Mar 262011
 

People communicate with each other in various ways for a lot of reasons. And one of these reasons is when you need something from someone. For people in business, this can either be in the form of products or services. You may want to sell a product while the other party must find your product useful for his intention. You may want to offer your services while the other party must be satisfied with the services you render according to his needs. In short, the way to get somebody or anybody to do what you want is to make them want to do it.

To get something you want through intimidation or violence is to invite trouble.  Yes, it’s possible but not advisable to use forceful methods because the results are undesirable and at times disastrous.  Imagine if you force an employee to take a leave of absence for having apparently violated a company rule. The relationship between management and the employee, or perhaps between management and union (if the employee is a member of it), is likely to be severed.

To get what you want, give people what they want. Just what do people want? Physical health, family ties, financial security, spiritual growth, peace of mind, a successful career, and fame are the basic needs of people. There is one important yet intangible thing everybody wants and that is appreciation.  Being appreciated and complimented makes a person feel important.  When you feel important, you feel needed and wanted, and this gives you a whole lot of reason for existence.

Just how do you give somebody the feeling of importance? Say it, act it; just give it freely, honestly, and wholeheartedly. As literal as it is, saying how appreciative you are for a favour received, makes the other person feel important. You may not be able to describe exactly in words the feeling of importance when you’re in the shoes of the recipient. But definitely, what you cannot describe is real and priceless.

Appreciation may not necessarily be in words.  A smile and/or a pat would suffice and they can come from both giver and recipient.  The giver shows his feeling of being appreciated. The recipient shows his feeling of appreciation for the gift. Somehow magic or chemistry takes place. It’s a feeling both parties would enjoy happening many times over.

Are you aware that the feeling of importance, brought about by compliments and appreciation, is good for your health, mentally and physically? Whether you are the giver or recipient, it is good for both. There are medical findings that substantiate health effects brought about by positive emotions like compliments and appreciation. Frequent doses of the feeling of importance activate the brain cells and various harmonies in the body that promote good health. To put it plainly, the feeling of importance is the antioxidant of life.

Can you think of a better way to nourish other people’s feelings than to show your concern and appreciation? Well, you can show something better than appreciation, and that is – a truckload of appreciation.

You know what you and I and everybody else should be doing right now?  We should go out there and show our feeling of appreciation to everything and everybody. Let’s go and do it!

 

Mar 022011
 

Strange as it may seem, our life is made up of a series of “sales presentations”.  Sales may not be your gig, but if you’re the boss you’re making presentations everyday.  Be it a pitch to your Board, announcing a policy change to employees, selling an idea to your spouse, or just trying to win others over to your point of view – you need to punch up your people skills for winning pitches.

Like it or not, we are all salesmen.  Our lives are made up of a series of “sales presentations”, otherwise known as presenting one’s self in the best light possible. Whether we’re out for a job interview, trying for a raise, or just convincing our employees that a job must be accomplished – you are making a presentation.

To become masterful at it can be summed up in the acronym I PRESENT!

ü  I – involve your audience

Human nature is such that people support solutions that they help create, so involve them by allowing your audience to participate with questions or ideas. It goes without saying that to not involve key people is risky, because messages can be misunderstood.  Your plans may be derailed before they begin if sufficient “buy-in” is lacking.  Use lots of open-ended questions in your presentation to draw out the silent type.

ü  P – prepare your audience

Preparation is the key to success.  Prepare your listeners to what’s coming during or before your presentation.  Try these pre-meeting tactics:

  • Assign task-related pre-work. This could be pre-reading or study of a problem, and the preparations of possible solutions.  An example could be, “go and visit three kinds of accounts before the meeting.”
  • Make pre-meeting contacts with those invited by email, phone, or in person.  You might want to try an informal survey to get people’s position on the issues at hand.

Remember support on key or controversial matters can be established ahead of time by lobbying, if you know where to lobby.

ü  R – research your arsenal

Do your research!  People who make it look easy are effective presenters who have a hidden arsenal.  This is an arsenal of up-to-date, organized material that can be accessed quickly in ready-to-use form when needed.  They have the stats to back up their ideas, and they have a mental arsenal of stories, examples, jokes, and ice-breakers to use when needed.

Your physical presentation could include tangible items relating to the issue such as recent articles clipped from newspapers or magazines, photographs, reports, and demonstration property.  To become masterful in this art learn to maintain resources you can access for just the right thing at the right time.

ü  E – explain “Why?”

The next thing you must do is to explain “why”.  The single most powerful thing you can do to convince your audience of something is to provide a convincing reason why they should do what you suggest or believe what you say.  People want and need a clear “WIIFM” – “what’s in it for me?” – to be able to react positively to what you want them to do.  It’s extremely important that you deliver a vision of benefits.  Hearing the “why” won’t automatically generate a “yes” to your proposition, but it’ll open the door for receptivity to your idea.

Knowing and accepting the “why” satisfies a basic need that we all have – to understand the purpose of our actions.  Use the words “because” or “so that” in your presentation and then finish the phrase.  When your subject matter is controversial or likely to generate emotions, it is essential that your “why’s” be tested in advance.  Ask some people you trust or that are on your “team” to play devil’s advocate to help you with your logic and arguments.

These are just four points for making successful presentations.  For now, let me leave you with this thought…..

Life is a sales presentation from beginning to end. From the moment that we discern how to get approval as children, winning friends at school, getting our first beau, getting our first (and subsequent) job, getting engaged and married, achieving our goals, and anything else you can think of in between – we’re selling ourselves or our ideas all along the way.  Who said you weren’t a salesperson?