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Top-Shelf Tip No. 215:

"Whatever you are, be a good one."

Abraham Lincoln

Assume The Role To Make The Sale

Last week I was watching a talk show that featured an actor as the guest. When the actor started talking, I was taken aback by his natural voice and mannerisms. I had become so accustomed to seeing him play a TV role that I forgot the character and the actor are not actually the same person.

A recent post by the Center for Performance Improvement (CPI) likened the process of developing sales presentations to an actor preparing for a role. Often, they noted, salespeople feel their approach is unnatural and rehearsed when starting out with new scripts. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we'll share seven tips from CPI's executive director, Ted Ings, on how to assume the role of a successful salesperson in no time at all.

Prepare your mindset.Attitude is everything. If you start by putting yourself in a professional state of mind, you will be ready to assume the salesperson role.

Start small. It's unlikely that an actor memorizes his entire script in a single evening. Likewise, you should start with something short and simple, like a greeting or another portion of the script, and work your way up from there.

Repetition. Does this new script contain diction you're unfamiliar with? By saying key phrases repeatedly, they may start to become a part of your natural vocabulary. What once felt unnatural will become natural over time, until your new vocabulary slides off the tip of your tongue.

Roleplay. Actors don't immediately jump in front of the camera and start performing. They perfect their lines and actions during rehearsal. Adopt this same technique by practicing your script and role-playing with coworkers before you move on to customers.

Record your presentation. Sure, listening to your own voice can feel cringe-worthy, but it'll help you perfect your presentation. Record yourself on a phone or other device to gauge your performance, posture, verbiage and confidence.

Pay attention to tone of voice and body language. Acting wouldn't be as esteemed as it is today if actors simply read their lines without action. For the words to have meaning they must be accompanied with tone of voice and body language. Be sure that you align your words with your actions, while conveying confidence and professionalism.

Practice in front of a mirror. You can add another element to your practicing techniques by conducting your presentation while standing in from of the mirror. This is a way to see yourself from your audience's point of view and to practice with emphasizing different parts of the script over others through body language.

Source: Ted Ings is the executive director of The Center for Performance Improvement. He started in the retail automotive business in 1981 and has nearly 30 years of experience implementing and coaching sales and service teams at both the strategic and tactical levels. He formed his own successful multi-million-dollar corporation and became an advisor and mentor sought out by some of America's largest business entities to guide and train their executives and key employees.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson



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