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Video: Recipe for a Great Presentation

Presentations normally scare us even though they are the doorway leading to business, career and leadership opportunities. Get your recipe for confidence and success

Speaker, author and presentation expert Fred Miller is as delicious in his speaking delivery as the cake he discusses and shows you at the opening of his presentation. He packs a wealth of valuable ideas and practices into this brief topic on creating a repeatable, successful presentation every time you speak. In it, he addresses the importance of:

  • Compelling your audience to be open, charmed and curious within the first minutes
  • Crafting your title and slides using images and text effectively
  • Impacting your audience immediately with an introduction that speaks to the needs and desires of your audience and gets their attention
  • Using questions to make a strong bid for audience participation and engagement
  • Providing valuable points and reinforcing them with powerful and humorous stories to make you irresistible to your target market
  • Using your presentation slides as a support tool without them being a crutch
  • Demonstrating cohesiveness in your message through a solid construction of your topic
  • Managing audience questions strategically with timing and composition of your invitation
  • Ending on a positive, memorable and engaging note so your audience remembers what’s best about you and your services.

Fred E. Miller is an entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking speaker, author, and presentation coach. His website iswww.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com and you can contact him at Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

How do you determine your customer’s needs?

Want to give great service? One way is to quickly identify your customer’s challenges, priorities and needs.

Our panel of experts answers the question: How do you determine your customer’s needs?

From our Experts:

Brian Lunt

I take time to have a personal conversation and get to know them. I ask authentic, caring questions until I gain the understanding of what I could do to make their life easier and better.

Bill Prenatt

Process is key. Over the years, my most effective method to discover customer needs is to ask well-placed, thoughtful questions. This is especially important since customers frequently don't know what they don't know.

I utilize a two-part system to avoid questions being randomly asked/yielding rambling answers:

1. I have a questions library, broken into Strategic, Tactical, Communications, and Competencies questions.

2. I use a concept called E G O, my questions are asked in these categories: Engaging, Genuine Interest, and Opportunities

Judy Ryan

I send out a link to one of several detailed surveys I have on my website. I do this when I have an interested prospect or when I’m asked to do a presentation at an event. People perusing my site also find these surveys. When they take them, this helps me to both educate the prospect on what I do overall and also to gather important information on them to learn about their struggles, challenges, areas they need support and many other ways I can engage in conversation when we meet and even prior to a meeting through additional questions that surface.

These are just a few of the partner responses. 

Check out this article in the Academy to get all of them.

For further information, support and advice from thirty experts on this topic and many others, become a member of the e4e community by visiting our website at www.e4ecommunity.com

A Tale of Two Pricing Strategies

Imagine two companies. One touts results customers can expect and charges premium prices; the other touts low prices. Which one wins?

The two companies are Verizon and Sprint. Verizon’s premium prices allowed it to build one of the broadest, most reliable networks in telecommunications history. In addition to its customer-centric network, Verizon continues to show solid growth in revenues, profits, cash flow and shareholder value.

Contrast that with Sprint, which, despite rising revenues, has seen its net loss almost double in the past four years, its debt increased by 20% and its cash from operations dropped by 40%. Other than spikes in stock price associated with potential mergers, Sprint’s shareholders have seen little, if any, growth in the stock’s value.

Troubling times in the kingdom

What’s troubling to me is that:

  • Over the years I’ve offered countless examples of companies who enjoy great success with premium price strategies.
  • It takes me less than 5 minutes to identify and compare results of Verizon and Sprint or the myriad other companies I’ve cited in my blog posts.

Yet business ‘leaders’ continue to pursue low-price strategies.

Why?

Behaviors that fly in the face of evidence to the contrary beg the questions:

  • Are they simply not paying attention to what’s going on in the business world?
  • Are they so lost in the microcosm of their industry they can’t see what’s working for others?
  • Is their intellectual arrogance so great they won’t consider alternatives?
  • Is their fear so great they’re hobbled by it?
  • Do they perceive it to be easier to compete on price than to find new, exciting ways to serve their customers?
  • Do they view others’ success as something unavailable to them?

Result

Whatever the rationale, effects are devastating. Not just for the company itself, but for the economy as a whole. I’ve gone into greater detail about this in my white paper, Low Price Strategies Subvert Growth and Employment , but for now it’s sufficient to know low-price strategies being employed today are based more on cost shifting, than innovation.

When a large organization declares it is going to pay its vendors in 120 days, it shifted its financing costs to vendors who have a more difficult time obtaining financing and, consequently, will pay higher prices for that financing. This results in a less efficient use of resources in the economy and hampers economic growth, which limits employment.

Takeaway

Stop ignoring evidence. Reposition your offerings for premium prices and you too, can enjoy the success of companies like Verizon. If you’re not sure how to go about it, give me a call and, together, we’ll make it happen.

Dale Furtwengler is author of the internationally acclaimed book, Pricing for Profit. His company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. For more pricing/branding/marketing/sales tips visit his website, PricingForProfitBook.com.

Generate Optimal Results When Networking

Tom Ruwitch asks the panel, “When attending a networking event, what is one strategy, tactic or rule that you always keep in mind to generate optimal results for you and your business?”

As a business owner, you understand more than most, your time is money. You also realize networking is key to growing your business, even though sometimes networking events seem to be less successful than you’d like. For many who attend networking events, outcomes can be frustrating if you are not prepared to meet new people, do not set and achieve your business goals for attending, or fail to have purposeful and fruitful conversations with qualified prospects.

Building trusting relationships that lead to satisfying business transactions takes time, genuine care and a balance between people skills and a focus on your business goals and aspirations. Respect for self and others and a consistent relaxed and abundant mindset allow for business to flow due to a genuine helpful intent.

Read what nine independent e4e business owners and recognized experts report on the strategies, tactics or rules they keep in mind to generate optimal results when at networking events. In this way, you draw on the real-time experience of our experts to quickly decide strategies to benefit you and your business.

Four of our Nine Panel Experts:

Bill Prenatt

Actually, there are three strategies I execute on consistently: 1) I set a goal for how many valid prospects I expect to meet and I plan to enter into my data base; 2) I communicate clearly what business I’m in and what kind of prospect I’m interested in meeting. This usually cuts the conversation short with people I’m not aligned with; 3) I make it a habit to connect at least three prospects with existing connections.

Judy Ryan

e4e partner Fred Miller offered a great strategy in one of our recent workshops. He said we should not allow our time to be monopolized during a networking event. He gave an example of a person handling this in a thoughtful manner by saying, “Please excuse me. I committed to myself I’d meet 10 new people before the main event starts and I have a few more to go. Great meeting you!” What a wonderful, respectful and direct way to be upfront about wanting to meet more than one or two people at an event.

Keith Vollmar

Here is what I do when attending a larger networking event. For each meeting:

1. Walk away with no less than 2 business cards of individuals I have not met before.
2. Make sure I say hello to 2 or 3 established business friends who are key potential referral sources for me.
3. Ensure one new person gets the most out of networking event.

This is my routine at MO Venture Forum or similar larger group. For smaller groups, it depends on the number of people attending.

Cathy Sexton

For starters I have made the decision to cut way back on networking events. I think the time spent on networking events can get way out of hand if we are not careful. So my current strategy is to only attend with two purposes. To continue to build already valuable relationships and to make sure the events have my ideal clients also in attendance.

These are just a few of the partner responses. 

Check out this article in the Academy to get all of them.

For further information, support and advice from thirty experts on this topic and many others, become a member of the e4e community by visiting our website at www.e4ecommunity.com

The Fear of Public Speaking: Why Many of Us Have It

Glossophobia is Fear of Public Speaking. 75% of people experience this phobia. Expert Fred Miller addresses the causes and cures for glossophobia.

Glossophobia is the Fear of Public Speaking. It is derived from a Greek word, glosso, meaning tongue, and Phobus, fear. Up to seventy-five percent of us have it, to one degree or another. It holds many people back from reaching their potential.

It is a fear worth confronting and overcoming because, as my mantra says: “Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

People who take and make Speaking Opportunities:

  • Grow their businesses.
  • Advance their careers.
  • Increase their leadership roles.

The first step to lessening the fear is to understand why so many people dread giving public speaking and delivering presentations.

My first response is, “Why not!

Think about it. Most of our conversations are one-on-one. Many of those are on a phone where we don’t see the person we’re communicating with. Increasingly, we communicate by texting or email. Those mediums eliminate seeing and hearing the other person.

It’s reasonable to assume standing in front of, and speaking with twenty, forty, or one hundred sets of eyeballs, is ‘out of our comfort zone.’ That’s a big reason we’re uncomfortable giving a presentation.

That un-comfortableness will, if presenting on a regular basis, ultimately lessen. (You did learn to eventually not fall off your bicycle, didn’t you?)

There are several very real reasons to have a Fear of Public Speaking.

  1. If you don’t know what you’re speaking about!
    Don’t get in front of an audience and talk about something for which you have little or no knowledge. That activity, rightfully so, will give you anxiety. You’ve got to know your subject and know enough to have ‘confidence in your competence’ on your topic. That knowledge lessens anxiety.
  2. If you don’t know the structure of a presentation.
    I’ll bet you, like me, have heard speakers talk and talk and talk without there being any rhyme or reason to their presentation. The topic might have been covered, but because a logical structure wasn’t followed, the audience didn’t GET IT! Just as the recipe for a delicious cake dictates specific ingredients are added in specific amounts at specific times; there is a proven structure to a great presentation.This, like most skills, can be learned.
  3. If you haven’t practiced before the event.
    Practicing is not optional!

    • Bands who have been together for many years and play music they’ve played hundreds of time, rehearse before big concerts.
    • Professional ball players attend spring training and show up before games for batting practice.
    • Actors and actresses continually rehearse their roles.

    Why would anyone think they could “wing” it when delivering a presentation?

  4. Sometimes the Fear of Public Speaking is Situational.
    • Size of Audience.
      Speaking one-on-one is something we do all the time. For most of us, it’s very natural and easy to do. What about speaking with five people? Ten people? What number in the audience makes someone nervous? A good analogy is a Fear of Heights. Standing on a stool or step stool is not a big deal. A stepladder is okay. Climbing a twenty-four foot extension ladder to clean out my gutters - not me!
    • Specific People in the Audience.
      Maybe speaking with audiences is easy until - your boss, coworkers, or spouse is seated in the front row. - “Yikes!” Example: A financial advisor I know regularly speaks without fear, to audiences of hundreds of retirees. However, if several of his colleagues are in the seats, he feels he is under a microscope and nervousness raises its head on him.
    • If a Request is Made.
      Presenting might usually produce little angst unless the attendees will be asked to do something the speaker is uncomfortable asking. This could be appealing for a donation, asking to sign a petition, or inviting people to pledge something.
  5. Then there are the “What Ifs?”
    • What if the audience doesn’t like me?
    • What if the speaker they had last month was really, really, good and compared to him or her I stink!
    • What if I forget something? I must be perfect!
    • Then there is, perhaps, the biggest What if? What if I’ve got nothing to talk about? What could I ever present to an audience that anyone would have an interest in hearing? (I often hear this in the public speaking classes I teach.)

Here’s my response: Everyone has experiences and knowledge people would love to hear about and could benefit from. The problem is often we are ‘too close to ourselves’ and ‘looking in the mirror’ for answers. As a good friend once told me, “We don’t know what we know!”

One of the best ways to find, ‘What to talk about’ is to work with at least one other person.

When I coach clients, “I Listen and Ask Questions, so they hear themselves!” You can do the same when working with others to discover ‘What to talk about.

Ask questions like:

  • What did you learn from that?
  • What will you do differently next time?
  • So what?
  • Why would anyone want to hear that story?

From now on. . . No more, “Nothing to talk about,” excuses for not giving a presentation!

A great way to get started on your presentation is to use a Speaker’s Template.
It’s available FREE here: http://www.nosweatpublicspeaking.com/go/freespeakerstemplate/

Fred E. Miller is a local Speaker, Author, and Presentation Coach. The title of his first book is, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” Businesses, Individuals, and organizations hire him to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. For more information, contact Fred at:
Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com
www.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

When Is a Reward NOT a Reward?

Sellers are giving discounts to customers who would have bought anyway - at full price. Unfortunately, this does not hit home until it’s too late.

A lesson from Panera Bread Co.

In my February 28, 2011 post, Buying Customer Loyalty, I railed against reward programs. One restaurant chain, Panera Bread, has proven my point via the type of rewards it offers. Yes, I have a Panera card. I’m not above taking discounts offered even though I don’t advocate discounting to my clients.

In the earlier post I stated the customers’ need/desire for offerings don’t increase just because they’re receiving a reward. What does that mean for sellers? They’re giving discounts to customers who would have bought anyway - at full price. Unfortunately this reality does not hit home until the reward program is already in place.

What I have noticed recently with the Panera program is the rewards offered are not what I typically purchase. Based on the rewards offered, Panera is encouraging me to try new things or to visit at times I don’t normally visit. That’s not a reward, that’s a marketing strategy.

While I don’t have a problem with marketing strategies that encourage buyers to try new things or to return more frequently, I resent a ‘reward’ program that tries to accomplish the same goal. Maybe I’m too stringent in my definition of reward, but to me it’s something that has value to the recipient. When that ‘reward’ places the welfare of the presenter over the recipient, it loses the right to be called a reward.

The question is “How do you offset the revenue losses your reward program created while maintaining credibility with your customers?” Keep your marketing efforts and reward programs separate. It’s all right to announce new offerings, encourage customers to visit at times they typically don’t, to explore alternative uses of your offerings in your marketing materials, in any media you choose, just not in the rewards program.

Converting a reward program to a marketing program is a violation of your customers’ trust. Losing their trust is one of the quickest ways to drive your customers to your competitors. If you have fallen victim to the temptation of reward programs, don’t compound the problem by converting it to a marketing program.

Dale Furtwengler is the author of the internationally acclaimed Pricing for Profit. His company, Furtwengler & Associates, Inc., helps companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy are doing. For more pricing/branding/marketing/sales tips visit his website, PricingForProfitBook.com

Video: Cold Email Marketing

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is getting emails, and immediately presenting a sales pitch, only to find that nothing comes of it.

Many business owners want to target a specific ideal customer and don’t have a warm introduction to do so. Cold emailing is identifying a prospect you want to do business with, finding their email and getting information in front of them that is appealing and effective. Cold emailing is different than a permission-based email campaign. Expert Josh Turner cautions viewers to be mindful and lawful using email by following a proven approach for sending appropriate messages to prospects, including:

  • Approach prospects in a meaningful and responsible manner
  • Observe rules of conduct that keep you within legal email guidelines.
  • Hold the intention to initiate a conversation with your prospects rather than throwing them a sales pitch

For valuable support and guidance creating LinkedIn approaches that have been proven to work, contact LinkedIn expert Josh Turner atjoshturner@gatewaycfo.com or visit his website www.gatewayCFO.com