Guest Blogger: Patti Pokorchak
Patti considers herself lucky, in that, she graduated with an MBA business degree in Marketing and fell into sales in her first professional position. Over the years she has sold millions of dollars worth of product and services. Now, years later, she is a professional speaker teaching business owners how to sell. Here is what Patti has to say about the selling and speaking.
What is surprising is how many speakers are extroverted on stage but introverted off stage. Most of them also hate having to sell themselves in order to get speaking gigs. Speakers often think they need to be more extroverted in order to sell and that is far from the truth.
Being introverted and extroverted are the extremes. The majority of us, 60-70%, are ambiverts, which are a combination of both introvert and extrovert. We can be more introverted or extroverted, depending on the situation, but generally we’re not extreme in our personalities. AND contrary to what most people think, Ambiverts make the best sales people NOT the stereotypical extroverts who talk too much!
Thus, being shy is not a barrier to selling millions of dollars worth of ‘stuff’ and I’m proof of that. I was a trained, shy geek (programmer in the 70s) and a female tech pioneer until I found sales and marketing, where I learned that I excelled when talking to people. I’ve noticed that many professional speakers who self-identify as introverts are highly engaging on their platform and are similarly, very successful with people – that’s where the similarity of speaking and sales show up.
How are speaking and selling similar?
In both – it’s all about your audience. In selling, you typically have a much smaller audience than when speaking but it’s still all about them. NEVER all about you. Speakers do not get paid the big bucks UNTIL they figure out how to take their life lessons and translate that into steps that others can use to make ‘their lives better’.
Speakers customize their talks by asking the meeting planner questions, like, who is the audience, what outcomes do they expect, and how do they want their audience to think differently after they have spoken?
In selling, how to help the client with their pain problem and the ONLY way to do that is by asking great questions.
Think of selling as doing an interactive breakout session, where you’re more of a facilitator than speaker. You offer up suggestions to help solve their issues. It’s just a conversation.
When speaking or selling, you want to make a difference in people’s lives. When speaking, you have to ask the questions to figure out what that difference looks like to the audience and work that into your talk. In selling, it’s the same thing. You have to ask great questions to find out the client’s pain point and then show them what you have to offer that will make a difference in their lives. It’s all about the questions, before AND after you get the gig.
The main difference is in who is speaking and who is asking the questions? When you’re on stage, you can be talking up to 100% of the time and the audience is asking the questions. The roles are reversed when selling. When you are selling, you should be asking deep probing questions and only be talking 1/3 of the time.
The Speaking and Selling Dilemma – you have to sellyour talk in order to speak, so learn how to love selling your talk as much as you love giving it! It is an essential skill of all great speakers.
Patti Pokorchak, Founder Small Biz Sales Coach, Speaker, and Author of “The Accidental Farmer -Adventures of a Serial Entrepreneur is not about farming!”