A breathtaking proposal deck can only take you so far. Without the ability to keep your audience engaged, people would simply overlook your presentation slides and turn their attention to something else. Worse? They could completely lose their interest and head straight to the decision that they just do not want to do business with you. Thus, connecting with your audience, combined with extensive knowledge on your topic, is the ultimate weapon to influence listeners.
It may sound simple, but delivering an engaging and successful presentation requires a great deal of understanding on human behavior. It also involves building a thorough strategy on what elements in your presentation are to be highlighted to effectively address your audience’s needs. DTSI Group recognizes the importance of planning and preparing for every contact, maximizing the benefit of client engagement and deliver winning presentations. On July 13 and 14, Gerald Clerx was invited by DTSI Group to talk about “Bridging the Gap,” a 2-day interactive course on how to conduct a winning pitch, proper sales presentation, and the best methods in engaging clients. Gerald is an international speaker, trainer, and the author of “Bridging the Gap” client engagement series. He does his coaching in different parts of the globe such as Australia and Canada.
On the first part, Gerald helped our DTSI leaders and sales teams discover the gap between the client’s current reality condition and the client’s desired reality outcome. Gerald also shared that, as a presenter, it is your job to be the middleman or the bridge between these two realities to make sure that they cross from the current to the desired state without experiencing difficulty. In doing so, you must understand the 4 main behavioral differences or psychometrics to be able to pinpoint which kind of attack best works on your target audience.
Understanding a client’s basic style is quite helpful in the negotiation process. Clients under the Dominance psychometric are the ones who keep their eyes on the prize. They value winning more than anything. They are assertive and they fear failure in general, whereas people whose mindset falls under the Compliance psychometric can easily be convinced if a presenter shows his expertise on the topic. Compliance type of people are afraid of committing mistakes, therefore, love accuracy and precision. People who belong to the Influence category, on the other hand, are the ones who love entertaining speakers. They dread rejection and value whether the presenter is likeable or not. Lastly, the people who are part of the Steadiness group are more meticulous when it comes to stability. They like to be reassured that everything is in place and that there will be contingency plans if in case something goes wrong along the way.
Identifying a prospect’s engagement profile is equally important in mastering the art of negotiation. On the last phase of the learning series, Gerald identified what the three potential deal breakers are: mental, emotional, and physical stress. If a client’s feedback is a type of mental stress, one should best retaliate with an action plan or concrete evidence. In doing so, you satisfy the client’s worry by guaranteeing that everything will go smoothly and that the project has a clear direction. As for a client’s reply that articulates emotional stress, a simple apology mixed with reassurance would do the job. Lastly, a client’s comment that shows physical stress should be addressed with an interest-based, collaborative solution.
As part of the learning course, some of the participants were asked to present to the group, with Gerald acting as the CEO client. They were given situations which served as opportunities for them to use their newly acquired knowledge and skills on client engagement. Aside from the presentation, Gerald also conducted a series of exercises with the team to establish the habit of proper client interaction and to train them to identify what kinds of clients they will most likely encounter.
On the second day, Jie Espinosa, DTSI Group’s Senior Vice President and Head of Sales, closed the session with his insights on client engagement and left an important note to the sales group. He instilled to the mind of every member of his team a fresh client-centric approach to selling, which is to put the client's need above all else.