How to be impactful at decisive moments

Check out the tips from Rogerio Checker, SOAP Partner, for you to build efficient meetings and make that moment of decision a success.

Text extracted from the hangout with Rogerio Checker for RD Summit 2014.

There’s a big problem when you’re at a turning point. People see you not as you are, but as they think you are. In this case, what matters is not reality but how people perceive you. Each of these moments is an opportunity for you to change your life and career.

In your professional life, you will certainly have many defining moments that can result in success or failure.

These moments are basically situations where you need to communicate with a certain audience to sell your product, service or idea.

However, it is increasingly difficult to communicate: there is more and more noise, communication from all sides, and people are less and less willing to pay attention to the whirlwind of messages they receive daily.

Thus, sales meetings, decisive moments to close a deal, must have a high level of preparation, which does not occur in practice. With the excess of professional activities, preparing for a meeting has become a luxury item.

This preparation can become even more difficult, as there is a misconception that when you know your product or service very well, the sale is already guaranteed.

However, a meeting involves much more than mastering your own business.

To explain what else is behind a negotiation, we watched the full hangout of Rogerio Checker, a partner at SOAP, a communication consultancy specializing in solutions for presentations. Rogerio is one of the confirmed speakers at the RD Summit 2015, which will take place on October 29th and 30th in Florianópolis.

In this article by Blue World City, We will explain how to overcome your problems related to communication.

Watch the hangout “Storytelling for Sales Closing”

How to build an efficient meeting

The first crucial point to make a good meeting is personalization: understanding your potential client’s business and pains and what is important to them.

Doing a social media search on his professional and personal interests can help him break the initial ice and create the synergy he needs to pay attention to what you’re talking about.

Some persuasion techniques that can create this engagement:

Define an approach strategy considering some aspects such as the time you will speak. Here, you must be very careful not to confuse the time of the meeting with the time of your presentation. As the saying goes, time is money. Since your audience takes a specific amount of time for the meeting, exceeding that time can be detrimental.

Divide the meeting into several parts and define how many minutes will be spent for them.

1- Preliminaries

That is, it is the moment that you will break the ice. With simple phrases like “hello, how are you”, “what a nice office”, “I know you from such a place”, you will create empathy and understand how far you can go with more specific questions.

You’ll also get a good sense of what kind of approach you’ll need: more serious, more dramatic, or lighter and funnier intonation.

2 – Investigation

In this second step, ask your audience questions, learn more about their business and their interests. But be careful, don’t overdo it. Asking excessively can give the impression of insecurity on your part. Calibrate the questions according to the permission you’ve been given.

3 – Demonstration

The last and long-awaited step is demonstrating what you have to offer and what your audience gains from your offer.

An important tip: if your speech turns into a monologue, there is a maximum time limit for you to act and reverse the situation. In a 1-hour meeting, speaking for up to 30 minutes without a question is acceptable, but not ideal. After that, ask specific questions about your presentation, see if there are any doubts, and get your audience to interact with you.

At a turning point, it’s very important that you know what your audience is interested in. Master the subject and keep in mind how you will handle it.

If the environment is quiet, without noise, with comfortable chairs, the chance of people engaging will be even greater.

In addition, there are other steps that must be followed if you are to succeed in a decisive moment.

Make a diagnosis

Analyze your audience: Who will you present to? Defining your audience by the position they occupy makes no sense, as human beings are unique and their role within the company will be merely illustrative.

Then find out what that person’s interests are and make the presentation to them. Let go of the corporate clichés of “we are, “we do” and offer an experience of how good it will be for that audience if you close the deal.

Understand the real objective

Most corporate presentations are aimed at closing the deal or purchasing the product or service being offered. But almost never a single meeting will have this outcome. Each product or service has a different sales cycle. Designing the steps of this cycle is essential for you to understand what real objective you should have at the end of a punctual meeting. To make it easier, think about: what would you like the audience to think, feel and do after your meeting?

Awaken interest

The audience is almost never ready to pay attention to you. They are thinking about the email that needs to be sent, the payment that needs to be made, the children they need to pick up from school and so many other activities.

Awaken the audience’s interest by positively surprising them. Ask a question, for example. This will bring her attention back to you. Create suspense about a certain subject, use a sense of humor if the environment allows.

But just arousing interest is not enough. You must keep it. Create a coherent story, convey emotion.

Lastly, finish towards your goal, the one outlined before the meeting. A new demonstration, the presentation of the cost sheet, the involvement of new decision-makers or even the closing of the deal at that moment.

Visual support

Creating a PowerPoint presentation with slides presenting a sequence of unconnected facts and information will not generate engagement.

The human brain cannot segment what is good or bad. The audience will be interested in what you are talking about but may not be able to connect one logic to another.

Studies show that 80% of people understand more with visual aids, it helps to retain information. With it, you direct the person wherever you want. Studies also show that when the layout is clear, making it easier to read, people understand that the product is better.

Use, but don’t abuse, the animations. Keep your presentation at the same pace as your speech. When this happens, people tend to look at the presentation and look at you afterward. This generates visual as well as auditory understanding.

If you don’t have time to create a good visual presentation, remember that more important than that is the content that will speak. Focus on a good oral presentation strategy that will help you a lot.

Tell a story

Try telling a story that makes your audience emotional, it will definitely set you apart.

By having a line that connects all the information you want to present in a story format, with a beginning, middle and end, you offer an experience that is very easy for your audience to understand, and buy.

Give it a try: instead of counting that your company has more than 3 thousand employees and 5 branches distributed in Asia, Europe and South America, why don’t you inform that, among 3 thousand employees, your audience will have unrestricted access to a team of only 20 professionals available full time to serve you and offer solutions with the experiences of other employees from 4 different countries? This will certainly have a lot more impact than talking about yourself and your company. Remember: the focus of the meeting is the customer.

Cause emotion

How you tell this story is also important. Nobody can watch a movie that has only happy situations or only sad facts. Varying between highs and lows makes your speech more interesting and causes emotion to the viewer.

Playful narrative elements of storytelling can be brought into the corporate environment and get engagement without losing professionalism.

Psychology and neuroscience point out that, in general, much decision making is emotional, but people are not aware of it.

However, presentations are usually made with the rationality of the audience as a guide. Often the arguments are consistent and the information pertinent, but even so the presenter can’t get the message across in the best possible way.

In this case, making a balance between the aspects that affect the audience’s objectivity and the aspects that are subliminal is essential in making the decision.

Body posture

A person who speaks to his audience with his hands in his pockets or a more relaxed posture can be interpreted as someone who is not dedicated or unprofessional.

We know that this is effectively not true, but the interpretation, even if wrong, can be negative and harm the negotiation.

The look is another point of high connection between people. A very sharp look can cause embarrassment while looking away can create insecurity. Walk with your eyes to all present, so you get the ideal balance.

The voice is also another point of attention. Talking too fast, in a monotone, stuttering or using empty words to fill the silence are common practices that can distract the audience and make the conversation monotonous. Use shorter sentences spoken slowly and using emphasis to highlight the most important points. Ask questions and make room for interaction between the parties.

Do not interpret the reactions

Be careful with the interpretation of what the person is thinking. If you get it into your head that the person doesn’t like it, you will create destructive self-talk that can completely disrupt them.

Use Digital Marketing as your ally

As mentioned earlier, the preparation of the meeting is one of the most important points. And discovering the audience’s personal and professional interests will help you get better results.

Digital Marketing can help you find this information: what the audience knows, you do not know what the objections are and resistance points more likely that you will find.

In addition, you can find out if there are any professional and personal contacts in common and use this to your advantage. Having a Landing Page to define profile criteria can also help you use that information for a nutrition stream that pinpoints your audience’s interests based on the content they were interested in and the Email Marketing campaigns they clicked on.

Once you apply this information to your meeting’s communication strategy, you build a relationship of trust and synergy with your audience. After all, you already know a lot about her.

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With these tips, you create endless possibilities to make that moment of decision a success. Standing out is everyone’s goal, but few succeed, as it requires discipline, constant improvement and a lot of training? Take out of your life the famous improvisation that so many think to be miraculous and be sure of what you will do.

Applying these techniques on a day-to-day basis will improve not only the numbers in your company but the way you communicate with the world. Your life will progress in all fields of communication.