Let’s suppose that you are hired to speak to 250 people and make a strong presentation. There is no doubt that you would show up looking like $1 million, know exactly what you are going to say, and be well prepared in advance. You wouldn’t even question the need to have all three of those components in place. You would be what I call “in presentation mode.”
Here’s a great “AHA” for you to consider…every time you are in front of a real estate prospect or a past client, you too are in presentation mode. Whether you’re working with a buyer or making a listing presentation, you need to be at the top of your game. As Jim Carey said in the movie “The Mask”… “It’s Showtime!”. You don’t need an audience of 250 people to take on this mentality.
Whether with you are meeting someone for the first time or whether you’re negotiating an offer, you’re always presenting. Your audience is always evaluating you and forming an opinion of you – personally and professionally.
After in excess of 40+ years in sales and having conducted hundreds of live Seminars, I have created my own formula for being prepared to do a great presentation… here it is. There are three parts:
1. Six Questions to ask yourself
2. Additional preparation
3. Traveling to the presentation
Part I. Six Questions to Ask Yourself (and Answer) BEFORE Any Big Presentation
Q#1. What’s THE objective of the meeting? Not MY objective… the overall objective for both you and the other parties involved.
Bonus idea… you can also ask this question a second time when you start your presentation – sets the stage very nicely.
You can open with, “Just to get us started folks, what specifically would you like to accomplish as a result of our meeting here tonight? What do you want to have happen?”
Q#2. What’s going on in their world? What’s happening in their life situation right now? How might that affect their behavior and their reaction to what you have to say and show them?
Sometimes your audience will not react to your presentation in the way you might expect. Sometimes they might overreact or be very emotional. Recognize that in times of stress, everybody responds differently. For example, think of when you are making a price reduction presentation. They don’t always welcome you with open arms, do they? Just remember that your job is to “be the calming influence in every presentation situation.”
Q#3. What do they want most? What’s their big picture desire? What do you think they really want to have happen for themselves and how will your presentation contribute to helping that take place?
This is a critical question for you to know the answer to before you arrive on the scene… before you make your presentation. What is it that they really want to have happen? The answer typically will not involve you personally – it’s really all about what is on their “wish list.” Being clear on this issue makes it a lot easier for you to present with that eventuality in mind.
Q#4. What do they fear the most? What’s the pain, embarrassment, or headache that they are trying to avoid?
This is the opposite of the previous question… by following your advice, what more than anything else do you need to show them you are going to eliminate from their lives?
Q#5. How can I help them with what they want/or fear/or are trying to avoid?
Here is where understanding their needs and your capabilities come together. This is where you really add value to the situation. When you provide these answers in your presentation then your audience will “give you a standing ovation.” You have solved their problem.
Q#6. Why do I love them? Why do I care from their point of view? Be a loving, warm, and caring individual and they will feel this as you communicate.
Clearly this is not a question built around emotion. This question centers on your ability to connect. Your ability to relate to their situation and to perform professionally. It is not unlike the connection a medical professional would have with a patient. Caring on a professional level is a very powerful combination of doing your job and mixing understanding in with your message.
Part II. Additional Presentation Preparation
1. Eat wisely – something light. Nothing heavy that’s going to sit like a lump in the pit of your stomach. That way your body won’t be working to digest your “pregame meal.” Instead, you’ll be sending all the blood to your brain so you can stay alert.
2. Scan your presentation and view your support material. What are the three or four main chunks that make up the overall message? Keep your agenda simple.
3. Write out the first two or three minutes of your opening words by hand. Too many presenters don’t “hit their stride or get into a rhythm” until they get comfortable. You’ll be more confident and you’ll start off more confidently. You’ll be more compelling and more interesting right from the start.
Hint: this is the one most presenters say they “don’t need to do.” That is a mistake – by writing out the first two or three minutes you start off much more powerfully. Make no mistake, your audience is evaluating you right from the start. They don’t give you “warm-up time.” Don’t miss the message here. It doesn’t take long to perform this task and it pays off huge!
4. Visualize your performance and their reaction. Picture yourself doing a terrific job and having them fully engaged. See them taking notes and enjoying the experience. Take some time on this – as much as 20 – 30 minutes.
5. Arrive early and get comfortable with your surroundings. Example: if it’s a listing presentation, just sitting out in front of the house for a few minutes is very beneficial.
6. Forget about your material. Think about the audience – what do they want and how do you want them to feel?
Part III. Traveling to the Location
Visualize your arrival, visualize a red carpet awaiting you, trumpets, and a warm welcome from your audience. Visualize success for them now and even five years from now as a result of what are going to communicate.
One of the things I have found when using this visualization approach is it gives me an energy boost right from the start. That extra energy will create an immediate positive reaction from your audience. As a result they are much more inclined to accept what you have to say.
One last question for you… how many important presentations do you make over a period of one business month? Consider your job description — you work with buyers, you work with sellers, and you put deals together. How often would you do that over 30 days? Usually it works out to no more than 6 – 10 times a month. Bottom line, you can’t afford to “wing it.” You worked too hard to get to this stage of being in presentation mode. Be prepared – mentally and physically.
Winging it is what lazy Salespeople do. It’s not that they believe it’s unnecessary to prepare… they’re just not committed enough to put in the extra time to do it properly.
IXACT Contact Tip: Your real estate CRM should come equipped with calendar reminders to help keep you on top of your important appointments. Don’t miss any opportunity to make a stellar real estate presentation!
Be one of the 10% who follows the above ideas. Not coincidentally, that 10% also resides in the top 10% of the earners in Real Estate Sales. Don’t you deserve to be there? NO Excuses.
Bruce Keith is a leading motivational speaker and trainer, specializing in real estate sales. He has been a top Coach, helping thousands of Salespeople for over 15 years. Check out his Coaching Programs and his new membership program, the “Real Estate Insiders Club.”