi, I am Fred Smith. Let me introduce you to my team: Tom, Dick, and Harriette. Thank you for your time.

We are from the ABC company.  This is what we do: This is how long we have been in business:

This is what we are known for: These are the clients we do business with: We would like to work with you.”

That is a dreary, who cares presentation at its worst.

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If you are asked to deliver a speech about you and your success, most likely you are nervous about sounding “too big for your britches.”

The Secret: Give Credit to Those Who Guided You to Success

If you are a successful business professional, you will be asked at some point, within your company or your community, to speak about your success. Most people feel anxious about that. We’re programmed by our mothers not to “show off.”

Patricia Fripp delivering a keynote speech.

Structure your presentation based on one simple strategy, and make it easy on yourself.

Every speech is organized around a key issue. For the “about me” speech, it is this: No one becomes successful alone. Give credit to the influencers, the models, the mentors who have guided you through your career.

The story of your personal success gives credit to them and their guidance.

Look at your life story as if it were a play: Act I: When you were young;

Act II: When you were more mature and starting your career; and

Act III: When you actually achieved success.

Alex a successful executive, a multimillionaire, asked me to help him write the most important speech of his career. He was the president of a real estate franchise and was speaking at their annual conference. 700 realtors there knew he was a multimillionaire. They did not, however, know of his humble beginnings as an illegitimate child.

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Save time and learn from my experience

Advice from THE executive speech coach.

You do not have to be perfect, rather be personable.

Your audience needs to see the person behind your position.

Find ways to make an emotional connection.

Your audience is always thinking, “What is in your message for me?”

The shorter your report, presentation, update, or demo, the more power each word has.

Be specific. If you say “thing” what do you mean?

Movement often distracts from your message.

You will not improve what you are not aware of.

The written word is for the eye, the spoken word is for the rhythm.

Rehearsal is the work. Performance is the relaxation.

The best advice is to save time by learning from an expert who has already learned what you want to know.

Learn more secrets to make your speech great.

“As a seasoned speaker being coached by Patricia Fripp has helped me deliver my game-changing message with more power and eloquence.  My client testimonials and feedback prove it.” Ron Karr, CSP, Past President, National Speakers Association

“To watch how our veteran group of salespeople became involved in your Storytelling to Increase Sales was impressive. We are excited to continue your training with FrippVT Sales.” Jeff Walters, Vice President, North American Sales, Peak-Ryzex

“The information in FrippVT is as valuable as any college course I’ve taken. This is a resource that everyone needs. The investment is worth ten times more than I paid and has been life-changing. My fees, recommendations, and referrals have increased dramatically. I am delighted. For the first time in my speaking career, I know exactly want I am doing when I walk on stage. One technique in course 11 helped me win an international speech.” Mitzi Perdue, author of How to Make Your Family Business Last

“We consider the investment in Patricia’s coaching a ‘must-have’ part of our events. Since Patricia has been working with our expert technical presenters our customers rate their performances superb.” Greg Smith, Vice President, Product Marketing at Nutanix

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Are You Looking for #1 Best Way to Write a Presentation?

The answer is to learn from an expert.

In the last forty years, I have delivered 3,500 live presentations and hundreds more virtually, thousands of business and professional speakers have benefited from my techniques.

Now you can. In 2021… Don’t wait… create!  A great signature talk is your best marketing tool. You can deliver virtual presentations for promotion or for fee. You can add to your website, YouTube, LinkedIn and blog.

To simplify what you may feel is a complex process, I am making it easy for you.

These brilliant people can’t be wrong.

“We consider the investment in Patricia’s coaching a ‘must-have’ part of our events.” Greg Smith, Vice President, Product Marketing at Nutanix

“For my most important speeches, I call Patricia Fripp.” 
Wanda Hope, Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson & Johnson Worldwide

“As a seasoned speaker being coached by Patricia Fripp has helped me deliver my game-changing message with more power and eloquence.  My client testimonials and feedback prove it.”
Ron Karr, CSP, Past President, National Speakers Association, Bestselling author.

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Wanda’s speech was featured in the March 2021 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day.

The TV Show West Wing Made Speechwriting Sexy

At least when Rob Lowe is the speechwriter and he is writing for the President played by Martin Sheen. However, the members of the Professional Speechwriters Association, some who have written for US Presidents, felt a certain pride, at least when the show was running. Speechwriters are usually behind the scenes while our words make an impact and sometimes history.

As an executive speech coach, I have the honor of helping my clients create a variety of speeches. This was the first Commencement Speech I have helped a client wordsmith and polish. However, once you hear this seven-and-a-half-minute speech, you will have to admit Wanda had a great story to tell. As I am often asked for great speech examples, this is worth sharing.

Have you ever heard a really great commencement speech?

As with any great speech, when you deliver a commencement speech you must be inspiring, make a connection with your audience, paint scenes in their minds, and tell a really great story.

With short presentations, every word counts.

Wanda Hope, Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson & Johnson delivered her Penn State Commencement Speech on December 19, 2020.

Wanda is very active in the Penn State Alumni Association. You will be glad to know Tillie is alive and well and lives with Wanda and her family.

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Honor everyday heroes.
Robert Fripp & Patricia Fripp delivering a keynote How to Be a Hero for More Than One Day

As an executive speech coach, I am often asked how to write a eulogy. Naturally, it has to be personal. As you will read by this example from my brother Robert Fripp, give the background and insight into the loved one’s life for those who do not know the entire life story.

Adapted for the liner notes of A Blessing of Tears

A Blessing of Tears Eulogy for Edie Fripp by Robert Fripp

Basis of Eulogy for Edie Fripp delivered by her son Robert at Wimborne Minster on July 30, 1993, during the service to celebrate her life and commemorate her death.

by Robert Fripp

My dear little mother slipped gently from this life Thursday evening, the 22nd of July, between 9:07 and 9:10 while I was holding her hand, just three months short of her 79th birthday. Twelve hours later her heart was still warm.

She was born on October 14, 1914, in Abertillery with a twin brother who died an hour after birth. For this reason, being a twin, her temperature was always lower than normal.

Edie spent the first 17 years of her life in Aberbeeg, a Welsh mining village in what is now the county of Gwent. When she was 17, having never been christened, she organized her own christening and took the name of Edith, the name given to her by her parents. She never liked the name Edith and often mentioned to me that if she had had more sense, she would have called herself by another name.

Her home was in a terrace of houses built by her grandfather and his eight sons for themselves and their families. This was Greenland Terrace. One of the sons was killed during the construction when a wall fell on him.

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