from the Platform
How to make the process painless and profitable
BY STEVE SCHUMANN
You’re on the platform, delivering your killer content. It’s
going great. They are lovin’ it,
engaged, responsive and eager
to learn. You can see your attractively
assembled products just waiting to fly off
the table at the back of the room and
you think to yourself, Cha-ching!
That’s when you hear another voice—
That Voice. The one inside your head.
The one that says, “Come on! Make the
pitch. Sell, sell, sell. It’s now or never.”
For many of us, that’s also when our
palms start to sweat, our conscience
starts to nag and, perhaps, our words
begin to tumble. We don’t want to
sound or (worse) feel like a pushy sales
person. In fact, the client may have forbidden any kind of selling. So, before
we’re even aware, we drop the sales
presentation entirely, or rush and stumble all the way through it in a manner
completely unlike the rest of our presentation.
In the end, there may be a roar of
applause from the audience, but no
mad dash to the product table. Again.
It doesn’t have to be that way, nor
should it be. You can seamlessly, effectively and acceptably “pitch product” in
such a way that both you and your
audience are pleased you did so—even
in those “forbidden” situations.
Start by changing your voice. Not the
one the audience hears. Change That
Voice, the one inside your head, the one
that tells you the presentation is what
you do for the audience and your prod-
ucts are what you do for
yourself. Product sales are
not just for us. They are a
vital part of helping the
audience achieve success.
Think of them as resources,
not dollar signs.
You owe it to them.
We stand at the front of rooms to make
a difference, don’t we? Resources are
critical and to not offer them is a disservice. Our products are there to remind,
reinforce and expand on what we can
cover in the brief time we spend on the
platform. When speakers use products,
you are, in your audience’s mind’s eye,
guiding and counseling them toward
their new, improved life.
Once you’ve rescripted That Voice to
acknowledge the importance of