A business presentation should start with a story
When you think about your company’s business presentation what comes to mind? If you are honest with yourself, you should’ve said, a bunch of numbers. When you boil it all down, you are left with numbers and a lot of them. The thing that makes these numbers in the least bit interesting is that they get larger the more you talk. Otherwise, people’s eyes would glaze over and roll back in their head’s. Now I’m not saying that doesn’t happen to some people anyway.
Since most people don’t do MLM the right way, they probably have made wild income claims to the people that they’d like to invite to the presentation. Or maybe they say something like, “You can say no, but you have to at least see this. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen!” Most of the people who are in attendance are braced for a boring dissertation about the numbers involved.
Sell this amount make this amount. Recruit this many make this much money. What’s to like about all that. Even with the fancy graphics and webinars, it’s difficult to make a bunch of numbers memorable.
A side note: You are supposed to invite people to see you company’s business presentation so they can see how you and your company can solve one or more of their problems. Let me give you a quick, real life example of how this is supposed to work.
For those who have read my Bio page, you know that I own a home cleaning service, in the real world. I know a lot about how to get stuff clean. I was at the local Walmart picking up some cleaning supplies. There was a woman in the aisle with me. She was looking at one side of the shelves and I was looking at the shelves on the opposite side. She stopped me and ask me if I had ever used a certain product. I had to tell her that I had heard of the product but that I had never used it. She goes on to tell me that it is wonderful. Great! She’s trying to sell me on the product.
She tells me it does this and cleans that. My eyes are rolling back in my head. Then she tells me a story. Her daughter had a doll when she was a little girl. They still had the doll and wanted to pass it down to the granddaughter but it had a spaghetti stain on the dress. The stain was 25 years old … and it was tomato sauce. She tells me that they sprayed the product on the stain and washed it. The stain came out. Well, she had my attention. I wanted to know more. See, I have tons of white shirts with tomato stains on them that I have never been able to get clean. If she had said, “You need to see this presentation, it will show you how to get tomato stains out of clothes and it will show you how to tackle all of your laundry problems too.” I would have said, “Let’s go!”
That’s really how easy it should be.
Since I know that most people who are at a presentation haven’t been invited properly, I try to use a “proper” introduction, if you will. I like to tell a story about life. About their life if I can. A story that gets them thinking. One that gets them to open their minds. I try to tell a story that in the end will help them to solve their problems. It goes like this:
My name is Richard Brokenshire and I am here to tell you about my company’s business plan. Before you get all nervous, I’d like you to relax and put away your wallets and purses. I’m not here to sell you anything. In fact, you couldn’t buy anything even if you wanted to. So relax. I’d like to start by telling you a story. There will be a few questions in there that you can answer, but keep the answers to yourself. I’d like you to think back to when you were a kid 10, 11, 12 years old. You have your whole life ahead of you. If someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, you might have said a nurse or a doctor. A lawyer or school teacher. Maybe you were adventurous and you wanted to fly to the moon. Or maybe you’d be the one to find a cure for cancer. Whatever it was you had dreams. Big dreams. You were going to grow up and live in a mansion. Buy a car for every day of the week. Travel the world. You wanted to see everything. Do you remember those days? Do you remember your dream? Then you grow and life gets busy and you make compromises. I think it was John Lennon who said “Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans.” How true is that?
Now you’ve grown up and things might not have happened the way you thought they would. You didn’t grow up to be an astronaut, you’re an accountant. Maybe you didn’t become a lawyer, you’re a homemaker with 3 kids and a spouse.
Now there’s nothing wrong with those professions. They are vital to our society. But I ask you, is there a little voice inside you that asks why things turned out like they did? That asks you if there isn’t something more to life than what you have? Do you ever ask yourself those questions?
I’m here tonight to show you a way that you may be able to do things that you had always planned on doing. Are those dreams still alive? We can show you how to rekindle them. Are you with me? Then let’s go.
Then I move into showing them the business presentation.
I like to engage them at a core emotion level. I find that this will open their minds, their hearts and their dreams. Most people can relate to some or all of that story. At some level, it touches them and lets them bring down their defenses.
After all, we are there to solve their problems, not to sell them something.
I’ll close this thought with one last question.
I wonder how much happier we would all be if we could all grow up to be what we wanted to be, instead of what we have to be?
That’s a rhetorical question.
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