Originally published on Entrepreneur.com
4 Ways to Make An Irresistible Offer Without Selling
According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death.
Death is number two. Does that sound right? “This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy,” said noteworthy comedian, Jerry Seinfeld. However, there is something even more fear-inducing than public speaking.
How do you feel about selling from the stage?
But what if I told you that there was a proven formula for delivering powerful selling presentations without coming off as the dreaded slick salesperson? I bet you’d be a little more excited to get up on that stage, webinar or live stream and start selling.
No matter if you’re selling products, booking one-on-one sessions, or even trying to raise money for a charity, consider what I’m about to share with you.
It may shock you to learn that I used to dread speaking and selling. But once I learned these 4 key points, and discovered the power of selling one-to-many, I was hooked. That’s why I co-founded Speaking Empire: to encourage other reluctant entrepreneurs to sell their products and services from the stage.
Try these strategies—you won’t be disappointed in your results.
1. Start backwards.
A powerful presentation starts with the end in mind.
Most people make presentations starting at the beginning. First, they think of the introduction; then, they teach the audience something (which by the way, doesn’t make for great sales). Finally, they put their pitch deck together.
I turn that on its head. Instead of beginning with the introduction, I start by creating an irresistible offer. Every great presentation should call their audience to take an action with an irresistible offer. When you make the right offer to the right audience, you will sell. And when the rest of your presentation is built around that offer, you will sell more than you ever thought was possible.
Once you have your irresistible offer, think about how to sell it with transformational stories. Tap into your audience’s emotions by showing them their problem and then presenting your perfect solution. Then, when you’ve created the rest of your presentation, make an attention-grabbing introduction video that you can use for your introduction.
2. Tell stories that overcome their objections.
If you’re looking for a way to really engage your audience, keep their attention, and answer their objections, tell great stories during your presentation. Remember to tie your stories back to your offer, and think about your audience’s main objections. They usually come down to not having enough time or money, not trusting you, or not knowing who you are.
The best stories speak directly to those objections. For example, you could share how you were once living out of a van in the Walmart parking lot, and then you became successful using the exact steps your offer provides. When you share your transformation, your audience will see themselves in your story, and they will believe that they can be successful, too—if they purchase your offer. Don’t underestimate the impact of the right story.
3. Be (seen as) the authority.
When you go on stage and act like the authority, even if your “knees are knocking” from fear, people will believe and respect you.
I gave my first speech a few years after college, and having a baby face, I looked like I was about 16 years old. That didn’t matter. All of these business people looked at me as an authority just because of how I presented myself. You can do that, too.
I once went to see Christie Frank at a real estate meeting. She had just become the Apprentice, and everyone there looked at her as the ultimate authority. In the middle of her speech, she hadn’t even made the offer yet and an 80-year-old woman got up to give her a check. Christie looked at it and said, “Ma’am, you haven’t even filled it out yet.”
It was a blank check.
This woman just got up and gave her a check because she was seen as such a celebrity. So when you show up to speak, show up like you’re a celebrity.
4. Relax and rewind.
I see so many speakers who go to conferences and wait until the night before to prepare their presentations.
I’ve seen them in the lobby, typing feverishly away at their PowerPoint slides late into the night.
That’s because they’re not thinking about their speaking engagements as sales opportunities. If they knew how much money they could make on stage, I bet they would prepare a lot more ahead of time.
According to Boundless’ textbook on delivering speeches, “While rehearsing, you simulate the real speaking experience so you know what to expect…and ultimately feel more secure with your ability to perform in the actual speaking situation.” Your audience will feed off of your energy while you speak. So make sure you’re prepared to give them your best.
The next time you do a presentation, try these 4 strategies. Your audience will love your energy, they’ll be convinced by your storytelling, and they will buy from you—all without feeling like they are being sold.
DUSTIN MATHEWS is a direct response marketer known for his unique ability to transform businesses and brands and the co-author of No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations with Dan S. Kennedy (Entrepreneur Press 2017). He runs Speaking Empire, a disruptive company in the leadership training and education space.