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Recently a man traveled to Hawaii to visit Nicki Keohohou, the CEO and Founder of the Direct Selling World Alliance. Nicki has a history of working in the direct sales industry that spans decades. With her experience in the field, as an executive, as a supplier, and as a speaker and trainer, she is frequently contacted by companies looking to enter the industry. The man flew out on 24-hour notice because he believed that Nicki could help him create a successful direct selling company.
Nicki asked the gentleman why he was looking to start a direct sales company and his answer surprised her. He said, “How do I make money? I’m only looking to start a company here, because I want to make money off these people.” One of Nicki’s greatest traits is that she is extremely honest and calls it exactly how she sees it. She abruptly ended the lunch and told the gentleman, “You will never succeed in this industry. It is a relationship business based on the ability to engage the field and their customers. These bright, articulate direct sellers will figure out what you’re here for in short order.” One of the basics of direct sales is engaging and building relationships.
Engage in Engaging
Whether you are training your field or giving an opportunity presentation, being able to engage with the audience is critical. This can be done one-on-one or in a large audience. It may be at an in-person meeting, or more likely it is being done virtually via technology.
Tips for Engaging Your Audience in a Virtual Meeting
- Use the Right Technology: Find the right partners to help you succeed with virtual events.
- Use Proper Webinar Etiquette: This includes everything from dressing professionally to knowing when to have your video on or off.
- Avoid Death by Firehose: Having too many presenters back-to-back can be overwhelming. Find ways to shorten the presentations and keep in mind the challenges that come with virtual meetings.
- Create Breaks with Activity: Add a way to do something physical by standing up, stretching, or even dancing.
- Use Digital Tools to Create Engagement: Encourage questions in the chat and interaction from a moderator. Verb LIVE’s interactive buttons can help engage your audience as well.
- Give a Call to Action: Create takeaways that drive the behaviors that you want coming out of the event. This may relate to presentations, LIVE meetings, or sampling.
How to Create Engaging Presentations
Whether you are creating a presentation for an upcoming corporate event or for your field to use in prospecting, the basic principles are the same. Knowing the right way to engage your audience is critical to the success of your presentation. Recently a large company reached out to Nicki for feedback on the presentation they had created for the field to use in one-on-ones. As Nicki reviewed it, she was shocked at some of the basic things that were missing. They had ignored the audience and built a presentation that was all about themselves, rather than engaging or making a connection with the person viewing the presentation.
Tips for Creating an Engaging Presentation
- Keep it Simple: Don’t feel the need to include all the text on the slide. A simple image with the basic thought will suffice. (The book Presentation Zen has great tips for creating simple slides for your presentation.)
- Stop Telling, Telling, and Telling: Your presentation should be geared toward establishing rapport and creating a connection. Include questions to find out the interests of the participants.
- Don’t Create Objections: Spend time seeking to understand and then guide them through the presentation letting them know why it is right for them.
- Don’t Overlook the Relationship: Show that you value them for taking the time to view the presentation.
- Represent the Demographic You Want to Attract: This includes age, ethnicity and should focus on inclusiveness. Embracing diversity will attract a wide range of successful people to your opportunity.
- Call to Action: Leave the presentation with an option to sample the product, make a purchase, or join the company.
Engagement Leads to Relationships
The foundation of direct selling was built upon relationships. Create a network of individuals who value the recommendation of the individual who introduced them to your company or products. Mistakes are made when companies and direct sellers seek revenue and sales over creating long-lasting relationships. Loyal customers and business builders are fostered by engaging with them, finding their interest, creating value and building a long-term relationship. In the end, that’s exactly what engaging is all about.