In my daily travels as a BNI Director I am often asked to evaluate a new word of mouth networker’s elevator speech. You know their “Sales Manager Minutes”. Over the years I have discovered over 2 dozen things that a person can do wrong when presenting their sales manager minutes. In this segment I will discuss the 5 most common mistakes that I see. More importantly, I will give you the cure for these all so common, ills so that your 60 second presentations produce results.
Common Mistake #5. Trying to cram too much in!” I often hear 60 second presentations that start off with a long list of what I call the “I do’s”. Here the presenter is trying to squeeze every aspect of their business in to 60 second, (which is like try to put 10 lbs of sand in a 5 lb bag). This mistake is often made worse when the presenter uses the words “I specialize in” and then they rattle off their long list of “I’ do’s”. The cure for this mistake is being focused and specific. Pick a single subject. Develop a story around that subject and pace yourself. You don’t’ want to come across like your reading a disclaimer; instead make sure there is time for strategic silences and a smooth flow.
Common Mistake #4. “Not asking for a referral!” I have seen many new BNI members stand and give a great description of what they do and what benefits they offer and how they are different from their competition and totally forget to ask for a referral. The best way to fix this is to begin with the end in mind. Start with the referral you want and build the 60 second presentation around it.
Common Mistake #3. “Not using stories.” It’s important that your message connect with the audience at an emotional level. Many rookie BNI members and net workers will stand and spit out facts, figure and studies “showing that they are the best”. But they receive few if any referral from these messages. There is a saying in sales that goes something like this; “Facts Tell and Stories sell”. If you can wrap an emotionally charged story around your focused subject you are more likely to compel someone to action. Always mention the customer pain and make yourself the white night who rescues them.
Common Mistake #2. “Not saying what to do or say.” I have seen networkers stand up and present very moving sale manager minutes full of emotion and words that move you to action. However many time these other wise great 60 second presentations are render mediocre because they did not “tell you what to do or say”, when you recognize their dream referral. They did not give you the piece of information that empowers you to act on their behalf. My 60 second presentations usually end with “give them my card and ask when I can call”. A few more examples are; “tell them about our free refrigerator, good through the end of the month”, or” tell them to go to my website to and click on specials”, or ask “if they would like to meet.” In many cases if you don’t tell your partners what to do they will do nothing! Empower them, tell them what to say and do.
Common Mistake #1 Last but not least “Not being specific.” This mistake is a relative of #4, not asking for a referral. Here the member ask for too broad of a referral. Not asking for a specific referral is like asking your referral partners to do a lot of work for you (work you should have already done for them). The rookie networker will say things like “so if you know somebody”, or they may say “anybody you know who”, try to get a hit in your brains search engine. They are assuming that if you cast a wide net you will catch more fish. But the opposite is what really works best because anybody or somebody produces nobody.
Plus if you really think about it, there is no category in your brain called anybody or some body. No individuals are stored there. It doesn’t compute. By giving your partner a specific company name, persons name and their position, you make it much easier for your partners’ brain to come up with a match. If you can’t say a specific name, create a 5 point profile describing the person that you’re looking for. The easier you make it for your partners, the greater the likely hood of receiving your qualified referral.
Of the top 5 mistake, removing #1 will produce the greatest return for your efforts. Don’t get me wrong I want you to eliminate all 5 of these common mistakes. When you do, you will find that you have increased your credibility, are getting more and better quality referral and best of all you will really start to grow your business. Future segments will talk about another group of common mistakes you will want to eliminate. Until then, work on these and let me know how it’s helping you. If you would like to know more about this subject, visit my free blog to read several other articles covering this subject.