Whether you’re on stage in a theater or in the middle of a sales presentation, the spotlight is on you, and your audience can figuratively see right through you.
If you’re not genuine, not confident in yourself and not passionate in what you’re selling, you could lose control of the room and, quite possibly, lose the sale.
It’s important to be relatable. People are attracted to authenticity. We're all more likely to do business and build relationships with people we like. We're naturally drawn to people who are genuine, friendly, agreeable, and kind.
And it’s important to note that authentic people don't mind the occasional situation when they’re not at their best. In fact, people tend to respect them more for that. When you’re true to yourself, people will generally respond in kind.
As salespeople, we must be ourselves because customers know when they are being duped. You may struggle at first; we all do. But then gradually you'll find your sweet spot. There will be moments when everything goes well. You connect perfectly to close a deal with a new investor. When that happens, try to remember what worked. Likely, you were simply being yourself.
Make it your own
If you’re asked to use a script to sell a product, try to make it your own. Read it in your head a few times. Then read it aloud while recording it into your smart phone. It could be about your firm, the approach that you take as a financial professional, or an elevator pitch.
Replay the audio. If there’s anything that you feel uncomfortable saying, then cross it out and replace it with words or phrases that resonate with you. If the framework, meaning and integrity of the script stay intact, you’re good to go.
As you rehearse, make the script your own. Use your own words, timing and gestures. You could recite the original script word for word, but if you make it your own, you may be able to make a better connection with your prospects, which should lead to more sales.
Add a little bit of yourself at a time, to your sales story. Substitute a few words until you feel comfortable, and then try a few more.
Over time, you will get better reading your prospects and customers. You will learn to adjust and, ultimately, you will become an excellent presenter and communicator.
5 steps to crafting more effective sales scripts:
1. Edit or revise. If you come across a word you don’t like, replace it with one that feels like your own. Use a thesaurus to find a better option.
2. Rehearse. Rehearse your new presentation until it sounds and feels like your own. Read it in front of a mirror or slide pieces of it into casual conversation with family or friends.
3. Seek feedback from those who know you best. Ask your spouse or a close friend to list your top and bottom three mannerisms. What would be most likely to endear you to a prospect? And what would be mostly likely to turn them off? Also, have your friends or children track the number of times you say the words “and,” “uh,” and “you know.”
4. Role play (or not) – whatever works for you. Some advisors prefer to role play a scenario. Find a system that works best for you.
5. Tap your colleagues for feedback. Get a group of co-workers together for a lunchtime rehearsal. Provide food, beverages, or enticements to get them to sit long enough to provide feedback for a 15-minute version of your presentation.
With sales, coming across as genuine can take practice but it’s well worth the effort to practice, because you’re likely to be at your very best when you’re simply being yourself.