Don’t Just Talk Your Presentation—DELIVER It!

Robert Terson

Recently I was working with a young sales manager who runs a good-size team of salespeople. He had ordered my book, read it, then ordered copies for his entire team. He is one of the most terrific individuals I’ve encountered—open minded and hungry to learn all he can, become the best salesperson and sales manager he can be for himself and his team. We got into role-playing over the phone and I discovered that he was talking his approach and presentation, not delivering them. There’s a huge difference and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

In Chapter 40 of Selling Fearlessly, Delivery,” I said, “Delivery is two-thirds of the presentation. A third-rate presentation delivered by a master is normally more effective than a transcendent presentation delivered by an amateur. Words without inflection, tone of voice, confidence, and enthusiasm are like calculus lectures: boring. Put them all together and you have the Voice of Authority.

I went on to say, Tone of voice is something you must pay extra-close attention to. A master salesperson matches his tone of voice and language to his prospect. You don’t speak to a prim and eloquent 60-year-old woman running a stationery store the same way you would address a boisterous 35-year-old plumbing contractor. To the eloquent woman you would say, “The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain!” To the casual plumbing contractor you might put it, “Hey, the rain in Spain ain’t fallin’ anywhere but in the old plain!” You’d speak louder and more forcefully to the contractor than you would to the woman. You adjust your delivery to tune in to your prospect.

And this: The confidence and enthusiasm of a salesperson are by far the most important aspects of the delivery. If your delivery is devoid of excitement…everything else is meaningless. Remember, selling is a form of theater; learn your lines and deliver them with aplomb.

As I listened to my friend go through his approach, he sounded flat; “monotone” would be too strong a word, but it would be fair to say there was not enough enthusiasm, not the necessary degree of emotional punch to them, just a stream of words without the necessary inflection, urgency, emphasis placed on key words or phrases. I was hearing him, but I wasn’t feeling him. That, my friends, is the difference between talking to a prospect and delivering to her. A master salesperson never just speaks his information/reasoning; he delivers it with great enthusiasm, urgency, stressing key words and phrases, in order to emotionally affect the prospect, to cause the prospect to become excited.

In Chapter 38, “Enthusiasm,” I said, A sales presentation is a form of theater; a salesperson is like an actor putting on a performance for his audience. If he can’t get excited about his product or service, the performance is a flop. The prospect will walk out before the second act. A prospect buys on emotion far more than on logic or reason, and if a salesperson isn’t excited, the prospect won’t be either; and if the prospect isn’t excited—ho hum—he isn’t going to buy.

You want to be a master salesperson?

Get excited!

Do some roleplaying with a colleague; have him/her listen to you carefully, give you some unabashed feedback. If you’re not coming across excited enough, if you’re talking your presentation instead of delivering it, it’ll behoove you to make some corrective changes. I hope you’ll let me know if those changes make a difference in your sales results.


Get your free Preview of Selling Fearlessly’s Chapter 1 here.