It was another Saturday morning in San Diego, I woke up excited because I was about to have a nice work out in a brand new gym in my neighborhood. I have
been a member of 24 hour fitness for over 10 years now, but I decided to check out a different club that is literally walking distance from my house (I
have to drive 5 minutes to go the nearest 24 hour fitness club).
In spite of having a great deal at 24 hour fitness, I was open to get a membership in this club because of his proximity, so I printed a free pass online
and I went to try out the gym. Now, being in the sales training business myself, I knew the sales staff of this club (I am not mentioning the name) was
going to offer me a membership once I got there because that is part of their client acquisition process.
Being curious about how people promote their services, I was paying attention to everything they were doing. To my surprise, the presentation of the
salesperson went like this:
Step 1: The rep asked my name and I said “Roberto”
Step 2: After shaking my hand and saying “nice to meeting you”, he turned around and grabbed a form.
Step 3: He said “what is your name again”? (he forgot my name). I said, “Roberto”
Step 4: First real question in a very short breath: “how old are you”? (I guess he does not know anything bout rapport building skills)
Step 5: The salesperson did ask me some good fact finding questions that were ok, but he never asked me “What is really important to me about a gym?”, or
“Why, specifically I was there?”, or “What was not going well at my current club?”. He never tried to figure out my areas of discomfort or my ideal
definition of what an amazing club looks like.
Step 6: I told him I was going to work out and then he grabbed my ID and told me “to grab it on the way out” (so he could finish up his presentation and
close the deal). I said, “cool”
Step 7: This is the craziest part. Once I was done working out, I came back ready to negotiate a deal, and the salesperson was talking on the phone, and he
saw that I was there standing in front of him. He pointed with his finger to the phone and in a lower-pitched voice he whispered “it is my mom” and he kept
talking (totally ignoring me). Look, I think he should love his mom (I absolute love and adore mine) but he was working, and his job is to sell me a
membership. For my surprise, he grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down $39.00 and $ 49.00 (or a very similar number). He slid me the piece of paper with
the price on it (like you write your phone number in a piece of napkin), and he kept talking to his mom. I stood there asking myself: Is this really
happening to me? This is the worse sales process I have ever seen!!
Step 8: I don’t know if that guy still works there because I never received any follow up call!! Unbelievable!!
I tell you this story because this salesperson was very articulate, was dress up nicely, and he was actually being shadowed by a brand new salesperson ( I
guess he was teaching another rep how to sell memberships).
So how come his sales presentation was so terrible? It was because of his presentation and
influence psychology. I want to use this true story to illustrate what is going on inside a salesperson or presenter’s head during a presentation, so you
avoid missing out on deals and opportunities in your own profession. At InfluenceOlogy, we break down Presentation and Influence Psychology into 8 major
It does not matter if you are doing one on one presentations, or you are speaking to thousands of people, the bottom line is that every single one of these
8 aspects of the Presentation and Influence Psychology can impact your sales performance.
Beliefs are the emotional validation of your thought process. You and I have thoughts all day long, both positive and negative. We consciously and
unconsciously validate them with emotion, meaning, we say “yes that is true” to both positive and negative thoughts and we act upon them, and off course,
they become our reality. In a sales and presentation context, we have all kinds of beliefs that stop us from doing a better job. Beliefs such as: this
person will not buy, my product is too expensive, nobody is buying now, etc.
I was not coaching that sales person so I can not tell you for sure what kind
of beliefs he had, but if I were to guess, here are couple that would fit in that occasion: “this guy already has a membership in another club, he will not
buy today”, “giving him a good price will be enough for him to buy”, “my club is better than 24 hour fitness, so he will choose us regardless of the
price”, “my conversation with my mom is more important, so the client will wait”.
Can you see how our beliefs can impact our presentation performance?
Intention and Outcome
Kevin Hogan, one of my mentors and, in my opinion, one of the best Influence researchers and teachers in the world today, taught me that to be successful
you must have OBT (outcome-based thinking), meaning, the “ability to visualize the precise outcome of a process before beginning that process” (The
Psychology of Persuasion). So when doing a presentation, you have to ask yourself: “what do I really want specifically? What is my outcome? What is that
end image I have in my mind? What is my intention? Off course, that salesperson outcome was unclear. I cannot imagine when he shook my hand for the first
time at the beginning of the presentation that his outcome was not allowing me to purchase a club membership, true?
What is important to you in life? What is most important to you in your career? What is important to you in your relationship? What is important to you in
every single encounter you have with a potential client? The answers to these questions determine your values, or the things and the feelings that you
value most in a specific context. Why do your values impact your presentation performance? Imagine you have 3 sales people trained with the same sale
system, selling the same product, working the same geographic location, representing the same brand, working the same hours, but they have different values
systems: person A values money the most, B values positive impact and C values job security. Do you think they will make different choices at work and
present differently? Off course they will! Value system is a complex subject and its exploration is way beyond the scope of this article, however, there is
one major thing you must know. Every master influencer has a very defined and clear value system (they actually are clear of the things they value most).
What I found to be true is that when it comes to presenting and selling, some of the top values of the world-class influencers are positive impact, growth,
and success. Question, what do you value most when presenting?
Behavior consistency comes from your identity; or the way you define yourself (consciously or unconsciously). Every mentor, coach, psychologist, will agree
that how someone defines him or herself will shape their lives more than anything else. In my 10 years of training and coaching, I found out that the best
influencers remain very consistent during their “selling time”. Yes, they can have a bad month or so, but for the most part, their sales behavior are
extremely consistent, because they see themselves as the best in the business, so they act accordingly. Just for the fact that this person did not take any
action to sell me a membership, it tells me that he does not perceive himself as the best at his job. Question. How would the best health club membership
salesperson behave in that situation?
The primary reason someone experiences fear and uncertainty during a presentation is because they focus on themselves. They have a little voice in their
heads asking questions like: How do I look? How do I sound? Am I saying the correct thing? Do they like me? Do I look good? Master influencers think
differently, they focus on the audience, they focus on how they can make the lives of their audience better! Everybody that you come across is on point A
(current situation) and they want to go to point B (their outcomes, e.g., more money, feeling better, more peace of mind, more health, etc). That
salesperson clearly demonstrated that he was focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on my needs as a client, and my potential reasons for
switching health clubs (close to home, save money on gas, save time, better equipment, better networking), he focused on price! No more comments!! When you
focus on the wrong thing you get unwanted results.
One of my favorite books that I have read is called “Talent is overrated” by Geoff Colvin, where the author demystified the idea of natural born talent.
The major idea of the book is that top performance comes from deliberated practice, not natural talent (also known as God given talent). The author goes
into details about how top performers such as Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and others achieve maximum results by practicing their craft.
According to the author, deliberate practice is characterized by the following elements: a) its designed specifically to improve performance, b) It can be
repeated a lot, c) Feedback on results is continuously available d) it is highly demanding mentally, e) It isn’t much fun. Question for you. Do you think
that salesperson have been practicing his presentation? Do you think he was prepared? Think about it? Within 20 seconds, he committed 2 mistakes (one
forgot my name and two asked my age as a primary question). Additionally, he was not prepared to close the sale! He was not prepared to win, or maybe, he
was indeed prepared to fail!
One of my favorite quotes is from Will Rogers who said “Even if you are on the right track, if you just sit there, you are going to get hit”. It is my
belief that the more action with purpose you take, the better you become and the more confidence and unconscious competence you will have. That salesperson
was not taking action to serve me, his company or his pocket, period! As my business partner Jeff Paro said “Information that leads to knowledge is for
fools, information that leads to action will create wealth.
I have been going to the gym for over 25 years now (I love it). In my mind, feeling good and healthy and performing well in life was always an easy
connection to make. However, I never had an understanding of the importance of your physiology during your sales process, and I thank Mr. Anthony Robbins
for teaching me that. According to Robbins, emotions are create by motion, so if you want to feel better, feel confident, you can use your body, breathing,
and posturing to create powerful emotional states. The key to understand is that you are always in a specific state (even now, as you read this paper), and
top salespeople know how to influence their states when they need it. A great emotional state allows you to become resourceful in any situation, so more
ideas and strategies flow through you. When I came back to pick up my ID and to talk to that salesperson, he was slouched in a chair talking on the phone.
His physiology was not optimized to do a sales presentation, not even close.
There is so much more to talk about presentation psychology and I will write more in future articles, but the major point in this article is this: You can
control and influence your mindset 100% of the time, period.
The secret is to break down presentation psychology into small chunks (the 8 elements) and
work on them separately first and then you can integrate them later on. Now that you have read this entire article, put these ideas into practice.