Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance and other books on leadership and change, developed the Energy Bar™ as a free tool to help people in organizations get their ideas across in ways that get people committed and engaged. RickRick has advised leaders from many countries on ways to apply this new tool successfully.


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Influencing Potential Buyers: How Your Presentation Could Kill The Deal

Influencing Potential Buyers: How Your Presentation Could Kill The Deal

A couple of weeks ago I attended a 2-hour webinar. It was rich with content. The speaker often asked for our input in the chat room and then used that information to amend his presentation. Near the end, he went into his sales pitch (which he said he was going to do, so no surprises there). And then he finished with a lengthy Q&A session. It was a great use of my time.

Using The Energy Bar as my gauge (www.energybartools.com), I was already ‘Interested’ when I joined the call, especially since it had been recommended by someone I trust. The webinar was so good, I purchased the product.  

I was impressed by how well this Power Point-driven webinar kept my attention. Well done.

Today, I attended another webinar (hosted by a different company.) I joined the call ‘Interested’ and wanting to be ‘Willing’ to purchase their product. I left the call almost two hours later without placing an order.

 I was curious why my experience was so different. Here are the things that stood out.

1. The call was scheduled for 90 minutes but lasted almost two hours.

2. The presenter spent the first 20 minutes telling us why attention to this topic was so important. Since I chose to be on the call, I didn’t need to be told “why” the topic was important. I found myself tuning in and out during that portion.

3.  The Q&A session kept getting pushed later and later since the presenter spent a lot of time selling the product, and then tacking on bonus after bonus. He even put a timer on the screen to show us that this offer would run out as soon as the call ended. It began to feel like one of those cheesy commercials on basic cable, “But wait, there’s more. . .  If you act right now. . .”

4. Once it came time for the Q&A, the presenter answered three or four questions and spent the rest of the time making more selling points and thanking people for purchasing the product. It started to sound like a public radio station fund raising drive. “I’d like to thank Mary Beth out there in Tulsa. . .”

I was angry that I had wasted so much of my time. Then I reviewed my notes. I was surprised.  I found a lot of things that I had learned during the presentation. But, all of that got over-shadowed by the things that drove my energy from ‘Interest’ to ‘Resistance’. By the end, I was hardly listening. He didn’t make a sale.

There is a lesson or two in there for all of us who make presentations inside organizations. When you are preparing for your next presentation, use the Energy Bar to assess where your audience is today and where you would like them to be at the end of your presentation.

Make sure that what you have planned includes the opportunity for your audience to contribute and get the answers they need. Doing so, will help shift their energy to where you need it to be. And keep your promises. If you say the meeting will end by 'X' time, then that is the time it needs to end.