Sales Presentation Tips – 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid

In a competitive market, your ability to communicate articulately and effectively is critical to your sales success. The following sales presentation tips will help you avoid common pitfalls that will drive your audience crazy.


All about me. Too often, presentations begin with the speaker offering his or her credentials, backstory, or other personal or professional information. The problem? In your effort to establish credibility, you have …Read More

Communication Tip of the Day: Nix the Negative Signals

If you disagree with someone or doubt what she’s saying, consider voicing your opinion tactfully at the appropriate time rather than screaming the message with negative body language. Be cautious about the following negative signals and positions, which an adept student of body language can read easily:

Leaning backward with your hands clasped behind your head (considered an arrogant, know-it-all posture)
Leaning your chin on your hand …Read More

Communication Tip of the Day: Avoid Typing Your Personality With Your Voice

If you were participating in a corporate skit, how would you play the part of a complainer? (Whiny, nasal voice?) How would you play the part of a crook? (Raspy, harsh tone?) How would you play the role of an incompetent nerd? (High-pitched, rapid, quivering voice?) How about the role of a sexy coquette? (Breathy, slow speech?) An impatient teen? (High-pitched, fast-paced, shallow?)
All other things …Read More

Communication Tip of the Day: Make Gestures and Movements With Care

Making a circle with the thumb and forefinger means “OK” or zero in the United States; however, it conveys zero or worthlessness in France, money in Japan, and an obscenity in Russia and some South American cultures. A pointed finger, which is perfectly acceptable to Americans, is considered rude by Asians, Africans, and Belgians. Remembering to point with my closed palm and thumb was a …Read More

Stop Pitching: Don’t Make Them Duck

Let’s say that your friend Carla calls and asks if you’ll be home in the next hour; she wants to stop by to show you “something.” You invite her to come on over. You’re guessing that she has either a new convertible or collie—she’s been talking about buying both.

When she arrives—without new car or pup—she chit-chats a few minutes and then announces, “So are you …Read More

Communication Skills: 5 Things Customers May Not Tell You Before They Leave for Good

If you’ve never hired secret shoppers for yourself, here are some common messages they have to communicate to their clients. Are these same issues persuading your own customers to walk away without leaving clues?

Message #1:  Don’t lay off Ben to save $10—and lose $100,000 in the process
About once a month, I stop by a major supermarket chain for a handful of items I’ve forgotten at …Read More

Communication Skills: The 5 Best Things to Say As a Salesperson

As a seasoned sales pro, you’re not likely to put your foot in your mouth when you call on customers. But do you intentionally choose phrases that could put dollars in your pocket? Consider these five phrases that pay to play:
“Keeping in mind your goal to X, …”
Customers don’t want to hear about what you have to offer them; they want to hear that you …Read More

Sales Presentations: The 6 Biggest Mistakes That Will Drive Buyers Crazy!

Two invitations for investment seminars landed in my mailbox recently—two that I accepted, that is. One ended in a new advisor relationship; the second ended with half the room empty before the financial “guru” finished.
Yet, both events started with promise. Both sales professionals had invited guests to a complimentary dinner at an expensive restaurant to hear them address a current topic of interest on new …Read More

Communication Skills: 10 Ways Salespeople Kill Deals by Their Communication

Many times I’ve felt the urge to give a salesperson a piece of my mind after some obnoxious communication habit, insensitive comment, or ineffective process.  But then I need my mind—all of it—so I typically refrain.  But the high performers stand out from the crowd because they’ve mastered “the little things” that the bottom-half on the sales team have not.
  These communication faux pas can …Read More

Communication Tip of the Day: Translate Yes and No With Care.

In various cultures, all the following gestures can mean yes: a raised head and chin, a nod forward, rocking the head from shoulder to shoulder four times, wagging the head from side to side, a backward nod with raised eyebrows, or a smile.
Noes may be communicated by a finger wagging from side to side, a palm-down hand shaking from side to side, a backward tilt …Read More