Every Tuesday, sales expert Andy Bounds shares his top tips to improve your sales and communications. This week’s is…
Don’t say your main points when people have stopped listening
As you know, people’s concentration drops during a communication.
Given this, it’s important to put your key messages at the beginning, or you run the risk that they’ll have switched-off before you get to them.
This sounds obvious but doesn’t usually happen, since people tend to communicate chronologically, building up to their key messages:
• Proposals to senior stakeholders that start with “our research” and end with “our recommendations”
• Presentations with “founded in 1922” on the first slide, and “here’s how we can help you save £millions”
on the last one
• Case studies that lead with “background” and finish with “the results we achieved”
• Networking conversations that open with “I work in a bank” and close with “we help companies grow faster than they dreamed possible”
If you like, the only aim of your first sentence is that they think ‘Great – tell me more’, not ‘And why are you telling me this?’
There’s an obvious reply to this Tip – ‘yes, but sometimes you have to build up to your key message’. And, yes, that can be true. But not always. I’d rather someone started with “Andy, we can save you £millions and I’d like to explain how” than with their year of formation, number of employees and a map of their offices.
Think about a recent communication you sent…
• What was your most important message?
• Where did you put this message – beginning, middle, end?
• Could you have put it sooner, in a more prominent place?
If so, for your next communication, you know what to do…
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Emma Merry(PA): +44 (0) 7900 217 929
T: +44 (0) 151 231 6110
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